I had a super bumper collection from the post office this week. Unfortunately, only one of Paul’s online-bought birthday presents was amongst that lot (Flip! Birthdays are unmissable deadlines, and I missed this one BADLY), but I certainly scored with my vintage Vera scarf from Luola, and my copy of Grace Coddington’s memoir, too.
If you watched The September Issue, you probably feel the same way as I do about Grace Coddington, creative director at US Vogue. What’s not to like about a stylish, cheeky lady of vision whose motivation for doing the most brilliant work has absolutely nothing to do with desiring the spotlight, and everything to do with loving her work and wanting to express her vision? Bowing down to Grace, and looking forward to cracking the spine of that memoir this weekend.
Vera Neumann, on the other hand, doesn’t have a movie about her, so here’s a bit more.
My first Vera design was years ago from that source of all discoveries – Milnerton Market – where I bought some gorgeous vintage (Secondhand! We were very poor!) bath towels in fab hot 60s prints. They had the classic Vera signature, but we didn’t have broadband at the time, and Googling wasn’t what it is today, so it was only a good few years later, while in NYC at an Anthropologie store, where I was stumbled upon a book by Susan Seid about a prints designer called Vera Neumann and realised who had designed the pattern on our (long-since replaced) bath towels.
1967 Vera spread in Vogue. Via Library FashionistaDuring a career that spanned five decades, Vera was an amazingly successful designer, counting Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly as fans, and an astute businesswoman too. After a number of years of her work having been regarded as kitschy and outdated, her legacy is firmly back in the spotlight. There’s even been a re-issue of some of her scarf designs at Target!
One of the things I enjoyed about looking around the web at what people have written about her is the varied selection of favourite designs that people choose. She was so prolific and so varied in her style (who else can use a petrol station in a scarf design?), that there’s just about something for everyone in there.
Here are a couple of Vera designs that tickled me in particular.
And if that’s not enough inspiration for all of you who (like me) love stories of strong, independent, stylish women, this photo from the Vogue website of Grace Coddington at her 70th birthday party is certainly one to help me keep on keeping on.
PS: Talking of inspiration, I really enjoyed doing a ‘proper’ blog post for a change, and hope to keep this up. Inspiring me to up my game in this realm: Matt Allison’s post about his work as a (not) blogger, Miss Moss’s consistently marvellous output and SFGirlByBay of course. Thanks guys.