Grace Coddington will release her autobiography, Grace: A Memoir, in November, and in it she recounts her introduction to modeling: posing in the buff for photographer Norman Parkinson.
In an excerpt of the book on Vogue.com, Coddington writes that a boyfriend introduced her to Parkinson, known by his friends as Parks. The first time they met, Parkinson said, "I have this little job at the weekend on my farm in Pishill. It's a nude photograph, if you don't mind."
"Well, I only registered the word photograph," Coddington writes. "I don't recollect why, but I guess it didn't occur to me that he meant I should take off all my clothes. Later on I did wonder whether it was the proper way to behave . . . To Parks, however, all I said at the time was 'OK,' and off we went to take pictures of me running through the woods naked. He demonstrated what I should do. 'This is what I want!' he shouted, mustache twitching as he leaped through the air from behind a tree, a tall, gentlemanly figure wearing one of his lucky little woven Ethiopian skullcaps. And that was that. I had a lovely time. It was my first modeling job. And afterward we all went home for tea."
Grace: A Memoir will make its debut on Nov. 20.
Photo: Grace Coddington photographed by Norman Parkinson, courtesy of Norman Parkinson Archive.