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THE BLOW ISSUE

ECCENTR IC

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haud fac

Nothing happen

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muto ctum

ns by being mute

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Contents 10

Isabella Blow Biography

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Isabella’s Top 5 Protégés

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Treacey on Blow

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You Can Leave Your Hat On

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An Interview with Jessica Walsh

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A Burdened Heart and a Depressed Soul

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3 Issy Inspired Trends

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James Jeanette has the Blow Factor

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Eccentric Couture

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Fabulous Facts

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Q & A’s

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Tributes

Editor - Samantha Brennan Fashion Editor - Samantha Brennan Graphic Design - Chris Firth at chrisisdesign.co.uk With special thanks to Philip Treacy and Jessica Walsh

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A Note From the Editor

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sabella Blow is who we thank for Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan. In fact, we have a lot to thank her for and this issue of Eccentric does just that. Her life was a constant battle of highs and lows, so much so her life looks like a heartbeat monitor. There were a select few who were close to Issy, Jessica Walsh and Philip Treacy are two of these people and they have kindly spoken within this issue about her life, their relationship and their fond memories of Britain’s most eccentric fashion icon. There were two sides of Issy, the up and the down which are represented in the two fashion editorials in this issue. The up sees the hat loving creative genius Isabella who was fun, loud, bubbly and blunt – the I-don’t-give-a-shit Isabella, and the down, the depressed, isolated and ill Isabella who felt talentless and worthless. In this shoot we travelled to a derelict graveyard in Hampshire where we used some original clothing of Isabella’s which were given to her by Alexander McQueen, these were given to Jessica from Isabella before she died. All aspects of Isabella life are touched upon in Eccentric: her style, her protégés, her muse-factor, her signature styles and her most memorable outfits and hats. We cover current fashion trends which have the Blow Factor as well as Britain’s new fashion muse ‘James Jeanette’ and current fashion icons who are embracing Issy’s style by sporting some of Issy’s most memorable

looks. Finally we include a short Q&A section where people who worked and were friends with Issy share a few stories and facts with us about a woman who made such an impact in their lives. Isabella’s Husband, Detmar Blow was very keen to be part of this issue however he was unable to due to his contract with the publishers of his book about Isabella ‘Blow by Blow’ which is due out later this year. However he did have one thing to mention about Issy, “Issy taught me and others to live a creative life to the full, to work as hard as you can at it, and not to give in.” Hats off to Eccentrics favourite Lady.

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I smoke so many cigarettes, there's no way I could have a glossy lipstick.� Isabella blow, 1999

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Isabella Blow 1958-2007

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sabella Blow, an international style icon, d e s i g n e r ’s muse, sorcerer of talent, a champion of the avant garde and creative genius who embodied English eccentricity. As one of fashions most eccentric personalities, her life of both tragedy, inspiration and her being a testament to her family motto “Haud muto factum” – nothing happens by being mute, certainly allowed her to

make her mark on the fashion scene, and what a bold mark she made. This fashion magazine editor was never seen without a slick of ruby red lipstick, wearing a pristine couture dress and teetering around in a pair of stilettos with a Philip Treacy design resting on her head. Whether it was a pair of antlers, a pheasant, a crystal-encrusted lobster or a mound of feathers, these hats were always perched delicately on top of a freshly styled cropped black bob. Isabella exuded style and elegance and had a sharp quick witted tongue which would challenge one of a Soho market stall seller. She had a distinct voice, loud, resonant, utterly posh and very English. Her deafening roar of 10

laughter, quirky extravagant style and brassy personality caused heads to turn wherever she went, she was always the centre of attention and her opinion was highly regarded in the fashion industry. Geordie Greig, former editor or Tatler and a close friend to Isabella spoke to the Telegraph and paid tribute to such a fashion icon and legend “She was original, impactful, generous-minded and spotted some of the greatest talents. She was the most intelligent and creative person in fashion. In many ways she was the British queen of fashion. She was intoxicating.You could never get enough of her. And she did not know the meaning of ‘boring’ or ‘clichéd’. She was a free spirit.”


THE BLOW ISSUE Isabella Delves Broughton was born in London on 19th November 1958. The eldest of three siblings: two sisters Julia and Lavinia, and a brother John, who drowned in the family’s swimming pool at the age of two, this was the first of many tragedies which caused the family’s pending fracture. At the age of 14 Isabella’s parents, Major Sir Evelyn Delves Broughton, a military officer, and mother, Helen Mary Shore, a barrister, separated. The day Isabella’s mother left she said her goodbyes by shaking each of the girls’ hands, then left. She grew up on her family’s 34,000 acre Cheshire estate, well what was left of it after her grandfather, Sir ‘Jock’ Delves Broughton, sold most of it off to pay his gambling debts. After paying his debts Jock fled to Kenya and started a new life with a woman half his age, Diana. As well as selling the family’s inheritance, Jock was accused of the murder of Lord Eroll, the man to which his partner Diana left him for.

