Last Updated: June 9, 2024By

@@@@@Isabella Blow: The Queen of Style

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Isabella Blow, the iconic fashion editor, is immortalized by her extravagant hats. Picture a jewel-encrusted lobster, curling back from her forehead like a crustacean mohawk. Or envision a miniature Chinese garden perched atop her head, complete with tiny pagodas and delicate cherry blossom trees. So distinctive was her trademark that even Princess Margaret once greeted her with a simple, “Good evening, Hat.” And when she bid farewell to this world in 2007, an 18th-century black galleon, its lace sails billowing gracefully, adorned her coffin atop a bed of pristine white roses, crafted by her beloved milliner Philip Treacy.

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But beyond her flamboyant headgear, a newly announced biopic titled “The Queen of Fashion,” directed by Alex Marx and featuring the talented Andrea Riseborough in the lead role, seeks to unravel Blow’s profound influence during a golden era of British fashion. She was not merely a fashionista; she was a kingmaker, instrumental in launching the career of the legendary Alexander McQueen. She was a force of nature that propelled 1990s London to the forefront of creativity.

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Fashion biopics have become a cinematic trend in 2024. “Becoming Karl Lagerfeld” unveils the feuds and romances of the late Chanel maestro on Disney+, while sumptuous dramas like “Cristóbal Balenciaga” and “The New Look” grace our screens. Yet, “The Queen of Fashion” promises to be the most captivating tale yet, delving into the tumultuous life of Blow, who battled depression until her untimely demise at 48.

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Blow’s larger-than-life persona extended far beyond her wardrobe. Emine Saner, a former assistant who worked alongside Blow, reminisces about her as a fusion of Wallis Simpson and Salvador Dalí. In the office, heads turned whenever she entered, perched on her Manolo Blahnik stilettos, engaging in colorful and unabashedly risqué conversations. Saner recalls a mix of exhilaration and exhaustion in working for her, describing Blow as both brilliant and outrageous. Even now, the scent of tuberose invokes a blend of panic and excitement, reminiscent of their shared moments.

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Over lunch with Nicholas Coleridge, Blow sported antlers veiled in black, dismissing concerns about dining etiquette with characteristic nonchalance. But beneath her eccentric exterior lay a keen eye for talent and a generous spirit. She catapulted designers like Hussein Chalayan into stardom, not merely offering opportunities but dragging them by the collar into their futures.

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Blow’s aristocratic lineage belied her financial struggles, often leaving her at odds with industry norms. Despite her keen insights and encyclopedic knowledge of art, she was often underestimated and ridiculed. Her relationship with McQueen, though instrumental in his ascent, soured as fame eclipsed loyalty. His tribute collection, perfumed with her signature tuberose scent, stands as a testament to their complex bond.

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Isabella Blow’s story is one of paradoxes: a blend of extravagance and hardship, brilliance and obscurity. She defied categorization, living beyond her means yet working tirelessly beyond her defined role. Her journey, from London to New York and back, is a tapestry woven with colorful anecdotes and poignant struggles.

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She may have departed this world prematurely, but her legacy endures, a testament to the enduring power of style and creativity. Isabella Blow, the indomitable Queen of Fashion, forever reigns supreme in the annals of style.


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