Other than Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen, Isabella Blow’s contributions to the art and fashion worlds were countless, discovering and supporting many celebrated creative talents. In ’93 she had worked with photographer Steven Meisel producing the “Babes in London” shoot featuring Plum Skyes, Bella Freud and Honor Fraser. Model Sophie Dahl was also among her discoveried, spotted crying when only 18 years old on the steps of Isabella’s house. Huge were her contributions to reshaping brands like MAC and Swarovski and with her husband Detmar, a barrister but most importantly an art dealer for passion, she had also supported several up-and-coming artists.
For us, having Isabella in the jury of the very first edition of International Talent Support in 2002 was literally a dream come true. Here was this legendary hotbed of ideas, her heart body and soul in the promotion and support of beauty and creativity, accepting our invitation to discover the first generation of young talents revealed by ITS. Her death in 2007 truly found us unprepared.
“A funeral, done really well, is just like a wedding,” was another of her famous claims, which turned into reality. In front of the same Gothic setting of Gloucester Cathedral which 18 years earlier had seen her wedding with Detmar Blow, six bay horses, each with a plumage of black ostrich feathers, trotted drawing a funeral carriage.
“When the horses fell into step they looked as if they were dancing, even flying, some said. As the carriage entered the courtyard, led by a footman with a silver-topped cane, a black cape, and an undertaker’s top hat, the effect was of consummate gravitas and theatricality, the perfect dramatic exit for English fashion icon Isabella Blow” - Edward Elmore, Vanity Fair.
On top of Blow’s coffin was a black galleon. Needless to say, by Philip Treacy.