You would think that a room full of some of fashion’s most influential and bold visionaries would be acutely intimidating, but last night’s gathering hosted by Barneys to Launch Vogue: The Editor’s Eye was surprisingly relaxed. Top Vogue editors reminisced and chatted playfully as they not only signed copies of the book for industry guests but traded copies with each other (just picture Hamish asking Grace for an autograph and visa versa–priceless!). I myself left the event with signatures from Hamish Bowles, Grace Coddington, Phyllis Posnick, Tonne Goodman and a very flamboyant Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele. Talk about a collector’s item.
The book takes a look at the pivotal role that fashion editors like Polly Mellen, Babs Simpson, and Grace Coddington have had in Vogue’s 120 year history. It’s full of iconic photographs by Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon and plenty of memorable muses like Marilyn Monroe and Verushka.
Model and Vogue regular Caroline Trentini was there to support the editors, who she says have become more like friends over the years. “They [the editors] aren’t just great professionals, but great people too,” said Trentini. “I know a lot about them now. Sometimes I meet their families. I know Tonne’s daughter Evie very well. She always says we look like sisters.” Trentini added that some of her fondest fashion memories have been on set with photographer Irving Penn. (Guess she really does love jumping).
Among the crowd we also spotted Patrick Demarchelier, designers Joseph Altuzarra and Zac Posen, and models Hilary Rhoda, Carolyn Murphy and Erin O’Conner, almost all of whom had sharpies in hand to collect signatures from their colleagues.
It was difficult not to be a bit starstruck having opportunity to chat candidly to Grace Coddington, who told us that even she gets stuck for inspiration sometimes (hard to believe!).
Do you have favorite images from the book?
Grace Coddington: All mine! No, just kidding. I haven’t really had a chance to look at it carefully yet. Certainly all the old ones, like Babs Simpson. She is such a remarkable woman. She isn’t coming tonight, which is sad, but she is 100 years old after all. We all got together and had our portrait done together [all the people featured the book] and she was amazing, and it was really inspiring to talk to her.
When you were younger and didn’t work for Vogue, do you remember certain images from the magazine?
I used to look at British Vogue growing up, and I was always very by inspired by Norman Parkinson’s work. I liked his pictures very much.
If you weren’t creating these beautiful images what would you be doing?
God, I don’t know. I can’t imagine not doing this job, because I’ve done it for 50 years.
Do you ever get stuck for inspiration?
What do you do when that happens?
You just know eventually it’s going to happen, [and inspiration will come.] Time has told you that eventually, if you keep your eyes open, it will come together. Keep your eyes and ears open and talk to people. Always talk to people.
On that note, thanks for talking to us, Grace!
Click through for more photos from the event.