"Isabella was an otherwordly creature of mythical proportions." Ebe Oke
We are a day away from the opening of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Met and the windows at Barneys which, besides having Daphne Guiness getting dressed for the Met Gala behind a screen, will also have pieces from the Isabella Blow collection, hats by Philip Treacy and objects by the jeweler Shaun Leane in the windows. Daphne Guiness swooped in and bought the entirety of Isabella Blow's collection from the family before it went to auction in 2010. But there was one piece that got away and its owner was kind enough to share images of it with us.
Isabella Blow's unique way with fashion and the ability to be able to wear absolutely any kind of hat or head gear cleared the way for some of the hats we saw at this weeks Royal Wedding. I do not believe that we would have seen Princess Beatrice in her much panned Philip Treacy Bow hat (though I thought she looked sweet and young in it - Princess Eugenie? Well, poor thing, that was not a good look...) or any of the more whimsical hats if not for Isabella Blow.
Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York:
Santa Montefiore and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson:
When Phillip met Isabella. Weekend reading for you from RARE vintage. Read on...
Philip Treacy on Isabella Blow:
"Her fearlessness in an industry that runs on fear is legendary; she was a champion of young creative people without a voice. While she endeavored to work within today's world of corporate fashion cannibalism, her ultimate ethos was a passionate belief that fashion is about the pursuit of beauty, elegance and creativity."
"I was so inspired by the way she wore my hats. She wore them like she was not wearing them - like they happened to be there."
And of Philip, Isabella said, "He's like a cosmetic surgeon for your face. Your face has a different personality for each one you're wearing."
The hats she wore did go beyond normal expectations, bringing to life visions of extraordinary and unexpected detail, whether it was a jewel encrusted lobster for Julian Macdonald's fashion show in 1998,
or a Japanese garden complete with temples and tress for Alexander McQueen.
"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
The one Daphne Guiness did not get:
She gave this hat to someone while in the Goa hospital after trying to overdose on sleeping pills and walking into the Indian Ocean.
Isabella's hats in her Entrance hall of her Eaton Square apartment:
This is a wonderful tribute video to Isabella Blow:
Some text and images from Isabella Blow by Martina Rink.