Isabella Blow, that is.
Known to friends as Issie and credited for discovering Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan, Sophie Dahl, Stella Tennant, the late and great Lee Alexander McQueen; Isabella Blow led a fascinating yet tragic life. The kind of life we only see in movies or read about in books. The kind of life some of us secretly and perversely aspire to. I remember the first time I laid eyes on her. It was back in '96, in a photograph shot by David LaChapelle for Vanity Fair. I remember falling for her red Philip Treacy hat and her funnel-collared McQueen dress.
Eversince then, I was hooked.
'Burning Down the House' by David LaChapelle for Vanity Fair, 1996.
(At the time this photo was taken, McQueen was only 27 and had just launched his debut couture collection for Givenchy).
I hung on to every word that came out of her crimson painted lips. A gay friend called it an 'unhealthy obsession with Blow' but I didn't care. She had the innate ability to spot and nurture talents but let's also not forget her sense of style and fashion. She definitely had balls.
"Fashion is a vampiric thing, it's the hoover on your brain. That's why I wear the hats, to keep everyone away from me. They say, 'Oh, can I kiss you?' I say, 'No, thank you very much. That's why I've worn the hat. Goodbye.' I don't want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love".
Will the world ever see such great talent again?