Jock was also suspected for two insurance frauds and the organisation of thieving of some pearls. After being tried and acquitted for the accused murder, Jock eventually killed himself by overdosing on a barbiturate medicine in 1942. His story was later based on a book and film called ‘White Mischief.’ Isabella studied at Heathfield School, after completing her A Levels she went to secretarial college whilst holding down a variety of jobs over the years which included a clerk at a scone shop, a housemaid, and a cleaner. In 1979 Blow moved to New York to study for a degree at Columbia University, after completing just one year of studying Ancient Chinese Art, Isabella moved to Texas to work with French fashion designer Guy Laroche. Whilst working in America Isabella met her husband Nicholas Taylor, whom she married in 1981 and later divorced after just two years of marriage. During her

marriage to Taylor she was introduced to America Vogue’s Fashion Director Anna Wintor and landed a job as her assistant. After spending a few years in America, working with some of fashions most influential personalities like Andy Warhol and Andre Leon Talley, Isabella left New York in 1986 and returned back to London to work. She was employed as Michael Robert’s assistant, who was then Fashion Director at Tatler and now of Vanity Fair. Her career spanned over several publications, in the early 1990’s she worked for British Vogue for four years, then becoming fashion director of The Sunday Time Style magazine and her last job was fashion director at Tatler. During her time in London she met her second husband, barrister and art dealer, Detmar Blow. Just sixteen days into the relationship they were engaged and they married a year later in 1989 at Gloucester Cathedral. As well as being Fashion Director of Tatler, Isabella had a raw and authentic gift for discovering new talent. She didn’t only discover talent in the fashion industry, she also played a major role in helping her husband promote and sell new British Art. Isabella was always searching for the ‘next big thing’ her approach to fashion was intuitive, she was a free spirit and went with her first instinct when making decisions. She discovered and nurtured the careers of Stella Tennant, Sophie Dahl, Philip Treacy, Hussien Chalayan and most famously Alexander McQueen. Isabella discovered McQueen at his graduate show at Central Saint Martin’s, she was so impressed with his work, she asked him if she could buy the whole graduate collection. He agreed, selling her the entire collection for £5,000 in the agreement that she would pay him in weekly instalments of £100. Once receiving the instalment McQueen would hand deliver pieces of the collection in black bin liners to her Mayfair flat. This sparked a long, intimate friendship and special bond between the two of them, from this point on Isabella was the ambassador of McQueens work and played a huge role in promoting his brand and craftsmanship talent. As well as discovering new talent she also consulted for fashion brands, Swarovski, Lacoste and DuPont Lyrca. Whilst fostering new talent Isabella was battling with her own demons. Isabella was born into a family where tragedy and depression were reoccurrences. She was both flamboyant and fearless but fragile and unhappy. Isabella’s personality was implausible. She had two sides to her: the creative fun eccentric who everyone

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wanted to be around, and the other, a dark isolated depressed soul who felt talentless and worthless. People close to her were unsure which Isabella she would wake up as. During the last few years of Isabella’s life she became severely depressed and ill. The first major problems of Isabella’s were money issues and infertility. She was disinherited by her father when he died in 1994 by leaving her and each of her sisters a measly £5,000 of his £6million estate, the rest of the family estate was left to the woman he ran off with once their Mother left, Rona Lady Delves Broughton. Her expensive taste and extravagant style resulted in her totalling huge amounts of debt which she was unable to pay back. Along with this, Isabella was devastated when McQueen was brought out by the Gucci group and he didn’t take her along with the brand, he gave her a free dress. Close friend to Isabella’s, Daphne Guiness spoke to the New York Times about this saying “Once the deals started happening, she fell by the wayside. Everybody else got contracts, and she got a free dress.” These money issues and what she felt as betrayal by McQueen seemed pitiful compared to her hardest and most upsetting problem - her inability to conceive. She and Detmar pined for a child; they failed at conceiving a child after eight attempts using IVF treatment. This was a huge blow to Isabella as she was aware Detmar longed for a son in order to carry on the family name and inherit the family empire. In 2004, Issy and Detmar separated, supposedly so Detmar could father a son

with a fertile woman. Detmar sparked a relationship with Stephanie Theobald, the society editor of British Harper Bazaar. During their split Issy was diagnosed with bipolar disease which resulted in her receiving electric shock therapy. Eighteen months after their split Issy and Detmar rekindled their relationship, soon after this Isabella was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2006 Isabella tried to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping tablets, later that year she tried again by jumping off the Hammersmith Flyover bridge resulting in breaking both her legs. Isabella’s depression and cancer battle was taking its toll and in 2007 she attempted suicide a few more times by overdosing on tablets whilst on holiday in India and purposely crashing her car in the back of a lorry. Her sister Lavinia Verney talked to the Times of how Isabella would often say “she wanted to kill herself.” Whilst travelled to their Hilles home, Lavinia talked of how Isabella once tried to jump out of a car whilst they were travelling to Gloucester together, later that week Isabella was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where she stayed for three weeks. She was released on May 3rd 2007, just days before she eventually succeeded in her attempts to end her own. Whilst throwing an intimate gathering at her Hilles home, Isabella said she was popping to the shops; instead she went to her room and drank vast amounts of weed killer. She was found by her sister Lavinia who said to the Guardian that Isabella turned to her and said “I’m 12

