Isabella Blow: 'Fashion Galore!'
Somerset House in London hosts a legendary collection in an exhibit that starts today
At an exhibition honouring the late Isabella Blow is showing more than a hundred items of designer clothing that belonged to the famous editor and stylist. Among them are items from Jeremy Scott, Julien Macdonald, Marni, Prada, Hussein Chalayan, Fendi, Escada, and Viktor & Rolf, as well as the entire SS08 'La Dame Bleue' collection by Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, which was dedicated to the memory of Isabella.
The curator of the exhibition is Alistair O'Neill, who, by his own admission, only met his hero once. "Isabella was wearing a hat by Philip Treacy which covered almost her entire face in feathers. I spoke with her the whole evening and did not remember anything except her eyes. Her mouth was visible. And I could only listen to what she was saying, hypnotized looking into her eyes, framed by feathers."
In conceiving the exhibition, O'Neal wants to explain more than an eccentric aristocrat with good taste, but her personality – bright and explosive, and her peculiar sense of humour. "It was important to distance ourselves from the idea of Isabella as a tragic British eccentric, which although most definitely applies, was not typical of Isabella. She was very brave and cheerful. She had a dark humour."
Every item in the exhibit is now owned by Daphne Guinness. After her death, Blow's personal belongings were put up for auction Sotheby's, to which Guinness literally burst into the auction hall and bought every last piece, "because that is what Isabella would have wanted." Speaking about the exhibition, Daphne did not hide the fact that this celebration of her friend is overshadowed by the bitter memories of her loss. "I'm doing this for my dear friend, in the hope that her legacy will inspire new generations of designers"she said.
Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! runs from November 20 2013 – March 2 2014