Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!
London, Somerset House
from 20 November 2013 to 2 March 2014
This autumn, Somerset House, in partnership with the
Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins,
is proud to present Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!,
a major fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary
life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art.
Born into the rarefied world of British aristocracy, Isabella’s thirty year
career began in the early 80s as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue.
On her return to London in 1986 she worked at Tatler followed by British
Vogue. In 1997 she became the Fashion Director of the Sunday
Times Style after which she returned to Tatler as Fashion Director.
Driven by a passion for creativity, Isabella is credited for having nurtured
and inspired numerous artists and designers. The exhibition will showcase
over a hundred pieces from her incredibly rich collection, one of the most
important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st
Century British fashion design, now owned by Daphne Guinness.
This includes garments from the many designer talents she discovered and
launched, such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein
Chalayan and Julien Macdonald amongst others.
Isabella is also known for discovering models Sophie Dahl and
Stella Tennant, and for her collaborations with major photographers
such as Steven Meisel, David LaChapelle and Sean Ellis, which pushed
the boundaries of convention in her increasingly provocative fashion
spreads and establishing herself as a legendary figure within the
international fashion and contemporary art worlds.
Curated by Alistair O’Neill with Shonagh Marshall and designed by
award-winning architectural firm Carmody Groarke, with installations
by celebrated set designer Shona Heath, the exhibition will display
thematically the breadth of Isabella’s collection, a life lived through clothes.
Daphne Guinness said: “This exhibition is, to me, a bittersweet event.
Isabella Blow made our world more vivid, trailing colour with every
pace she took. It is a sorrier place for her absence. When I visited her
beloved clothes in a storage room in South Kensington, it seemed quite
clear the collection would be of immense value to a great many people.
I do believe that in choosing to exhibit them we’ve done the right thing –
and that it is what she would have wanted. I am doing this in memory of
a dear friend, in the hope that her legacy may continue to aid and inspire
generations of designers to come”.