worried I haven’t taken enough.” Whilst dying in hospital Issy looked to husband Detmar and said ‘I used to be a little ray of sunshine’ he told the New York Magazine, he then turned to her crying and said “You always are darling.” She died aged 48. Her funeral was held at Gloucester Cathedral on May 15, 2007. The stylish and flamboyant ceremony paid homage to Isabella’s life. Three hundred and fifty mourners turned up to pay their respects to the international style icon. Erin O’Connor, Sophie Dahl, Stella Tennant, Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy were just a few of fashions most important who attended. Anna Wintor and actor Rupert Everett both paid their respects and spoke at the funeral. Isabella was buried in her favourite Treacy creation the ‘pheasant’ hat and dressed in a long red silk coat with gold embroidery and a tasselled hem, teamed with some gold platforms all courtesy of her most famous protégé Alexander McQueen. Her coffin was borne by pall bearers and was surrounded by white roses, perched at the head of the coffin was another infamous Treacy hat which Isabella wore, the black ‘ship’ hat which sat at the top of the coffin marking Isabella’s fondest fashion accessory. The whole ceremony reflected style, elegance and extravagance which paid the perfect homage to Isabella’s life. She will be sorely missed for her style, wit, enthusiasm, fabulousness and her exquisitely trained eye in talent spotting. She will never be forgotten for her remarkable contribution to fashion and her legacy without a doubt still lives on today.


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ISABELLA’S TOP 5 PROTÉGÉS

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sabella Blow, a woman of many talents but her most exceptional being her remarkably trained eye for spotting new emerging talent within the fashion industry, which is still well respected by fashions most savvy. Isabella was

once listed as one of the top 20 most influential people in the fashion industry. She embraced new talent and treated them as her child, on Fashion Television she described her discovery of talent and passion for clothes as her only hobby in life, “you love and nurture it like it’s your garden, people garden, they cook, it’s the same thing, my ingredients are clothes.” She not only preached about her protégés genius and craftsmanship but she also showcased their clothes personally by parading around in them on a daily basis. Anna Wintor spoke to New York Magazine about Isabella’s exquisite talent which has contributed immensely to the fashion world saying “No one had an eye like Issy. The more corporate of us look at everything differently than someone like Issy, so whenever I got that phone call that Issy said I should see something, I would go.” Here are the stories of Isabella’s top 5 most successful protégés.. 15


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ALEXANDER Isabella’s most acclaimed protégé, a genius of the craft – his clever cuts, directional tailoring and innovative and original messages he communicated through design crowned McQueen as England’s king of the craft. Lee McQueen grew up in the East End of London with his father Ronald, a taxi driver from Scotland and his mother Joyce, a science teacher, who was the apple of his eye. After completing his only O-Level in Art, McQueen started an apprenticeship at Saville Row tailors, Anderson & Sheppard then onto, Gieves and Hawkes. In 1994 he applied for a job at Central Saint Martin’s as a tutor of pattern cutting. Due to his impeccable skills he was persuaded to complete a BA Honours in Fashion Design and the rest is history. In 1992 Alexander McQueen showed his graduate collection at the Central Saint Martin’s graduate catwalk show. Some of fashion most important attended, most thankfully for McQueen, Isabella Blow. Issy was so impressed by his ‘Jack the Ripper’ graduation collection she offered to buy the whole lot. She paid £5,000 for the collection, paying him in weekly £100 instalments and the pieces were delivered to her by McQueen himself, in black bin liners. After his graduate show Isabella rang all the influential fashion contacts she had made raving about how wonderful Lee McQueen was. Michael Roberts recalled to the New York Times about Issy’s discovery of McQueen, “She rang me up and said, ‘You’ve got to see this guy’s clothing.’ Then she dragged me off to a basement in Piccadilly, a smelly basement. But she was absolutely right.” Isabella was a great preacher of the talent she spotted; she played an active and enthusiastic role in nurturing her protégés and had an unbelievable amount of confidence and belief towards their talents

and potential to have a long and extremely successful career. After constant promotion of Alexander McQueen his genius was becoming highly respected within the fashion world and was awarded with ‘British Designer of the Year 1996’ which he won four times between 1996 and 2003. Also in 1996 McQueen replaced John Galliano as head of Givenchy haute couture. In 2001 the Gucci group brought Alexander McQueen’s label and had control of the brand, McQueen then left Givenchy to focus on building his own fashion house. When taking this deal with the Gucci group McQueen didn’t bring Isabella along with the brand, he gave her a free dress. This was apparently seen as huge betrayal by Isabella and is argues that their rocky relationship post this played a part in her suicide. However McQueen profusely denies this telling W magazine “It's so much bollocks. These people just don't know what they're talking about. They don't know me. They don't know my relationship with Isabella. It's complete bullshit. People can talk; you can ask her sisters ... That part of the industry, they should stay away from my life, or mine and Isabella's life. What I had with Isabella was completely dissociated from fashion, beyond fashion.” He later went on to say he is thankful for Isabella’s help and that he does believe she played a huge role in his success and said, “Isabella being Isabella, she wanted credit for (my) work...she must have believed she was responsible for my success, and in some ways she is, for discovering me. But on the business level, it’s just not, because I had already put the plans in.” He later went on to say how appreciative of Isabella he was and how he has endless respect and love for her, she was like a second Mother to him. From this point McQueen was starting to make a revolutionary impact on the international fashion industry. By 2003 he launched his own perfume, in 2005 he

