Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life

‘My style icon is anyone who makes a bloody effort.’ Isabella Blow

I saw the Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum last weekend. An icon of the British fashion scene and ardent supporter of up-and-coming British designers and models, the late Isabella Blow brought people like Alexander McQueen, Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant to the forefront of the creative crowd’s consciousness.

Once the editor of magazines like Tatler and the Sunday Times Style, Isabella used her aristrocratic heritage, social standing, and unforgettable presence to become a muse and friend to designers, models, artists, and stylists.

Tragically, Isabella died in 2007, finally succeeding in ending her life on her 7th suicide attempt. Fast forward nearly 10 years and her friend, the indomitable Daphne Guinness, has used her powers for good and organised the collection and display of many of Isabella’s most fabulous outfits and hats – mostly designed by McQueen and Philip Treacy.

The clothes were perfectly curated and truly breathtaking – such exquisite craftsmanship in every piece. I was especially taken with some of Alexander McQueen’s creations. The enfant terrible of Central Saint Martins, McQueen wasn’t aware that Isabella was in the audience at his graduation show in 1992. Blow purchased the entire collection and the rest, as they say, is history.

Also featured were some stunning dresses designed by John Galliano during his tenure at Christian Dior. Is it bad to mention John Galliano these days? I cannot believe his spectacular fall from grace. Oh how the mighty have fallen!

Even if you aren’t really interested in clothes, the exhibition is an elegant, often moving way to gain an insight into the life of one of the most interesting and eccentric figures in fashion from the last two decades.

I’ve always been fascinated with Isabella Blow. If you aren’t familiar with her then do yourself a favour and look her up. People like her don’t seem to come around too often.

If you’re in Sydney and are looking for something to do, then I’d highly recommend checking this exhibition out. It’s on at the Powerhouse Museum until 28 August 2016.Click here for more information