Sunday, 23 February 2014

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

If you'd ask me what the highlight of my trip to London was, the Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House would win by a mile. Isabella was an eccentric fashion editor and icon, famed for her discovery of the late Alexander McQueen and milliner Philip Treacy, among others. Despite her story being tainted by tragedy, (Blow's brother died when he was 2, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ovarian cancer and battled depression, attempting suicide a number of times before eventually taking her own life in 2007) she led an exciting and colourful life which is celebrated by the Fashion Galore exhibition.


"The Head of Isabella Blow" by Tim Noble & Sue Webster - a sculpture of taxidermy animals such as birds and rats, which form a silhouette of Isabella on the wall.


There was an abundance of Philip Treacy designs on display throughout - I'm noting the swarovski crystal detailed veil for wedding inspo! You can also see the lobster hat (long before Lady Gaga, just sayin'), the "Blow" design, the incredibly detailed castle (based on Blow's family home) as well as the floral headpiece that Isabella wore on her wedding day.


Can you imagine how many hours went into creating that castle?! It wasn't all hats and clothes though, the exhibition covers her career and life as well as her wardrobe. We learn about her discovery of McQueen early on and can watch his AW 96 show as well as previously unseen interviews with the woman herself. There are areas dedicated to her upbringing, her love of the countryside and the models she mentored. The more personal parts of the display are by far my favourite - I loved learning how she would wear odd shoes and always write with pink ink. 


You don't have to be a huge fashion industry fan to appreciate this exhibition, there's something for everyone but you can't help but admire the recreated outfits. The way they're pulled together to tell her tale and the fact that they've even included the frayed and damaged items from her collection makes it all the more personal and true to character.


The final part of the exhibition shows the SS08 collaboration between McQueen and Treacy, which the pair dedicated to Isabella after her death. It's surprisingly emotional and something you have to experience for yourself. I only wish I'd been able to take more photos. There's so much more to "Fashion Galore" than I can even begin to tell you, so if you're in London head down to Somerset House before the exhibition closes next Sunday!

Christy xx

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