collaborated with Puma to create a line of designer trainers, in 2006 he launched McQ, a more affordable range for his younger clientele. By 2007 he had boutiques in London, Paris, Milan, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, at this point he had become a household name and was classed as one of Britain’s most successful designers, being coined with the nickname ‘King McQueen.’ During his reign as fashion king, McQueen was renowned for his spectacular frock coats, craftsmanship detailing and embellishments, superb cuts on a dress and his outlandish and eccentric personality which he vividly showed through his designs on both his collections and catwalk sets. Whether his models were witches creeping out of mummy caskets, animals in an ark representing the evolution of mankind or models taking part in a human chess game, McQueen was the creator of fantasy and extravagance. He and Isabella had the same approach to fashion, to represent love, to tell a story and the importance of the craft. McQueen sadly passed away on 11th February 2010, hanging himself just hours before his Mothers funeral. Like Isabella, his legacy will never be forgotten; his remarkable contribution to the fashion industry will remain a vivid memory to all, his exquisite work will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

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PHILIP Just like Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy is a genius of his craft. This milliner grew up in a tiny rural village in Ireland, Ahascragh. When Treacy left school in 1985, he went to Dublin to study fashion and made hats as a hobby. He worked as an intern for London hat designer Stephen Jones, and later enrolled onto a hat design course at the Royal College of Art. His first meeting with Isabella was when he walked into the Tatler offices to show some of his student designs to Michael Roberts, the then Fashion Director of Tatler magazine. A young Philip Treacy entered Vogue House in Hannover Square clasping a green felt hat cut like the jaws of a crocodile with jaggedly teeth. When talking to the Design Museum, London – who later held an exhibition called ‘When Philip met Isabella’ - he said when he walked into the Tatler office and Isabella saw the hats she cried “what a beauty!” and blow me away... the rest was history.

let him set up shop in her basement of her house on 67 Elizabeth Street. He now has a shop just next door at number 69, which was opened in 1994. By 1997 he had launched his own accessory collection of bags and scarves and by this point Treacy was a household name and some of the most successful designers wanted their model’s to be decorated by a remarkable Treacy design. He had now had his design exhibited in the Hayward Gallery and Satellites of fashion at the Crafts Council. He worked was recognised as exceptional pieces of art and haute couture, he won the Moet and Chandon award for luxury in 2002 and the Design Museum in London exhibited his hats and his appreciation to Isabella for

her huge influence on his career, naming the exhibition ‘When Philip Met Isabella’ which was later transformed into a book. When Isabella died in May 2007 Treacy was deeply saddened, speaking on his website philliptreacy.co.uk he said that “In 20 years I have met all my heroes and nobody in true honest estimation surpasses her. She was incredible... everybody was boring compared to her” This attitude toward Isabella still lives on inn Treacy’s designs “In every hat I make, every corner I turn – she is there. I will always miss her.”

Treacy was asked by Isabella to design her head-dress for her medieval themed wedding, so impressed with his work Isabella rapidly took him under her wing. Nothing but positivity and praise left Isabella’s scarlet coloured lips. Isabella knew all the perfect people in the fashion industry to introduce Treacy to, these included: Manolo Blahnik, Karl Lagerfeld, Rifat Ozbeck and US Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley. By the age of 23, and just finishing studying, Treacy was commissioned by Chanel to design head pieces for Lagerfeld’s ready –to-wear and haute couture collections. He was then making couture hats for Valentino, Versace and Alexander McQueen for Givenchy. In 1992 he won his second award for ‘British designer of the year’ and went on to win the award three more times. Not only promoting Treacy’s talents, Issy

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SOPHIE Sophie Dahl is an international supermodel who pioneered and promoted the more voluptuous and womanly body ideal for the female model. Sophie was born into a family of talent, her mother Tessa Dahl, a writer and her father Julian Holloway, an actor, but most famously she was the granddaughter of the legendary children’s author Roald Dahl. After a huge row with her mother, eighteen year old Sophie stormed out the house in tears, whilst sobbing on a Kensington street corner she bumped into Isabella Blow. Sophie recalls the moment to the guardian and said “she got out of the cab in a Philip Treacy hat and a McQueen corset, sat down next to me and said, ‘Wow, you can be a model!’So we went off to find my mum, who was, of course soooo annoyed. I was

so smug about the entire thing.” Rows with Sophie’s mother stemmed from Sophie dropping out of college and refusing to go to secretarial college, which were the plans her parents had for her. Sophie wasn’t the traditional ideal body shape for the typical supermodel; she was 6 foot tall and a size 14 (at her biggest) and was known as ‘Britain’s largest Model.’ Isabella was overwhelmed by Sophie’s beauty and took her to Storm Model Management in London where she was signed by agent Sarah Doukas. Isabella saw something in Sophie whom others couldn’t, she was able to see the potential in Sophie. Isabella’s friend, fashion writer and New York socialite, Plum Sykes said to New York magazine “we all just though she was a fat teenager” little did they know

