Fashion icon Grace Coddington, having retired from Vogue, is keeping busy with a new scent from Comme des Garcons and, it seems, being somewhat relaxed. Into the Gloss stopped by her apartment in New York—decorated by an artful, homey cluster of black and white photographs—and discussed her lifelong beauty routine, including all of the make-up she’s used that been discontinued.

But the sweetest paragraph, by far, was when she discussed her first kiss:

There’s a funny story from when I was younger—I had this boyfriend and I guess I was 14 or something, and I had an older sister and I kept saying, ‘Oh, I’m so in love. I’m so in love.’ And she kept saying, ‘Has he kissed you yet?’ And I’m like, ‘What’s that? What’s that?’ And she says, ‘Well, you know, if you make yourself more attractive, I’m sure he’ll kiss you. You should put some lipstick on.’ So she lent me her lipstick. It was probably 1955, something like that. So the color might have been something like a pearlized pink. Anyway, I put this lipstick on, and my boyfriend arrived at the door, and I got my first kiss. And I fainted! I was so working myself up for it that... I mean I didn’t completely go unconscious, but weak at the knees. I felt that was fainting. But lipstick did the trick for me, obviously!

Of course, the idea that more makeup would equate being more attractive is very 1955, and later in the piece she discusses how she (and everyone else) toned it down in the ‘60s as a reaction to the constrictions of the ‘50s. But still, the tale about the kiss, the pretty pink, the anticipation, the wobbly knees! It’s such a teenagery swoon of a romantic paragraph. And within that swoon, you can glimpse some of the essence of outsized fantasy she’s applied to some of Vogue’s most iconic photoshoots.

Read the full piece and get a (too tiny) peek into Coddington’s crib here.


Image via Getty