Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

Next week sees the opening of a major exhibition celebrating the life and style of the country’s ultimate fashion muse, Isabella Blow. The late, great British patron of all things fabulous began her astonishing career assisting Anna Wintour at US Vogue before making her unique mark on the London fashion scene with stints at Tatler, The Sunday Times Style magazine and British Vogue.

It was back in London, of course that Blow met her sartorial match in the form of one Philip Treacy, sparking an explosive partnership that would propel her flamboyant look to true icon status, and rightly so – nobody could pull off an outrageous hat quite like Isabella. Wildly creative, she was credited for having nurtured and inspired many of fashion’s movers and shakers including Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald and Sophie Dahl, who she famously described as “a blow up doll with brains”, launching the model’s enormously successful career.

The expo will feature over 100 pieces from Blow’s extravagant wardrobe, now considered to be one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design. Close friend, Daphne Guinness now owns the collection and explains her decision to show it to the public:

“This exhibition is, to me, a bittersweet event. Isabella Blow made our world more vivid, trailing colour with every pace she took. It is a sorrier place for her absence. When I visited her beloved clothes in a storage room in South Kensington, it seemed quite clear the collection would be of immense value to a great many people. I do believe that in choosing to exhibit them we’ve done the right thing – and that it is what she would have wanted. I am doing this in memory of a dear friend, in the hope that her legacy may continue to aid and inspire generations of designers to come”. 

From Blow’s British aristocratic beginnings to her untimely death and lasting legacy, this promises to be an exhaustive look at one short but fabulously fashionable life. Isabella, we doff our comparatively meagre hats to you.

The exhibition runs from 20 November until 2 March, Somerset House, Strand, WC2