Grace Coddington Says She Pioneered The Wide-Eyed Look, Not Twiggy

Courtesy of Norman Parkinson Archive

Grace Coddington‘s memoir hasn’t dropped yet, but we’ve got a peek at an excerpt. And yes, her story is quite literally one for the books.

Coddington, or “the Cod”, recounts the hard times at the beginning of her modeling career in London, the glamour of dating male models and part-time aviators, and hanging out with Catherine Deneuve, David Bailey, and Ali MacGraw in Paris.

The Vogue editor reveals that back in the day, models were their own hair, makeup, and wardrobe teams. They each had to carry a “model bag”, which is a giant duffel bag of beauty products, accessories, and everything else one needed to do their job. Inside Coddington’s was makeup, accessories, food, a sewing kit, an A to Z of London, and “pennies for the phone”, among others:

Unlike now, when everything is done for them, a model back then had to apply her own eyeliner, shape her brows, and put on her lipstick. She also had to set and style her own hair, back-comb it and fold it into a neat chignon, or make the ends curl outward in the look of the time, the “flick-up.” Makeup artists and hairdressers who specialized in photo shoots were completely nonexistent. Each model was expected to own a model bag, and what she put into it was terribly important.

Coddington also uses her memoir to set the record straight about Twiggy‘s signature doll-like eye makeup. She writes:

My particular thing was to draw an extra-wide stroke emphasizing the crease of the eye socket and add extravagantly long, spidery lines below the eye, a little like doll’s lashes, then paint a dot toward the inner corner for reasons I can’t exactly articulate except that it looked nice and “now.” Later I discovered my crazy new eyelash look being called “twiglets” and credited to the young British model Twiggy. Well, they were very much mine. I was probably doing them before she was born!

Well, isn’t this interesting? No matter who actually pioneered the look, both ladies have made quite a career for themselves. Check out more of the memoir here, and just try telling us that it’s not fascinating. We’re pretty excited to get the full copy in our hands!


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