A fashion maverick, a style icon and quite simply, one of the most fabulous women ever to have graced the fashion planet, Isabella Blow was a true original. Not only did she truly embrace and adore fashion, wearing pieces as if they were artworks, she was also a staunch supporter of creativity; championing, nurturing and inspiring designers, most famously Alexander McQueen, whose entire graduate collection she famously ended up buying and whose friendship lasted both their lifetimes.
If you’re not involved in the fashion industry, sometimes it’s hard to realise just how important someone like Isabella was. To make a career and to make your label a success sadly takes more than sheer talent, which is why designers like McQueen, like Philip Treacy (for whom Isabella was a muse), like Hussein Chalayan so need someone to support, inspire and nurture them. To help them make business decisions, to bring their talent to the attention of the right people, to showcase their designs so they can get on and do their jobs.
Known for pushing creative boundaries, Isabella did all of this and more, and subsequently became something of a fashion legend, working firstly with Anna Wintour at US Vogue in New York before stints at Tatler, British Vogue and The Sunday Times Style in London. She discovered countless designers and some amazing models (Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl), she wore the most beautiful and bravest designs, she love, love, loved fashion and would do anything to support it. She was an icon.
Having sadly passed away in 2007, Isabella left a jaw-dropping collection, featuring pieces from some of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Now owned by another fashion icon, Daphne Guinness, 100 pieces from Isabella’s collection are the subject of a major exhibition Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! run in collaboration with The Isabella Blow Foundation at Somerset House from next Wednesday, 20th November.
One of Isabella’s closest friends, Daphne Guinness set up The Isabella Blow Foundation in honour of her memory. With the aim of supporting those in the creative arts and providing financial support to mental health charities, the Isabella Blow Foundation has already established a full scholarship on the MA fashion course at Central Saint Martin’s and aims to fund more studies at other fashion institutions.
If you have any interest in fashion, any interest in art, then Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! is a must. And, to celebrate the launch of the exhibition, we have an incredible prize for W&W readers to win…
- Two tickets to Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!
- A signed copy of Nick Knight and Daphne Guinness’ exhibition catalogue book Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!
- A bottle of Daphne Guinness’ limited edition perfume produced in collaboration with Comme des Garcons.
To be in with a chance to win all of the above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ISABELLA BLOW COMPETITION in the subject box and your contact details included. The winner will be chosen at random. Entries close at 8pm GMT Tuesday 19th November. Good luck!
Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! runs from 20th November 2013 – 2nd March 2014 at Somerset House. Tickets £12.50, £10 concessions, £6.25 on Mondays. For more information and to book tickets, please go to the Somerset House website.
IMAGES: Isabella Blow, 1997, by Mario Testino; Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow by David LaChappelle Studio Inc.