Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow in Burning Down the House by David LaChapelle, 1996
Isabella Blow, a short film by Donald Mcpherson.
Blow by Blow, a short video for the book of the same title by Detmar Blow and Tom Sykes.
A life of extreme tragedy and remarkable inspiration, the story of Isabella Blow is a dramatic and compelling tale of a courageous icon.
Isabella Blow was the epitome of English eccentricity. A legendary figure in the fashion world, she nurtured and championed the talent of some of fashion’s most recognisable and important figures, all the time hiding her own personal unhappiness and severe depression. The news of her tragic death in 2007, aged 48, shocked the international fashion world.
Her thirty year career in fashion began as Anna Wintour’s assistant at American Vogue, and took in stints as fashion director of Tatler and Fashion Editor of The Sunday Times Magazine. But she is perhaps best-known for the iconic images of her in Philip Treacy’s hats, the first of two designers to launch his career from the basement of Isabella and Detmar Blow’s house. With similar passion and verve, Isabella enthusiastically displayed her admiration for young designer Alexander McQueen, buying his entire first collection after he graduated from Central St Martins, in a move that many believe launched his career.
Detmar Blow was engaged to Isabella sixteen days after they first met in 1988, and the couple remained married until her death. In this visually stunning portrait, Detmar and Tom reveal the truth about the intriguing world of Isabella, providing incredible behind-the-scenes insight into the world of fashion and high-society, as well as tracing her ancestry and early childhood, offering a fresh and penetrating look at her domestic life, and celebrating her incredible achievements.
‘Over the years, whenever Issy would call me up to urge me to see someone new, I would do it because she thought it was important.’ - Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, American Vogue
‘You were a one off, a genius friend, your own creation in a world of copycats and I will miss you for the rest of my life.’ - Rupert Everett, in his eulogy at Isabella Blow’s funeral
‘She was original, impactful, generous-minded and spotted some of the greatest talents.’ - Geordie Greig, Editor of the Evening Standard and formerly editor of Tatler
‘She was the most intelligent and creative person in fashion. In many ways she was the British queen of fashion. She was intoxicating. You could never get enough of her. She was a free spirit.’ - Philip Treacy
‘She discovered Sophie Dahl sobbing in a doorway; she bought Alexander McQueen’s entire degree show, and had Philip Treacy design her wedding hat when she married Detmar Blow in 1988 - as well as being credited with discovering Hussein Chalayan and Stella Tennant.’ - Vogue
‘Mourned the world over by an industry that has lost a Muse with whom there was never a dull moment.’ - Daily Mail
I thought by overdressing I was disguising myself and no one could see me, like the child who covers her eyes and thinks she’s invisible.
To honor the late Isabella Blow, Daphne Guinness has set up a foundation to support aspiring art and fashion students and to facilitate further research into depression and mental health. Nick Knight speaks to Guinness about the objectives behind this and her Christie’s auction taking place 27 June 2012, which will sell treasured pieces from her archive, including Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.
About The Isabella Blow Foundation
A short biographical animation by Philippe Fenner based on Edith Sitwell’s life and set to her recitation of the poem, “Still Falls the Rain.”
Façade, An Entertainment— poems by Edith Sitwell, music by William Walton; Edith Sitwell and Peter Pears, reciters; Anthony Collins conducting The English Opera Group Ensemble; a British Decca recording, made in 1953, issued in the United States on London long-play disc A4104.
The selections presented here are—
Poem 3, Mariner Man (“What are you staring at, mariner man…”), recited by Sitwell;
Poem 6, Tango-Pasodoble (“When Don Pasquito arrived at the seaside…”), recited by Pears;
Poem 7, Lullaby For Jumbo (“Jumbo asleep! Grey leaves thick-furred as his ears…”), recited by Sitwell;
Poem 16, Valse (“Daisy and Lily, lazy and silly, walk by the shore…”), recited by Sitwell;
Poem 21, Sir Beelzebub (“When Sir Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in Hell…”), recited by Pears.
The work was created by Edith Sitwell and William Walton during the time Walton was sharing a house with Edith’s brothers, Osbert and Sacheverell; the poems were not set to music for singing, but rather intended for recitation accompanied by music. The premiere took place in the drawing room of the house in 1922, the public premiere in 1923. The poetry and the music were changed over the years, Dame Edith’s final choice of poems, numbering 21, being established in 1942, and the final score published in 1951, from the music of which Sir William composed purely orchestral suites.
The poems, Dame Edith states, “are abstract poems — that is, they are patterns in sound… experiments… enquiries into the effect on rhythm, and on speed, of the use of rhymes, assonances and dissonances, placed outwardly and inwardly (at different places in the line) and in most elaborate patterns.”
Dame Edith Sitwell 1959 interview on BBC Four.
Edith Sitwell : “Why not be one’s self? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a pekingese….I am as highly stylised as it is possible to be.”
The chanello stealth cam caught me and my shopping cohorts not finding very much except for shoes at the Hermès VIP sale fail.
REPORT FROM THE HERMES VIP SALE:
NO SCARVES OR ANY SILKS/SHAWLS
NO SMALL LEATHER GOODS
WAIT. Instead of listing EVERYTHING that’s NOT there, it’s simpler to list what IS there.
RTW. Shoes. Crystal. Plates. THAT’S IT FOLKS.
Some VERY SNEAKY pics taken by a friend. (Disclaimer - I would never personally take pics!)
Stick a fork in it cuz it’s totally dunzo kids. First time I haven’t gotten ANYTHING at the H sale.