Fashion icon, editor, and talent scout Isabella Blow (1958-2007) died on May 6th 2007 after committing suicide by drinking a weedkiller, just like her father-in-law had done previously. You can read a summary of her troubled life here. She was closely associated with the successes of milliner Philip Treacy and designer Alexander Mc Queen, whom she helped gain recognition although it was acknowledged at the same time that she did not get the financial rewards she could have hoped for, for her efforts while her protégés did.
I have a picture of Isabella Blow that I have been meaning to illustrate with a review of the perfume Habanita by Molinard as this particular image (not shown here) immediately suggested this smoky deep fragrance as a perfect fit for her look. In fact not recognizing her at first, I thought the picture was from the 1920s.
I learned today that her signature perfume was somewhat different, no less intense, but more floral. It was the celebrated Fracas by Piguet........
At his Spring 2008 fashion show, Alexander Mc Queen commemorated her by designing more hats than usual and by placing a bottle of Fracas in a pink box on each guest's chair. He also sprayed the venue of his show, the Palais de Bercy in Paris, with the tuberose scent to honor her further. The show was dedicated to her as a poster-size invitation featuring Isabella Blow wearing a Philip Treacy hat riding two white horses sent to fashion insiders made clear.
She had an amazing knack for spotting and putting together unconventional and interesting outfits. She had an incredible "tête à chapeau" as the French say meaning by that, that she had a head meant to wear hats, and always with style. The book When Philip Met Isabella is a treasure trove of pictures of her donning the genius creations of Philip Treacy. Get it if you want to offer a feast to your eyes and mind.
(Photo source: pdn Gallery - David LaChapelle)