It wasnâ€™t just her predilection for flamboyant hats that made Isabella Blow so special. A stylist extraordinaire, she was fearless when it came to pushing sartorial boundaries and created beautiful but controversial shoots. Refusing to tread the well-worn route of sheepishly following trends, Isabella preferred to lead and famously championed creative new talent including Philip Treacy, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Sophie Dahl. When she died by her own hand in 2007 a gapping chasm was left in the fashion community. Since then, her star has continued to rise, undimmed as she continues her ascent to sartorial sainthood.
Put together by her former PA, Martina Rink, Isabella Blow, is a beautiful, thoughtful tome of a tribute. Bookended by a forward from milliner Philip Treacy and the transcript of the memorial speech given by Anna Wintour, the volume is full of personal letters from the great and good of the fashion world, including Mario Testino, Manolo Blahnik, Hilary Alexander and Anna Piaggi. Each epistle is peppered with thoughts and memories that offer an intimate insight into the lady behind the hat.
Isabella Blow, photographed by Chris Moore
Then there are the photographs and illustrations. Many featuring hats and hair pieces, some highly stylized, some relaxed and playful, but each stunning in their own right with their own story to tell. Combined, the effect is a mesmerizing celebration of a beautiful, tragic and astounding life. Truly, this is a tribute to be treasured.
Isabella Blow by Martina Rink is published by Thames & Hudson at Â£29.95
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