that she would end up in publications like Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire and Vogue. She also was the face of advertising campaigns for Versace, McQueen, Pringle, Banana Republic and many more. In the year 2000 the YSL advertising campaign for their perfume Opium was banned due to complains about its raunchy and sexualised connotations. Like her grandfather, Dahl was a keen writer. She was the contributing editor of Men’s Vogue, she has written columns for British Vogue and The Sunday Times Style magazine, authored two books and a cooking book called ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights’ which was published in 2009. Now married to musician Jamie Cullum, Dahl is focusing on her career as a writer and spending time with her husband.

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Hussein Hussein was born in Nicosia, Cyprus but spent most of his education in London. He graduated in 1993 from London’s Central Saint Martin’s University where he studied fashion design. His graduate collection, which he made from decomposed silk which he buried and exhumed, was an instant success and this innovative way of working with materials, technology and pattern cutting with his designs, became known to be the trademark of Chalayan’s revolutionary work. He was awarded twice with the ‘British Designer of the Year’ award in 1999 and 2000. And since then his presence within the international fashion industry is growing every season. Like Treacy and McQueen, Chalayan’s work is referred

to as wonderful pieces of art and Isabella was at the forefront of promoting this to her industry pals. Chalayan’s work which varied from wooden tables and chairs being transformed into clothing garments to an airplane dress which was made from aircraft material and it was able to change shape by pressing a button on a remote control. Chalayan has been awarded with an MBE and had his designs exhibited at the V&A in London, the Kyoto Costume Institute in Japan and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Chalayan’s brand is still growing strong and still designs both women’s and menswear collections. Isabella’s love for fantasy, eccentricity and genius of the craft is exactly what Chalayan’s work represents.

Chalayan STELLA

Isabella was introduced to 23 year old Stella by her friend, British Vogue fashion writer Plum Sykes. Issy and Plum joined forces and introduced Stella to each of their own contacts in the fashion industry: Steven Miesel, Karl Lagerfeld and Bruce Webber. She appeared in advertising campaigns for Chanel, Alberta Ferretti, Christian Dior and

Marc Jacobs, walked on the catwalks for Moschino, Michael Kors and Prada as well as being on the cover of British and American Vogue, i-D and Italian Elle. Tennant married French photographer David Lasnet in 1999 and since had four children with him: Marcel, Cecily, Jasmine and Iris.

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Treacy on Blow

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hilip Treacy is the master milliner, the crème de le crème, the bee’s knees or in Issy’s words - the dogs bollocks. Phillip Treacy is one of Isabella’s most acclaimed protégés, she pioneered his work and they had a great business relationship but an even stronger friendship. Treacy and McQueen were her blue-eyed boys but it was Treacy who remained

most loyal to one of England’s most eccentric females. Samantha Brennan visits Phillip Treacy at his Studio in Battersea to talk about his relationship and love for a woman who he classes as a second mum, a best friend and generally just “a wonderful woman.” 23


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Hidden away off a busy Battersea Street in what looks like a mix between a Charles Dickins scene and a modern building site, is the Treacy headquarters. Under the archway of a Victorian bridge and there it is - sat between and old English pub and a building site. The cobbled path leads to a large grey building with a glistening silver plaque that reads Phillip Treacy. After ringing the bell and waiting at the door a group of construction workers pass me, their orange hard hats are beaming like beacons as the sun shines on them. They seem oblivious to what masterpieces are hidden behind the blue door in front of me, my heart beats faster as I see a blurred figure come towards the door. I’m greeted Stefan, Philip’s boyfriend, a handsome and well groomed man, very pleasant with a smiley face and an impressive set of teeth. Inside, the walls are filled with large black photo frames exhibiting images of fashion icons adorned in a Treacy creation. The showroom is a chic purple carpeted room surrounded by shelves filled with exquisite hats which sit on Perspex heads; it was no wonder that this place was Isabella’s favourite hangout, it is unbelievable. After a quick tour of the showroom I was led to ‘where the magic happens’. The room is messy; all four walls display wooden hat template silhouettes that sit on shelving which reaches as high as the ceiling. Mood boards, mostly covered by images of Isabella and Lady Gaga, are propped up against any available space on the wall or floor. Taking in the shock and surrealism that I’m actually in Philip Treacy’s design studio I was introduced to the wonderful man. Dressed in a royal blue tracksuit, his casual attire matched his personality, very chilled out, humble, down to earth and friendly. His friendly smile and tone of voice was very relaxing and we got down to chatting about Issy. I sat on a stool and Philip slumped relaxingly in a Perspex bubble chair which was swinging from a harness attached to the ceiling. Asking Philip to describe Isabella in one word seems to be more difficult than asking him to explaining the meaning of life or deciding what came first, the chicken or the egg? Philip struggles as he deeply thinks about the perfect word to describe such an icon. After a long pause the words “she was the spice of life” blurt from his mouth

