Isabella "Issie" Blow, born 1958. Icon, muse, socialite, tortured, fabulous, creative, wild, unique, lovable, funny, innovator. I'm pulling info from wikipedia and some random corners of the internet so we can assume I'll miss how she's probably problematic in some way, and also extraordinary and good in other ways that I'll probably do no justice either. Nonetheless we can be inspired by her unique style and character, her ability to totally be herself.
She was the muse of Philip Treacy, and is credited with propelling and continually advocating for the career of fashion designer Alexander McQueen, as well as Hussein Chalayan.
She moved to NY in 1979 and studied ancient Chinese art at Columbia University. A year later she left the Art History program at Columbia, moved to Texas, and worked for Guy Laroche, a French fashion designer. At some point in the next few years she was back in NY, was introduced to Anna Wintour and hired as her assistant, and soon after that she began assisting André Leon Talley. During this time she also befriended Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
In 1986 she moved back to London and became a fashion director of Tatler and The Sunday Times Style magazine. In 1989 she married her second husband Detmar Hamilton Blow. Philip Treacy designed her wedding headdress which spurred their friendship and collaborations together. She moved Treacy into her London flat providing a work space for him and wore his hats all the time. Lucky bitch!!!
She is credited with discovering Alexander McQueen and purchased his entire graduate collection for £5,000, paying it off in weekly £100 installments. I heard in an interview that she did this even after not being able to get a seat at his show. Imagine owning an entire McQueen collection, his first no less, for £5,000. Lmao!!!
In 2004 she had a brief acting cameo playing a character called Antonia Cook in the film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Shortly before her death, Blow was the creative director and stylist of a series of books for an Arabic beauty magazine, Alef; the books were being produced by Kuwaiti fashion entrepreneur Sheikh Majed al-Sabah.
Toward the end of her life, Blow became seriously depressed and was reportedly anguished over her inability to "find a home in a world she influenced". She always felt like an outcast. Daphne Guinness, a friend of Blow's (who I believe she left all her possessions to), stated: "She was upset that Alexander McQueen didn't take her along when he sold his brand to Gucci. Once the deals started happening, she fell by the wayside. Everybody else got contracts, and she got a free dress". According to a 2002 interview with Tamsin Blanchard, it was Blow who brokered the deal in which Gucci purchased McQueen's label. Other pressures on her included financial problems and a ton of personal shit that probably shouldn't be on wikipedia and is irrelevant. She attempted suicide a lot in the coming years until finally succumbing to depression in 2007. Part of her memorial service is in DVD disc two of The September Issue.
Overall she was a delight, a visionary, a creative, and advocated endlessly for her friends and those she believed in.
If you are dealing with depression, you're not alone. Even the most fabulous people do. It does not discriminate.
Here are some lifelines to reach out to if you are feeling hopeless:
(Click this link for more, and for expanded info & call times for the following)