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November 24

Style Heroine: Isabella Blow

By Miista Blogs
She discovered Alexander McQueen, survived being Anna Wintour's assistant, was friends with Warhol and Basquiat, led the creative direction at Tatler Magazine to a whole new level....but most of all, we love her for those hats! Isabella Blow was a magazine editor who spent the '80s at André Leon Talley's side while working for American Vogue, and then spent the '90s back in London as the fashion director of both Tatler and The Sunday Times Style Magazine while also doing a slew of various consulting jobs on the side including stints with DuPont Lycra, Lacoste, and Swarovski. She was one of those people who draws the creative types in and she seemed to have a sixth sense for who was going to make it big, and everyone loved it for her -- particularly those she deemed the next big thing. Like when she saw Alexander McQueen's graduate collection in 1993 and bought every last piece for a total of ₤5,000. She helped with his fledgling career and even brokered the deal with Gucci when it came time to sell off the label. She's also lent her success predictor to the modeling world, having discovered Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant. It was the hat designer Philip Treacy who loved her most of all, and she served as his muse throughout most of his career -- which she effectively launched for him. Treacy was brought in to design a headdress for her 1989 wedding to art dealer Detmar Hamilton Blow and from that first meeting came a lifelong relationship. She instantly recognized his talent and set him up in her London flat to work. She was an incredibly generous spirit with a fierce personal style to boot. Her death in 2007 came as a major blow to her loved ones and all those who admired her in the fashion and magazine industries. A series of unfortunate events had left Blow severely depressed and seeking a way out at every turn. After many failed attempts she was finally able to take her own life by ingesting a toxic, deadly weed killer -- but publicly her death was attributed to her battle with cancer. Her remarkable contributions to the creative world leave a strong legacy in place and her eccentric style will be dearly missed. Rest in peace IB. [caption id="attachment_11693" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="THAT is a hat!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11698" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="the last of the true eccentrics: Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11703" align="aligncenter" width="415" caption="Blow & McQueen"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11704" align="aligncenter" width="483" caption="Blow & McQueen all done up in Vanity Fair"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11705" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="An Isabella spotting courtesy of NY Times Style Section legend Bill Cunningham"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11706" align="aligncenter" width="419" caption="Haberdasher Philip Treacy with his lifelong muse Isabella"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11710" align="aligncenter" width="303" caption="Major architectural Eastern inspired hat"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11711" align="aligncenter" width="490" caption="A hat just for her!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11714" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Gaga paying homage to the late Blow at Treacy's London Fashion Week show"][/caption]
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