Sunday, May 8, 2011

RIP Isabella Blow 19.11.58 - 07.05.07

Isabella Blow died four years ago today, of complications following a suicide attempt. It's weird because I was raving about her and how important she was for fashion and art in England and world-wide, telling a friend excitedly about how amazing she was, what a genius. I was wondering if her pivotal role in McQueen's career had been noted in the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty show that opened at the Met a few days ago. My friend had not heard of her, which is what worries me. Of course, the fashion people and I think people interested in contemporary art in England know who she was. Also, McQueen's own suicide brought renewed attention to their personal and creative relationship and the tragic parallels found in their deaths. Thankfully there are 3 recent books about her life and work (see link below for more info).

I remember reading her widow Detmar Blow's moving and riveting biography and wincing at passages describing Isabella Blow's insecurities about her appearance, how she created an elaborate persona through fashion, and how she described her use of it and lipstick - her signature cosmetic - to disguise what she viewed as her flaws. I identified with this theatrical strategy but I can never aspire to her aesthetic originality!!!!
Worn Through blog features reviews of a series of books about her life and work, as well as other helpful information, here: