Grace Coddington is “photographic heaven”, according to her ex-husband.
The former model and creative director of US Vogue married photographer Willie Christie in 1974 but the union ended in divorce four years later. An exhibition of pictures he took of her will be unveiled to the public next month, and Willie has discussed what makes his ex-wife such an exquisite subject to photograph.
“I never actually worked with Grace during her life as a professional model,” he told vogue.co.uk. “By the time that she gave me my first Vogue shoot with Marie Helvin in 1974, she had long become the creative force working in the fashion room at Vogue. None the less, for me she was still photographic heaven. She was so brilliant as a model because she had an appreciation and understanding of art in all its forms; mimicry; gentleness and serenity.”
Grace isn’t the only famous face featured in the exhibition. Jerry Hall and Marie Helvin also make appearances, with many of the pictures never seen by the public before. Willie revealed he hadn’t thought about the stills for many years before deciding to show them off, as they’d been lying untouched for 35 years.
He knew he had to showcase them when he perused them again though, not least because he was such a fan of the images of Jerry.
“That hair! It had a personality all of its own," he said. "Nothing quite like it had been seen before, I think. And those long, long legs. She brought to the 70s what Jean Shrimpton brought to the 60s. She had a flamboyance. And she was funny. Glorious!"