Monday, May 07, 2007

Isabella Blow dies

Isabella Blow, the eccentric fashion editor credited with discovering talents such as Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, died suddenly today. Recently appointed fashion editor-at-large for British magazine Tatler, Blow was famous for wearing outrageous outfits, usually topped by an oversized hat.
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Isabella Blow in a Philip Treacy hat, photographed by Mario Testino

Hilary Alexander at the Daily Telegraph writes an insightful piece about Blow, in which she describes the artistocrat as brash and fragile at the same time.

"Beautiful, but ultimately doomed, she was possessed of a remarkable sense of style with fiercely-held opinions and a braying laugh that could be heard from one end of the catwalk to the other, two traits which cleaved to the family motto “haud muto factum” – nothing happens by being mute.

But she was also a self-confessed depressive. She had a fragile sense of identity and her insecurities had been excacerbated by the breakdown of her marriage to the art dealer, Detmar Blow. Although the couple had reconciled, she continued to suffer terrible bouts of suicidal depression."

I once saw Blow arrive at a Dior fashion show in a peach chiffon burka - just one example of her extreme sense of style. Minutes later, she reappeared minus the burka. A storm of protest from French editors had forced her to go backstage and change. I'm sure she will be much missed.
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