To celebrate our stunning Grace Coddington cover for The Wise Up Issue, i-D open the floor to pro illustrators, idle doodlers and iPad muckers around. The brief? Draw Grace Coddington. The prize? The Grace T-shirt (pictured right), by Vanity Fair Style Director Michael Roberts. Read on…
Michael Roberts met Grace Coddington in the 70s when he was at The Sunday Times and she was at Vogue. Working together and sitting thereabouts ten people down from eachother on the front row at fashion weeks, Michael and Grace have remained great friends. Which was the reason their ‘in conversation’ evening at Waterstones last week was so good. Teasing eachother, and talking honestly about their remarkable lives in fashion, Michael asked Grace about her book, Grace, A Memoir, the beautifully orange hardback that’s put a smile on everyone’s face who likes fashion and Grace; well the two are synonymous.
Both fantastic illustrators, Michael has published four books of his illustrations, edited Grace’s first book of illustrations The Catwalk Cats and worked with her on the memoir, encouraging her to include more of her witty drawings. Michael also recently released a series of T-shirts, available at Browns, depicting fashion’s most famous in lines and dots, including a bright, graphic Grace. So to celebrate their talent in common, and our stunning Grace cover shot by Arthur Elgort, we’re launching an illustration competition: who can draw the best Grace? The winner wins Michael’s T-shirt, the first runner up wins a signed copy of Grace A Memoir, and the second runner up wins Grace’s Wise Up Issue cover, signed by the lady in red- hair.
Submit your illustrations of Grace to web@i-Dmagazine.co.uk by 5th December to enter and read our interview with Michael below.
When did you first meet Grace? I first met Grace in the Seventies. I was doing fashion at The Sunday Times, she was at Vogue. I don’t remember how or why we got to know each other although I’m sure it must have been at a fashion show somewhere.
Why do you think you work well together? You seem to share a sense of humour… Working together is something that just happened. We clicked. Mainly because we both really care about what we do and like to follow through, right down to the tiniest detail. We both have a very British sense of humour and love self- depreciation and irony.
Do you have a personal favourite picture of Grace from the book? There are several photos of Grace in the book that I love. The ones of her and her sister, the early modelling ones. But certainly as an iconic image, the Steven Meisel black and white picture of Grace with a cat at her feet is hard to beat.
You’ve worked with Arthur Elgort, and he’s taken your portrait too, as well as Grace’s for the i-D cover, what’s he like? Arthur Elgort is a joy to work with. He has such a sunny disposition and is so easy going that spending time with him never feels like work. Particularly when the theme of the photos embraces something he loves like Jazz or the ballet.
How did you learn to draw? Does one ever learn to draw? I think you either can or you can’t. It’s not something you learn unless it’s something like technical drawing. I drew from a very early age and I’m still doing it but it was never something I was ‘taught’.
Why does Grace make a good illustration subject? For me, any face that can be broken down into a series of simple shapes is great for a portrait in collage. Grace has an oval face and a big squiggly mass of orange hair. Those two elements alone make her a great candidate for collage because she is instantly recognizable even when the details are missing.
What is it about a person that inspires you to draw them? When I see something in a person’s face that is a giveaway to their true personality I’m very happy to capture it.