Since scaling back from her role at Vogue, where she now serves as creative director at large, collaboration is the name of game for Grace Coddington. "I’m not running away from Vogue, because it has opened so many doors," she told Business of Fashion in 2016. "But it will be nice to collaborate, and nice to go out [and] give talks to people. It’s just another approach. I’m certainly not going into retirement. I don’t want to sit around." Since then, the visionary has made major moves as a free agent, including turning a Louis Vuitton runway into an actual catwalk, creating her first fragrance with Comme des Garçons, and most recently, a charming six-episode talk show Face to Grace, which debuted on Wednesday on Made to Measure (M2M), the streaming fashion network backed by IMG.
"I felt like putting on record, life as it is today," Coddington tells Refinery29 of her new show. "You know, as soon as today is gone, there is no record of it. There’s much more record because of Instagram and all that, but an interesting interview? I thought to record would be kind of great."
Coddington follows in the footsteps of the late Glenn O'Brien, whose M2M talk show Tea at the Beatrice, had a similar format. "I said yes to the show," she explains. "[I said] 'I’d love to do it but I have to make it mine so, it can’t be at the Beatrice and there isn’t going to be tea. And we started from there." Coddington also only wanted guests with whom she had an existing relationship. "I’m a shy person, and the idea of having to drive a conversation [with a stranger] made me feel uncomfortable and nervous," the legendary creative director tells Refinery29.
Take, for instance, Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton women’s artistic director and one of Coddington's first guests. "Nicolas is an extraordinary designer and he’s a very close friend, so he was probably the very first person that I asked and his response was an immediate yes," Coddington says. "I was trying to dig into his childhood, because if I Googled him, and I know him pretty well, but I know nothing about him growing up. So I tried to get him to talk a little bit about how he began in this [industry] and ultimately became the best, most extraordinary designer."
And, of course, Coddington had to ask her most well-known Vogue colleague, Anna Wintour, to appear on the show. "She would really be missing if she weren’t there, and I really hoped that I could get her," she tells Refinery29. "The only thing is she wouldn’t take her dark glasses off. It’s hard to interview someone with dark glasses on, because you can’t see someone’s reactions. I guess I’m used to her with dark glasses, but still, if you want to dig deeper, if you feel the reaction. But she was pretty good. She said yes, right away. And that was a surprise."
So it seems Coddington is on to something with her magical pairings. But it's not the only time she subscribes to doing things in twos. "I usually buy everything in twos when I’m shopping. It’s so hard to find to find something that fits my body," she says, noting that Celine has the best pants. "I always buy those in two." Coddington also has buys in multiples from Prada. "I always try to get them to make me in twos, threes, fours," she says, specifically citing a shirt that they made for her 15 years ago. "Every other year, they make me a whole new lot."
"Working with a team, if it's the right team, can be incredibly rewarding and creative," Coddington says; it's what made so many of her triumphs, including Face to Grace, possible.
See a clip of the show below.