Isabella Blow's career was kick-started by Anna Wintour when she took her on at Vogue in 1984. She later became Fashion Editor at Tatler and enjoyed terms at British Vogue and The Sunday Times before returning to Tatler as Fashion Director. Isabella nurtured the careers of Alexander McQueen, famously buying his entire graduate collection; Philip Treacy, commissioning him to design her wedding hat whilst he was still a student; Sophie Dahl, whom she discovered crying in a doorway; Hussein Chalayan and Stella Tennant. Profuse as they are however, this book is not about Isabella's professional accomplishments but rather, is a celebration of her relationships. Written by her former PA, Martina Rink, the book provides a very personal insight into a woman who inspired a lot of people, many of whom just so happen to be incredibly famous.
|"Why is everybody writing about this woman? She only wore funny hats and clothes". Anon|
With a foreward by Philip Treacy, the bulk of the book is dedicated to letters from friends of Isabella, reminiscing and sharing anecdotes. With contributions from Mario Testino, Hussein Chalayan, Hamish Bowles, Juergen Teller, Paul Smith, Naomi Campbell - the list goes on and is increasingly and infinitely impressive. Printed exactly as they were received, some of the letters are typed, some hand-written, some printed on letter headed paper from world-famous publications, some illustrated, some scribbled and some with sentences and words crossed out and re-considered. One of the most poignant quotes from the letters is by Isabella’s sister Julie, “without her, life is like a stage without a star”. Beautifully produced, sensitively written and full of the flamboyance she was famous for, 'Isabella Blow' is a fitting tribute to an all-time i-con.
'Isabella Blow' by Martina Rink is published by Thames & Hudson.