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Issy just didn’t care. We need another Issy. – Mario Testino

I have always considered myself a dignified male. I am perhaps not from aristocracy. I perhaps am not wealthy enough to endorse in new design talent but if anything is unconditional it is my grief that Isabella Blow did not stay alive long enough for my career to ever lead me towards her.

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Taxidermy, a Manolo Blahnik shoe heel, a black rat, magpies and a tube of her own lipstick all contribute towards a disturbingly vivid silhouette of fashion journalist Isabella Blow’s facial profile.

Artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster created the taxidermy sculpture in 2002 identifying both the lifestyle led by Isabella as well as her fashionably complex time at Vogue and Tatler. The piece reflects heavily on the meaning of life and death and through the use of black crows, rats and magpies the audience can not help but to outweigh thought towards death as the sculpture expresses a somewhat dark past of Blows life.

Isabella Blow, both journalist and stylist, was renowned for her dedication to nurturing young aspiring fashion designers such as Lee Alexander McQueen, showcasing the avant-garde creations of Philip Treacy and befriending artist Andy Warhol during her early career in New York City. Blow, famous for decorating her head with Treacy’s couture hats, also featured in an exhibition entitled ‘When Philip met Isabella’.

The exhibition left me feeling both depressed and satisfied at the sheer reality of death. Isabella Blow was both a significant and influential character in my life, playing a key idol to whom I looked up to. Any fashion aspiring journalists looks towards the likes of Blow not simply for inspiration and guidance but to observe a glimmer of immortality. However this exhibition left me feeling dreadfully aware that death, evidently, comes to each and every one of us.

Attended by the likes of Boy George the exhibition is open to the public, at the National Portrait Gallery, until 13th March 2011.

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