Grace's greatest photographers – Bruce Weber

To mark the publication of Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016, Vogue magazine's Grace Coddington runs through some of her favourite photographers, including this all-American master of fashion photography
Share
Aretha Franklin, Beverly Peele, and Another Bad Creation; hair, Didier Malige; makeup, Denise Markey, USA 1991. Photograph by Bruce Weber.  From Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016
Aretha Franklin, Beverly Peele, and Another Bad Creation; hair, Didier Malige; makeup, Denise Markey, USA 1991. Photograph by Bruce Weber. From Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016

Excellent working relationships thrive not only through skill and dedication, but also in the other, less obvious ways co-workers facilitate one another.

So to celebrate the forthcoming release of Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016 – an elegant clamshell box containing both volumes of Vogue creative director at large Grace Coddington's collected works, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue and Grace: The American Vogue Years – we are highlighting a few of her favourite photographers, and the great images they created together.

When Coddington arrived in New York in 1987, the US photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber had already established his reputation, shooting masterful campaigns for Calvin Klein, as well as editorial pieces for such titles as GQ. The pair were always likely to have a successful working relationship.

 

Bruce Weber, 1984. Hair by Didier Malige. hair, Didier Malige. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016
Bruce Weber, 1984. Hair by Didier Malige. hair, Didier Malige. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016

However, what was less clear was how influential the US photographer would be on Coddington’s understanding of her new home. Weber introduced Grace to the work of such artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Weston and Andrew Wyeth, influence that Grace later included in her photo shoots. What’s more, Bruce’s working practices, and the way he manages to combine a distinctly American take on fashion photography into an all-encompassing lifestyle, was something Grace also grew to admire.

 

Bruce Weber, Brittany, 1984. From Grace. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016
Bruce Weber, Brittany, 1984. From Grace. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016

“Whatever Bruce takes a picture of is likely to become part of his life, which is a vast universe of American hideaways, musicians and movies, sports heroes, art and photography, and dogs,” explains the Vogue legend in Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue, “If he takes you in, you can’t help falling under his influence. That’s the reason I have a little rustic cabin in my backyard, just like those at his camp in the Adirondacks.

 

Anne Klein by Bruce Weber, 1982. hair, Didier Malige; makeup, Mariella Smith-Masters. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016
Anne Klein by Bruce Weber, 1982. hair, Didier Malige; makeup, Mariella Smith-Masters. Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016

“As a mentor, he also gave me my greatest introduction to American culture, including a number of artists,” she goes on, “such as Edward Weston, whose Daybooks are only one of Bruce’s many ever-expanding inspirations. In 1982, we did an homage to Weston, which we shot at the country house Bruce then owned in Bellport, Long Island. To evoke the tight-knit intensity of a bohemian community, we peopled the shoot with both Bruce’s local friends and professional models, casting one as Weston and another as his wife, Charis.

“Bruce put up a group of almost 20 at his house and a number of cottages scattered in the woods, and I had to dress them all. Like Weston, he had also built a portable field studio made from poles and canvas that could be adjusted for the light. As the days wore on and the group naturally began to divide into camps and couples, Bruce painstakingly documented all that he saw. Looking back on that happy summer, I find Weston’s idea of making your life your work more appealing than ever.”

 

Mike Tyson and Naomi Campbell by Bruce Weber; hair, Didier Malige; makeup, François Nars, USA 1989. From Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016
Mike Tyson and Naomi Campbell by Bruce Weber; hair, Didier Malige; makeup, François Nars, USA 1989. From Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue here and Saving Grace: My Fashion Archive 1968-2016

 


You May Also Like


Related



ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more