With the highly anticipated opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute on May 4th, and the Annual Met Gala having just been held on “The First Monday in May,” we thought it appropriate to feature Grace Coddington’s first foray into fragrance, Grace by Grace Coddington. For this, Vogue’s Creative Director-at-Large, and former Creative Director for 28 years, chose to collaborate with Comme des Garcons to captivate with an intricate, yet unfussy scent.
The announcement of plans to develop a scent—devised in the spirit of a woman synonymous to ever relevant, at times rebellious, yet always timeless, depiction of style, Coddington’s foray into fragrance means her own plunge into the unknown. Coddington, when asked about her crossover into fragrance remarked, “I don’t speak perfume, I’m visual.” The crux of that which fragrance companies and brands wrestle daily, a fundamental discord between consumer and product, Coddington confronts and most intriguingly, personifies.
A rose decreed the one strict launch-point by Coddington, Christian Astuguevieille, Creative Director of Comme des Garcons, invited proposal to select, handful of perfumers. Smell, by definition, ephemeral, with negligible capacity for substitution or likening available—ironically, images found Coddington’s namesake scent, Grace. The exchange of visual aids during conception and later development communicates the language of Grace. A smell born of sight. Astuguevieille, named Symrise Perfumer Emilie Coppermann key accomplice in the project for Comme des Garcon. A shrewd pairing Astuguevieille and Coddington — Astuguevieille, with self-proclaimed distaste of the “too beautiful” and Coddington’s gift for its exposed choreography—harmoniously meet Coppermann’s sketched submission of a rose. The air of Grace: Egyptian Basil and Mint essence intermingled among wild grasses at the foot of a Moroccan Rose. Found at the edges of wooded clearing, the rose competes in claimed right of a chance to bloom–one among the many. The macro, a composition of depicted complexity diffuses focus in favor of the inundation of the many, mirroring precisely, those artful editorials for which Coddington reached status of international acclaim, fixture of the fashion world.
Grace by Grace Coddington launched in April 2016 in the USA and in Europe and Asia in May 2016. It is available in 50mL and 100mL sizes, and will retail for $110 (€90, ₤70, ¥12,000) and $145 (€120, ₤90, ¥16,000) respectively, at Comme des Garçons boutiques worldwide, Dover Street Market stores in New York City, London, Ginza and Beijing, Colette in Paris and on GraceCoddington.com and Doverstreetmarket.com, also in specialty stores worldwide.