V86

ARTICLE SARAH CRISTOBAL

PHOTOGRAPHY NICK KNIGHT

STYLIST AMANDA HARLECH

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

TLC: LEGENDS

THE VIDEO: CENTER JENNY

NICK KNIGHT'S ISABELLA BLOW

EXTRA CREDITS

Makeup Topolino (Calliste)  Hair Laurent Philippon (Calliste)  Models Alexia Wight, AnaÏs Mali (Viva London), Liberty Ross (Storm Models)  Production designer Andrew Tomlinson (Streeters)  Digital technician Joseph Colley (Passeridae)  Photo assistants Chloe Orefice, Laura Falconer, James Stopforth  Stylist assistant Gerry O'Kane  Makeup assistant Vichika Yorn  Hair assistant Oskar Pera  Production Gainsbury and Whiting  Production design assistants James Cross and Andrew Brown  Retouching Tom Wandrag (Epilogue Imaging)  Casting Jess Hallett (Streeters)  Equipment rental Direct Photographic  Special thanks Rigby & Peller, Manolo Blahnik

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NICK KNIGHT'S ISABELLA BLOW

PHOTOGRAPHY NICK KNIGHT
FASHION AMANDA HARLECH
TEXT SARAH CRISTOBAL
MODEL LIBERTY ROSS / ANAIS MALI / ALEXIA WIGHT

NEXT MONTH, LONDON'S SOMERSET HOUSE OPENS ISABELLA BLOW: FASHION GALORE!—A SHOWSTOPPING CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE AND STYLE OF ONE OF FASHION'S MOST ESTEEMED CHAMPIONS. IN AN EXCLUSIVE PRESENTATION FOR V, FRIENDS AND COLLABORATORS NICK KNIGHT AND AMANDA HARLECH SHARE IMAGES HIGHLIGHTING THE EXHIBITION, CAPTURING THE ENERGY AND ELECTRICITY OF A LEGEND

Fashion lovers rejoice! This November, the Isabella Blow Foundation (founded by Daphne Guinness) and Central Saint Martins celebrate the life and times of the beloved English icon with the first exhibition dedicated to her memory. Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at London’s Somerset House, will present a stunning display of photographs, mementos, and of course the legendary style of Blow, who started off as an assistant to Anna Wintour (while she was the creative director of Vogue, back in the ’80s) and went on to become one of the foremost fashion authorities in recent memory. Aside from her celebrated manner of dress, she championed young designers such as Philip Treacy, Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, and Hussein Chalayan, essentially launching their careers. “The exhibition gives an opportunity to understand Isabella Blow’s contribution to the fashion industry through her work as a stylist, fashion editor, and patron of young talent within both fashion and art,” says Shonagh Marshall, who cocurated the exhibit with Alistair O’Neill. “With sections dedicated to her family history, the designers she discovered, her idiosyncrasies, and her personal style, the exhibition as a whole acts as a celebration of what was an extraordinary woman.” 

Working with second-year fashion history and theory students from Central Saint Martins—and with the help of Guinness, who purchased Isabella’s wardrobe last year when it was up for auction at Christie’s—Marshall and O’Neill will put on display some of Blow’s most influential outfits. “The Isabella Blow collection is the main focus of the exhibition, and it is unusual for a wardrobe of this quality to surface so soon,” says O’Neill. “Curators and historians of dress usually expect to see this kind of wardrobe in twenty or thirty years’ time, so to consider it so soon after Blow’s untimely death [in 2007] makes it a rather poignant exercise.”  It is fitting, then, that the photographs taken for the exhibition’s catalog (being published by Rizzoli and previewed here, exclusively) was a collaboration between two of Isabella’s closest friends, visionary image maker Nick Knight and fashion stylist Amanda Harlech. “What Isabella represented is that differences should be celebrated, and these images, which were taken at Doddington Hall, her ancestral home, are meant to represent that,” says Knight. “They are intended to make you think. Although she ended her life, her major message was that life is full of splendid things. Her overall message about life was very positive.” 

“I miss her,” continues Harlech. “I miss her courage, her passion for fashion’s voice, her navigation of cloth, of a seam, like a battle or a victory.” Even though she is gone, Issie continues to inspire. Long live fashion’s eccentric queen. 

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! opens November 20 at Somerset House in London, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins.

The exhibition catalog, Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! published in November by Rizzoli, is edited by Alistair O'Neill, with essays by O'Neill, Professor Caroline Evans, Alexander Fury, and Shonagh Marshall, and with specially commissioned photography by Nick Knight for the Isabella Blow Foundation.

EXTRA CREDITS

Makeup Topolino (Calliste)  Hair Laurent Philippon (Calliste)  Models Alexia Wight, AnaÏs Mali (Viva London), Liberty Ross (Storm Models)  Production designer Andrew Tomlinson (Streeters)  Digital technician Joseph Colley (Passeridae)  Photo assistants Chloe Orefice, Laura Falconer, James Stopforth  Stylist assistant Gerry O'Kane  Makeup assistant Vichika Yorn  Hair assistant Oskar Pera  Production Gainsbury and Whiting  Production design assistants James Cross and Andrew Brown  Retouching Tom Wandrag (Epilogue Imaging)  Casting Jess Hallett (Streeters)  Equipment rental Direct Photographic  Special thanks Rigby & Peller, Manolo Blahnik

MORE TO LOVE

GURU 3.0 THE THIN WHITE DUKE THE SPORTING LADS OF LONDON: ALEX CHEESMAN- RUGBY SCHOOL DAZE
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