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and then a flurry of words begin to reel off as though he’s reciting the alphabet “very Funny, entertaining, highly cultured, very witty, great sense of humour, didn’t suck up to people, fearless, fun, loved the underdog, a women of high standards” and these were just a few but after five minutes into the interview it seems that fun and entertaining are the two characteristics that denote his relationship with Issy. Philips favourite memory of Issy was when they attended a party together. Issy, dressed in a McQueen pinstripe trouser suit strutted onto the packed dance floor with Philip in tow. She flicked a switch on her suit causing hundreds of mini LED lights to light up on the pinstripes of the suit looking like a human Christmas tree - a very fashionable one at that “it was just fantastic everyone was so shocked and everyone laughed.”

lights a cigarette or brushes past a candle at a party. Although these hats are precious pieces of art to Philip, he didn’t mind and actually “loved the fact she did that” her carelessness with them and outrageousness inspired to design. She explains how Issy never tried to be outrageous “it was just what she liked”. Her favourite hats from Philip were the ship hat, a replica 18th century sailing ship with full rigging, the Gilbert and George hat, a concoction of pink and green lacquered ostrich feathers and was so wide that Isabella couldn’t fit through the door, and the Chinese garden hat which Issy wore to the Shanghai fashion awards, a hat that literally was a Chinese garden “a garden on your head was something unusual and she liked unusual things so I decided to make it– not everyone would wear a garden on their head.” Apart from Lady Gaga, a woman who reminds Philip a lot of Isabella, not only for her love of a lobster hat or a see through rubber dress but for her sweet and kind nature “like Isabella, Gaga is not a big ego character” she’s subtle but likes un-subtle clothing, she doesn’t try to be unusual. Working with Lady gaga has been one of Philip’s highlights of his year so far.

Philip loved Issy’s fearlessness and her attitude towards the cut throat industry that is fashion “she was fearless in how she dressed and operated in an industry which is run on fear.” This fearlessness is what caused Issy to become Philips muse “she was fun, she had no sense of fear, she had no problem walking into a room wearing a wild hat and acting like she wasn’t wearing a hat at all – it was a natural thing for her” this is what Philip loved about her. He sees other women wearing hats and you can tell they are conscious of it whereas Isabella was conscious of not having one on. She was so comfortable with wearing a hat she would often forget it was there, especially when she was lighting up a cigarette. Philip would often see his hand made pieces of art catch a light on Issy’s head as she careless

One of Philips earliest memories of Isabella was when she would introduce herself to people and would say ‘Isabella Blow... like the wind’ which was a phrase which would roll of her tongue followed by a deafening roar of laughter. As Philip laughs he explains how he still uses Issy’s personality and style as inspiration when designing, as long as Treacy keeps making hats then Isabella’s legacy continues to lives in each and every hat he makes.

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Baby take your coat off real slow Take off your shoes I’ll take off your shoes Baby take off your dress Yes Yes Yes But - you can leave your hat on You can leave your hat on

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Photographed by Hayley Brown Styled by Samantha Brennan Hair by James Carver Make Up by Scarlett Flynn

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Orange hat by Phillip Treacy 29


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Pink bow hat by Tour de Force 30


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Sequin heart hat by Louis Mariette 31


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Silver gladiator hat by Louis Mariette 32


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Gold warrior headpiece by Tour de Force 33


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Black felt hat with netting by Stephen Jones Bejewelled turbans both by Louis Mariette 34


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Black hat with polka dot flower and netting by Phillip Treacy 35


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The highs and lows of working for Blow... An interview WITH Jessica Walsh When I first mention the words ‘Isabella Blow’ Jessica Walsh’s big blue eyes light up and a loving smile immediately appears on her face. Much like Issy, Jess looks the part however a much more tamed down version, she’s dressed in black J Brand jeans, a silk Freda vest top, a peach Stella McCartney blazer and some black Russell and Bromley studded pumps. After our excitable chat about the confusing mirrored bathroom in the Crazy Bear Bar on Whitfield Street we get down to enjoyably discussing Isabella. Taking the first sip from her white wine she discusses how she landed the job. Jess was studying at Geography and Economics at KCL, but always loved style and fashion. A friend of hers who works at GQ Style set

some work experience for her at Tatler and Vogue “the morning I arrived I walked into Issy having a blazing row with her Assistant who was mid clearing his desk. I was just 21 and saw the perfect opportunity. The rest was history.” Jess was Issy’s assistant for two years but quickly and proudly adds “I was her longest standing assistant without being fired” a sentence which I’m sure has left Jess’ lips a thousand and one times. Although Jess loved her time as Isabella’s assistant and “wouldn’t change it for the world” she found it extremely draining both physically and mentally, which is hardly surprising after some jobs Jess has to do. Jess’ days were never average, she had to do varied jobs to the mundane (which shocked me as mundane and Isabella is something I 37

didn’t expect to hear in the same sentence) such as dry cleaning and expenses, family and household duties, to organising shoots, attending couture fittings and attending the shows with her, “she was fastidious about me taking notes, I would often have filled 4 pages with her requests before I was able to do anything about them, by the time I had lent across to pick up the phone, she would often shout what were the answers/solutions to the first page…I became very adept at multi-tasking, thinking of my feet and preempting the majority of her demands.” These jobs seem slightly pitiful compared to some of Isabella’s most extreme demands Jess reminisces about - still with that smile on her face. While clasping her wine Jess


