Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

22 November 2013

“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.” – Isabella Blow.

At Isabella Blow’s funeral in 2007, Rupert Everett read the eulogy and described his friend as ”her own creation in a world of copycats”. There was no one quite like her. A fashion editor, consultant, muse and a champion of young fashion talent, she always marched to the beat of her own drum.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, celebrates her extraordinary life spanning a thirty year career. Beginning as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue, followed by stints at Tatler and British Vogue, she became Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style before returing to Tatler as Fashion Director.

The exhibition showcases over a hundred pieces from one of the most important private collections of British fashion design, now owned by Daphne Guinness.

Included are garments from the many designers Blow discovered and launched, including Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Julien Macdonald amongst others.

The first section of the exhibition explores her British aristocratic ancestral roots with a family seat at Doddington Hall in Cheshire. The second section features pieces from McQueen and Treacy’s graduate MA collections followed by key items in their AW 1996 collections.

A beautiful giant hedge installation, inspired by Isabella’s love of the English countryside, artfully displays groups of her clothing, reflecting her love of birds, flowers and the surreal.

Final Touches Made To Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, A New Somerset House Exhibition

Bespoke mannequins wearing her full outfits demonstrate her distinctive and eclectic style. Blow once said that you should “accentuate the head and feet” and in one section, the increasingly important role that hats and shoes played in her life is quite beautifully staged.

Final Touches Made To Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, A New Somerset House Exhibition

Isabella was also known for her collaborations with major photographers such as Steven Miesel, David LaChapelle and Sean Ellis resulting in provocative fashon spreads that still burn brightly on the brain all these years later.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! From 20 November 2013 – 2 March 2014. Embankment Galleries, Somerset House.

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Recommended reading: Isabella Blow. To purchase, visit our bookstore.