Saturday, May 12, 2007
I cried when I found out that one of the few of my generation's real originals, the unconventional but unarguably glamorous muse, Isabella Blow, had died from a drug overdose. She was best known for discovering and/or encouraging some of the most intriguing fashionistas – among them, milliner Philip Treacy and designer Alexander McQueen – but I always thought she was so much more interesting than any of them.Unusually, for a woman so involved with style and image, she was neither exotic nor beautiful. But her mind was. She didn't create (or negate) herself with extreme diets or plastic surgery but instead, transformed herself with couture – the more unusual and experimental, the better. The complex, fascinating contents of her head were visible in the way she dressed and decorated herself. Styling herself was her art and she embraced it without compromise. She didn't dress up for an occasion, she dressed up so that every moment was an occasion.In a world where, increasingly, women become more and more invisible because they adhere to whatever convention is fashionable, Isabella Blow did the opposite. As a consequence, she always loomed large in the spotlight.