Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow

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9780062020871: Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow

“One of the most original and influential people of the twentieth century to me and many others.” —Alexander McQueen

With a career spanning thirty years in fashion, as an influential voice at Vogue, Tatler, and The Sunday Times Magazine—as well as a legacy as one of the industry’s kingmakers for discovering Philip Treacy, Alexander McQueen, Sophie Dahl, and Hussein Chalayan—Isabella Blow had been a pillar of couture culture until her suicide in 2007 left the fashion world mourning one of its finest friends and patrons. Blow by Blow is a captivating journey through Issie’s life, a one-of-a-kind look at her unforgettable impact on the fashion world, and a moving exploration of her inspiring and ultimately tragic tale.

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From the Back Cover:

The news of Isabella Blow's suicide in 2007 shocked the international fashion world for whom she was a legendary figure. As a true patron of couture, she is credited with having discovered and fostered the careers of famed designers Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, among others, and was recognized the world over as their great muse, friend and confidant. While she also discovered exquisite models Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl, it was images of Issie in these designers' creations that became instantly iconic.

The pages of this book prove Isabella's aristocratic ancestry to be as colorful as her manner of dress, her childhood as adventurous as it was at times tragic, and her thirty-year career, which began as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue and took in stints as fashion director of Tatler and fashion editor of the Sunday Times Magazine in London, as truly remarkable. But the real power of Blow by Blow lies in its portrayal of a courageous woman who tried passionately and often to escape a legacy of depression that ultimately proved insurmountable. Despite having been subjected to great disappointment and loss throughout her life, Isabella Blow was a consummate nurturer, determined to cultivate creativity wherever she found it.

Perhaps the greatest irony is that while she was insecure about her own innate beauty, she sought and championed it valiantly in others, redefining our understanding of it by brazenly donning its wildest examples and pushing sartorial boundaries daily.

As much as this book provides an outrageous behind-the-scenes romp through the fashion world and high society, it also provides a movingly candid view of a rare and conflicted spirit's inner life, to be greatly appreciated by aficionados of style and memoir alike.

About the Author:

Educated at Harrow School and the London School of Economics, Detmar Blow studied law and became a barrister in 1989. In 1998 he, Isabella, and Stuart Shave set up the gallery Modern Art, one of London’s most successful contemporary art galleries. He and Isabella established Blow de la Barra gallery in 2005. Detmar divides his time among Lisbon, London, and Gloucestershire.



Tom Sykes trained as a news reporter on London’s Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph before moving to New York in 2003. The former nightlife reporter and gossip columnist for the New York Post, he now lives in Ireland with his wife, two children, and three pigs, and writes for a variety of publications, including the Daily Mail and GQ.

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