Set in the calming, mystical and tranquil aesthetics of Somerset House lies a very special exhibition dedicated to famed extraordinaire of fashion, fun and frivolity; Isabella Blow.
We begin with an insight into the early risings of Blow, born into the aristocratic Delves Broughton dynasty. Her rich heritage is made apparent as the exhibition begins with family photos and memorabilia telling the story of that little girl who grew to become one of the greatest icons of icons.
Blow began her working life assisting Michael Roberts at Tatler, being placed in a role where her finger had to constantly be on the pulse of everything that was new, upcoming and relevant, in which she excelled effortlessly. Her work, proudly standing on the second floor, displays personal letters of her working legacy. An impeccable work ethic was quickly noted by Julien McDonald, Philip Treacy and last but by no means least the great Alexander McQueen. In 1992 she attended a young McQueen’s show at Central Saint Martins. His work (also present) truly is a visual feast for the eyes. Appreciating the unusual aesthetics and unconstructed aura, it is not hard to see why Blow purchased every piece from the collection.
Sadly her life came to a tragic end, as the final curtain call came by her own hand. Drawing to a close the great life she led, long time friend Alexander McQueen dedicated his entire Spring/Summer 2008 collection to her. Mannequins on display are styled to encapsulate the eccentric nature of a great being and are the perfect finale to what is a must-see exhibition. It’s hard not to be blown away.
The exhibition runs until the 2nd March 2014 at Somerset House.
Written by Elliot Bateman. Images © Peter MacDiarmid/Getty for Somerset House with special thanks to Nina Sandhaus.