Who is Isabella Blow? Allow me to introduce you to this mysterious and tragic woman in a nutshell. Isabella Blow was an English magazine editor with an uncanny sense of style and fashion with a great love for extravagant artwork in an elegant and sometimes strange-beyond-belief way. Her style choices are a great influence of Lady Gaga’s general appearance today, and she is credited with discovering fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Towards the end of her glamorous and influential life, Blow suffered greatly from depressions and eventually killed herself in 2007.
Just recently, an exhibition showcasing her legendary wardrobe opened at Somerset House in London. The collection was originally bought by the style maverick’s friend Daphne Guinness. Co-Curator Shonagh Marshall, who created the exhibition with Alistair O’Neill explained to Vogue UK:
She was once quoted as saying, ‘It’s about the craft, not the crap’, and that was something she stood by. The exhibition pays tribute to her idiosyncrasies, her quirks, her wit, her dark humour and also her love of grandeur. You don’t get characters like that any more – there’s no one of her infamy around in fashion now.”
As well as displaying over 100 pieces from Blow’s wardrobe, many of which are styled exactly how the fashion editor wore them, the exhibition is also littered with double-page spreads of her work. You may like her style or not, but the exhibition seems to give a wonderful insight into how she viewed the art that comes with high fashion in a deeper sense than what Lady Gaga has managed to pull off.
Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! is open at Somerset House from until March 2 2014.