Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow

Overview

The news of Isabella Blow's suicide in 2007 shocked the international fashion world for whom she was a legendary figure. As a true patron of couture, she is credited with having discovered and fostered the careers of famed designers Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, among others, and was recognized the world over as their great muse, friend and confidant. While she also discovered exquisite models Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl, it was images of Issie in these designers' ...

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Hardcover New The news of Isabella Blow's suicide in 2007 shocked the international fashion world for whom she was a legendary figure. As a true patron of couture, she is ... credited with having discovered and fostered the careers of famed designers Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, among others, and was recognized the world over as their great muse, friend and confidant. While she also discovered exquisite models Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl, it was images of Issie in these designers' creations that became instantly iconic. The pages of this book prove Isabella's aristocratic ancestry to be as colorful as her manner of dress, her childhood as adventurous as it was at times tragic, and her thirty-year career, which began as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue and took in stints as fashion director of Tatler and fashion editor of the Sunday Times Magazine in London, as truly remarkable. But the real power of Blow by Blow lies in its portrayal of a courageous woman who tried passionately and often to esca Read more Show Less

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Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow

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Overview

The news of Isabella Blow's suicide in 2007 shocked the international fashion world for whom she was a legendary figure. As a true patron of couture, she is credited with having discovered and fostered the careers of famed designers Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, among others, and was recognized the world over as their great muse, friend and confidant. While she also discovered exquisite models Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl, it was images of Issie in these designers' creations that became instantly iconic.

The pages of this book prove Isabella's aristocratic ancestry to be as colorful as her manner of dress, her childhood as adventurous as it was at times tragic, and her thirty-year career, which began as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue and took in stints as fashion director of Tatler and fashion editor of the Sunday Times Magazine in London, as truly remarkable. But the real power of Blow by Blow lies in its portrayal of a courageous woman who tried passionately and often to escape a legacy of depression that ultimately proved insurmountable. Despite having been subjected to great disappointment and loss throughout her life, Isabella Blow was a consummate nurturer, determined to cultivate creativity wherever she found it.

Perhaps the greatest irony is that while she was insecure about her own innate beauty, she sought and championed it valiantly in others, redefining our understanding of it by brazenly donning its wildest examples and pushing sartorial boundaries daily.

As much as this book provides an outrageous behind-the-scenes romp through the fashion world and high society, it also provides a movingly candid view of a rare and conflicted spirit's inner life, to be greatly appreciated by aficionados of style and memoir alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While other authors with new books about Isabella Blow (see Martina Rink's and Lauren Goldstein Crowe's titles, reviewed below) knew or admired her through her professional life, this is a much more personal story. Written by her husband, it is a love story as well as a biography of a remarkable woman who inspired artists and designers and created iconic images. She was 48 in 2007 when she committed suicide after a long battle with severe depression. Detmar Blow was engaged to Isabella 16 days after their first meeting in 1988, and the couple remained married until her death. In this portrait, Detmar and coauthor Sykes offer a look at her early childhood and her genius and eccentricity as well as an excursion into the high-society fashion world. Detmar depended heavily on his diary and interviews with family and friends. (According to Crowe, he refused to be interviewed for her book.) Verdict A good story about an intriguing 20th-century personality, this is also a devastating portrait of a difficult marriage. Recommended for readers who love fashion. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10.]—Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas, Galveston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062020871
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Detmar Blow met Isabella Delves Broughton at a wedding in September 1988. The couple was engaged sixteen days later and remained married until Isabella's death in 2007. Having been educated at the Harrow School and the London School of Economics, Detmar ultimately left his profession as a barrister to help support Isabella's burgeoning career, accompanying her on fashion expeditions all over the world. In 1998 Detmar set up, with Isabella and partner Stuart Shave, the gallery Modern Art, one of the most successful contemporary art galleries in London at the forefront of the explosion in the East End art scene at that time. In 2005 he and Isabella established Blow de la Barra gallery, newly showcasing the works of many Central and South American artists. Detmar currently lives and works between Lisbon, London and Gloucestershire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Poorly Written

    I suggest reading a sample first. In my opinion, it's poorly written. Lost me in the first chapter.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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