Isabella Blow represents exuberant fashion at its most interesting: when it’s personal, not societal; an armor for one, not just plumage for luring. Her’s reads as a sad story, though that’s surely not the only story. Her later years—business deals gone awry, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, cancer, multiple suicide attempts, and then the successful one, in May of 2007—punctuate the life. But there’s always more.
This coming November, 100 pieces from the English magazine editor, muse to milliner Philip Treacy, discoverer of Stella Tenant and Alexander McQueen, and style maverick’s personal collection will be on view at the Somerset House in London. “The exhibition will be bittersweet,” said Daphne Guinness, one of Blow’s close friends, who bought her wardrobe in its entirety at an auction in June 2010. “Showcasing her clothes is what she would have wanted.” It’s what we want, too. To know Blow a little better.