THE BLOW ISSUE laughs as she starts reeling off some of her most memorable Issy demands “she asked me to find a real levitating Turkish carpet for our magicians shoot and was furious with me when I told her it was all an illusion. Phoning me at 2am telling me she wanted an emerald encrusted Vertu phone for the morning. Asking for a paper origami wedding dress to be made for her... for free.” If these aren’t painful enough to read, this next one definitely takes the crown and Jess still finds it shocking as to how she managed to cope. Isabella phoned Jess in the early hours from a railway station in Siberia, having got off the trans-siberian train from Russia to China because of the vile conditions of the train, which Jess did warn her of but Issy insisted that she would stay with friends in St Petersburg and would get the trans-siberian to China where they were shooting for Tatler. Jess then had to organise a helicopter from St Petersburg to collect her and take her to the airport to board a flight to China – Issy then moaned to Jess saying that it was her fault she was now jet lag because she had to fly. While Issy was on her flight to China Jess was en route to the airport, on her own, with 17 trunks of clothing for the shoot (mostly Isabella’s personal clothes and hats) having not paid for excess baggage Jess was already £3,000 down after the excess baggage charge leaving her with £500 petty cash for the 10 day trip, a figure which was pitiful to Isabella. This story kept getting more horrific but Jess was still laughing and it seemed such a cherished memory to her – definitely one to tell the grandchildren. After laughing about Issy’s requests Jess pauses and recalls “I don’t think she had any normal demands! Some were so odd you had to laugh instead of getting worked up.” Life as Issy’s assistant wasn’t all that bad though, “I was on call 24/7 and I did sacrifice some aspects of my life, but what I gained far outweighed the negatives.”Jess fondly reminisces on her fondest and earliest memories with Isabella. During hot summers they would swim and sunbathe at the pool on top of the Berkley pretending they had meetings to attend, or going to meet the creative director of Mac make up and helping Issy create her own lipstick or receiving numerous designer outfits “she was constantly hilarious and also generous” she gave Jess Prada coats, Alexander McQueen dresses, Manolo Blahnik shoes and Philip Treacy hats all of which contribute to a very impressive wardrobe for Jess, which she is still expanding as the current Junior Fashion Editor and Jewellery Editor of Tatler – her latest press gift was a pair of Louis Vuitton Prefall

2010 stiletto tassel ankle boots. To die for. When people ask Jess about Isabella’s signature style Jess can help but envisage “her tottering into the office in an enormous McQueen for Givenchy coat, which totally swamped her, engulfed in Fracas perfume (it gives me goosepimples whenever I get a waft now), Prada mules and a Treacy creation on her head, clutching a cigarette. She then dropped the coat with only Damaris crystal encrusted silky knickers underneath which tied at the back” Once dropping the coat Issy would walk to the fashion cupboard at Tatler, most of which was Isabella’s wardrobe, and 38

she would pick a McQueen suit “one of her favourites was the Prince of Charles check – which I did up at the back. The cigarette was left to burn on the floor.” Cigarette burns are more vivid on the Tatler fashion office’s wooden floor than the floorboards themselves, surrounded Issy’s old desk are fag butt burn marks from where she would quickly have to stub her cigarettes out when security would rush up to the Tatler floor to stop her from smoking “she loved to break rules and was something such a liability.” Although Jess learnt so much from Isabella over the two years she felt she had to move


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team, she became Fashion assistant at Tatler, here she was able to remain close to Issy but at not so much in a demanding way.

on, not only because she felt there was a natural progression but she found she was becoming quite frustrated in the role, “she was also not very well and it was often difficult to handle her and equally upsetting. Towards the end my health started to suffer as well as hers, we had become very close and you do need to be able to keep a professional distance, which towards the end had been breached. I think there is a finite period to these sorts of jobs.” Jess was becoming so fond of Isabella and it began to change their relationship from professional to personal , when Issy become severely ill and adamant that “she would die in a

few days or become a tramp by tomorrow” she believed this so much so she would tell any she met, random people in the street, waitresses at restaurants or friends of friends, Issy’s illness deeply saddened Jess “it is so sad to see someone slip into depression and become a shadow of their former selves, it is also very frustrating and I felt very helpless.” The woman that Jess had admired so much was becoming a different person, Jess had to detach herself emotionally as it was damaging to her health, mentally and physically. When Jess quit her job as Issy’s assistant she was offered a job still working within Issy’s 39

Although Issy became a different person day by day during the last two years of her life, it is the fun, fabulous and fearless Isabella that Jess remembers so vividly “She was incredibly witty, so much fun to be around and blunt, which was refreshing in this industry. She also had an amazing ability to love, which was reciprocated.” This is what Jess loved about Issy so much and says it was her bluntness that gained her so much respect within the fashion industry saying it was also her attitude towards style and fashion which caused so many people to admire her “she was fearless about fashion, pushing boundaries, had a unique style and lived and breathed the industry. She had a great eye and was very adept at spotting and cultivating raw talent.” The two things that Jess learnt from Isabella during her two years were “she always used to say when styling – ‘Hard with Soft’…she also used this in other scenarios too. But it is good to remember, e.g. a very angular silhouette with slightly dishevelled hair” but the most cherished yet amusing lesson which Jess still abides by today, as she is very grounded and seen as a mother figure/agony aunt to all the assistants in the Tatler fashion office, is (she says with a confused grin) “I suppose she taught me not to be consumed by materialism and wealth, even if it is incredibly distracting in this industry – which sadly she was, but wasn’t, she was full of contradictions!”


