TitleIsabella Blow: Fashion Galore!
Duration20 November 2013 to 20 November 2013
Opening HoursDaily 10.00-18.00 (Last admission 17.15) Until 21.00 Thursdays (Last admission 20.15) 24 & 31 December 10.00-16.00, 25 & 26 December-closed, 1 January 12.00-18.00
|Title||Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!||Posted In||Fashion, Exhibition||Duration||20 November 2013 to 20 November 2013|
|Venue||Somerset House||Opening Hours||Daily 10.00-18.00 (Last admission 17.15) Until 21.00 Thursdays (Last admission 20.15) 24 & 31 December 10.00-16.00, 25 & 26 December-closed, 1 January 12.00-18.00|
Isabella Blow. A fashion legend, an icon and a name printed in bold in the pages of recent fashion history. So, when Somerset House announced the opening of an exhibition celebrating the life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art, it was only natural that the fashion world would rejoice in unison.
‘Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!’ is the spectacular exhibition running from 20 November 2013 until 2 March 2014 at Somerset House in London, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. Curated by Alistair O’Neill with Shonagh Marshall and featuring installations by celebrated set designer Shona Heath, the exhibition will display the breadth of Blow’s collection, fittingly portraying an extraordinary life and how it was lived through clothes. Spanning her life and loves, the show will also explore the well of cultural and historical inspirations from which her work sprung.
As the grande dame of eccentricity and outlandishness, Isabella Blow was never one to blend in with the crowds. Daring, extravagant and utterly unique, her fashion sense has forever left its mark on the fashion scene, both through editorials with the likes of Steven Meisel and David LaChapelle and through her personal style choices. Her much-celebrated journey into the world of fashion began in the early 80s when she landed the coveted role of Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue. In 1986 she returned to London and worked at Tatler followed by British Vogue. In 1997 she famously became the Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style, starting a period of innovative editorial content, only to finally return to Tatler as Fashion Director. A perceptive mind with an astute eye for emerging talent, she is credited for discovering Alexander McQueen and putting Philip Treacy on the map, both of whom she nurtured and turned into fashion legends. A great visionary that knew no artistic bounds, Blow was interested in pushing creative boundaries to the limit, all the while making fashion part of a wider cultural framework.
The exhibition is a fashion aficionado’s dream come true, offering a one-of-a-kind chance for an up-close inspection of Blow’s idiosyncratic wardrobe amassed throughout her expansive styling career, along with photographs, correspondence and footage contributed by those who knew her and whose lives she changed.Over a hundred pieces from her incredibly rich collection, one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design, will be showcased, loaned by Blow’s old friend, the couture-collecting heiress Daphne Guinness who bought the collection at an auction in June 2010. Of course some of the highlights include pieces from Alexander McQueen’s renowned graduate collection, which Blow famously purchased in its entirety for £5,000 when she discovered him at St Martin’s back in 1992. In addition, assorted hats by protégé Philip Treacy, including the headdress that the milliner designed for her wedding, as well as a series of pieces by designers she championed, including Hussein Chalayan, Jeremy Scott, Julien Macdonald, Viktor & Rolf, Fendi, Escada, Prada and Marni.
Edited by Alistair O’Neill designed by Graphic Thought Facility and published by Rizzoli, a stunning catalogue accompanies the exhibition, featuring new commissioned photography by Nick Knight of the Isabella Blow Collection that is also displayed at the exhibition. Shot at Doddington Hall in Cheshire, the ancestral home of Isabella's family, the Broughtons, Knight’s ethereal imagery, which shows models including Liberty Ross and Alexia Wight clad in pieces from Blow's wardrobe, is a true testament to Isabella’s inimitable personality and the epic legacy she left behind.
> To get an insider’s perspective on the life and wardrobe of the extraordinary Isabella Blow, be sure to check out SHOWstudio’s multidisciplinary project on the exhibition, featuring a fashion film by Ruth Hogben, editorial images, essays and interviews of friends, followers and collaborators of the late fashion editor.
> Follow Nick Knight on instagram to discover more unique pictures from the exhibition's catalogue.