FASHION PROFILE: ISABELLA BLOW
Isabella Blow, who sadly died in 2007, was an eccentric editor who befriended Alexander McQueen and helped jump-start his career as a designer; as well as being an extremely powerful and influential public figure in the fashion world.
Born: 19th November 1958
Famous for: Being a style icon and editor as well as supporting British designer Alexander Mcqueen.
Style Characteristics: Eccentric millinery.
Isabella Blow was born in Marylebone, London, in the late 50s. Her parents separated when she was only 14 and remembered saying goodbye to her mother by simply shaking her hand.
Despite this, Isabella's mother was an influential figure within Blow's life as she recalled her fondest memory was trying on her hat collection - something which Isabella later became famous for.
Isabella's career did not begin properly until the early 1980s when she was introduced to Anna Wintour (the fashion director of Vogue's U.S. edition). Wintour immediately hired Isabella as her assistant which began her fashion career; Blow thrived in New York, befriending affluential artisans such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
In 1986, nine years after moving to New York, Blow returned to London to work for Michael Roberts (editor of Tatler and The Sunday Times Style Magazine).
Blow married her second husband in 1989, changing her name from Broughton to Isabella Blow. Her friendship with milliner Philip Treacy began when she commissioned him for her wedding headdress - and so a "fashion relationship was forged".
Soon after this friendship, Blow began to wear Treacy's hats regularly, they soon became part of her individual style. In a 2002 interview, Isabella Blow explained why she wore her hats (not for a practical reason) but,
"...to keep everyone away from me. They say, Oh, can I kiss you? I say, No, thank you very much. That's why I've worn the hat. Goodbye. I don't want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love"
Blow was soon becoming known for her individual sense of style and always seemed extremely fashion forward. Isabella's most famous "findings" were model Sophie Dahl (granddaughter of famous British author Roald Dahl) and Lee "Alexander" McQueen.
Lee McQueen (whom is known famously as Alexander McQueen, renamed by Isabella) was found by Blow as a student. She purchased his entire graduate collection for £5,000, paying it off in weekly £100 installments. This collaboration grew into a strong friendship and both McQueen and Blow helped eachother in their careers in the fashion world.
Isabella Blow's style has been defined simply by her outlandish millinery, which has more recently influenced others in the public eye (most notably Lady Gaga).
Illness & Death
Sadly, Isabella was nearing the end of her life in the new millenium. After a succession of events and attempts at committing suicide, Isabella Blow died on the 7th May 2007, aged 48.
McQueen & Blow