Saoirse for Document Journal

Saoirse Ronan and Grace Coddington are artists in the craft of character-building

DOCUMENT JOURNAL – Saoirse Ronan was 16 when she did her first Vogue photoshoot, under the creative direction of Grace Coddington. Then a rising star with the first of an eventual four Oscar nominations under her belt, the young actor used her considerable ability to fully embody Pre-Raphaelite muses, gazing at the heavens as an exquisitely doomed Ophelia, and running through overgrown castle gardens and untamed forests as a rogue Arthurian queen. The shoot is the perfect distillation of their shared capacity to convey an entire story in a single moment, with Ronan as its subject and Coddington as its mastermind. Photographed by Steven Meisel, the portraits beckon you into the fantastical world of a flaming-haired, barefooted woman, consumed in dramas of lore and legend—exactly the kind of mesmerizing, narratively rich images which characterize Coddington’s decades-long reign as American Vogue’s creative director. In the foreword Ronan later wrote for Grace: The American Vogue Years (Phaidon), she expressed a sentiment common among those who have been lucky enough to work with the fashion editor: “A fire as bright as her hair is brought to everything she makes room for in her heart. A burst of character and brilliance!”
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