After listening to Lucinda Chambers, Fashion Director at Vogue, talk at the Vogue Festival, she is now officially on my list of coolest people I aspire to be more like.
I’ll admit that I did not know who she was when she first got up to speak but as images of her work flashed up on the screen behind her I realised that some of her images and cover shoots are stored in my very own ‘love’ images on my computer – in particular a shoot she did with Kate Moss from 2007.
With her soft tones, articulated speech and demure stance you wouldn’t be wrong for confusing her as an art teacher if you didn’t know who she was - but through her words, and clearly remarkable creative vision, you see that there is a very strong willed woman behind this tiny frame – and that made me love her all the more. She isn’t typically what you would envision or even how you would envision a Creative Fashion Director to be.
She began her working life at Vogue as PA to Vogue's then editor, Beatrix Miller. 'I couldn't type or anything,' she says, but she enjoyed dressing up for work, and eventually got to assist the fashion director, Grace Coddington. Apart from a few years when she worked with Sally Brampton on the launch of British Elle, she has worked most of her life for Vogue . She spends about 22 weeks of the year away, shooting on location with photographers including Mario Testino, with whom she works a lot.
Some of the most inspiring and influential people in the fashion industry are those that are not necessarily seen at all the parties or splashed across the front cover of a magazine – case and point; the amazing Grace Coddington - how many people knew who she was before they watched ‘The September Issue’. And it’s not to say that there is any shame in not knowing who these people are, in fact discovering them through an organic process, like I did with Lucinda Chambers, makes it all the more delightful when you see/hear from the person who has created something that you have wondered over, and even inspired you to do something wonderful.
The ironic note I took away from this was: Never judge a book by it’s cover……unless, of course, it’s their front cover of Vogue.