Born into aristocracy, she began her career as Anna Wintour’s assistant at Vogue in the 1980s, where it’s claimed she cleaned the mogul’s desk with Perrier water and Chanel. She went on to become one of the industry’s biggest players, editing for Tatler and the Sunday Times in a sparkling career which was cut short by her tragic suicide in 2007, following diagnoses of bipolar disorder and ovarian cancer.
The exhibition features over 100 pieces, including a great deal by those designers whose careers she launched, including Alexander McQueen, whose Central Saint Martins graduate collection she bought in its entirety upon seeing it, and milliner Philip Treacy, who designed her wedding headdress: a medieval-style wimple of gold lace. Her outfits were extraordinary: fusion pieces born of her dual industry roles of muse and designer. Famed for her love of millinery, her most memorable pieces include a crystal-encrusted, fish-smelling, Dalí-inspired lobster, and a hat based on a Japanese temple, ornately designed by Treacy for McQueen. Of her passion for headgear she said: "Fashion is a vampiric thing, it's the hoover on your brain. That's why I wear the hats, to keep everyone away from me.”
Presented in collaboration with Central Saint Martins and Blow’s own charitable foundation, and curated with input from Blow’s close friend and heir, artist Daphne Guinness, this promises to be a personal and visually gorgeous experience, with bespoke mannequins installed to emphasise the way Blow wore her clothes and the uniqueness of her style.
|What||Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House|
|Where||Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Temple (underground)|
20 Nov 13 – 02 Mar 14, Open daily 10am-6pm
|Website||Click here to book via Somerset House|