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A Burdened Heart and a Depressed Soul

Photographed by Hayley Brown Styled by Samantha Brennan Hair & Make Up by Jessica Blackman 40


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Leather coat by Christian Dior, net gloves by Cornelia James, tights by Falke, suede shoes by Office 41


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Gold headpiece by Tour de Force, wool coat by Prada – Isabella’s own 42


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Coat and gloves as before

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Net gloves as before. Black dress by Vivienne Westwood 44


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Chiffon dress by Alexander McQueen – Isabella’s own

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Chiffon dress by Alexander McQueen – Isabella’s own

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Lace detail dress by Alexander McQueen – Isabella’s own 49


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Leather coat as before. 50


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Wool coat as before. 51


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3 Issy inspired Trends Autumn/Winter 2010.

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sabella’s style epitomised the London fashion scene vibe – fun, quirky, cool and stylish. She was passionate about clothes. Her style and ability to generate new talent combined with her full of life energy marked

her as a breath of fresh air in the fashion world. Michael Kors tells Fashion TV she’s “the spice in the stew” and Donna Karan says she’s “a wonderful woman who loves fashion.”

Isabella’s style is sophisticated and ladylike yet fun and extravagant which are still inspiring designers today. This February saw the four major fashion capitals coin in on aspects of Isabella’s style. Isabella was the ringleader when it comes to appreciating the craftsmanship and detailing to clothing and all three of these current A/W 2010 trends pay homage to that. Isabella encouraged designers to be creative, original and artistic and it seems Isabella’s wise words are here to stay this winter.

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Blow me away embellishments

Hussein Chalayan

A master with the sewing machine, Alexander McQueen’s final show saw him go back to his roots of craftsmanship skill, expertise and genius. Intricate ornate details reflected a tranquil medieval beauty. The embellished detailing reflected love, passion and romance rather than some of McQueen’s previous collections which represented anger, depression and destruction. This love and passion reflected both McQueen’s and Isabella’s attitude to fashion. What Issy loved about fashion was craftsmanship; McQueen has paid homage to this with his final collection. A red silk frock coat dress was polished off with delicate gold jacquard embellishment. Staying true to his roots, his structured directional tailoring and digital prints were evident in the collection. Dresses

Hussein Chalayan

saw exaggerated stiff panels growing from the waists of the models like wings and a floor length red gown was covered in pool of crystals, jewels and beads – this intricate and exaggerated embellished lovingly sparkled the room reflecting McQueen’s love for the women who supported him the most. ‘Ground control to Major Tom’ seemed to be the phrase rolling off Hussien Chalayan’s tongue when designing his AW10 collections. Chalayan sent his star trek couture models into a sci-fi fashion fantasy catwalk and his originality with fabrics and prints are still, out of this world. Models were draped, wrapped and cocooned head-to-toe into digital print and metallic sheer dresses which only

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Alexander McQueen

bared the models hands. A floor length gown sparkled as it looked as though it was orbiting the solar system with its crystal encrusted colour palette of black, silver and blue shone vividly into the atmosphere. Chalayan used aspects of both Isabella’s intriguing and fantasised mind with her love of detailing and embellishments. Other designers like Alberta Ferretti, Dolce and Gabbana and Miu Miu all paid fine attention to detail this season by stitching, strapping, clasping and sewing coins, crystals, metal disks and beads onto dresses, skirts, collars and cuffs. This embellishment detailing will sure be breaking the balance this Fall but the complements of that Dolce coin which glistens on your fine knit jumper will be worth every penny – which is sewn onto it.


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God created woman...

Louis Vuitton

Isabella once said “clothes are about emotions, about love” and this is exactly what this Ladylike trend represents. This season all four fashion capitals were influenced by a woman’s touch, the ladylike touch. This ladylike trend maintained its stylish and sophisticated connotations however with its modern take of its injection of sex appeal on a perennial feminine classic caused jaws to drop and heads to turn – much like Isabella. This trend will cause any heterosexual man

Hussein Chalayan

to drool after seeing the traditional and much loved female silhouette. The ladylike silhouette of fit-and-flare or in the words of Issy ‘tits out and waist in’ resembled a silhouette much like Issy’s. Issy loved a plunging neckline, cinched-in waist and an extravagant volumized skirt, sleeve or collar. Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton channelled the Bardot era and sent his fresh faced fiftiesesque pretty ladies down the catwalk in corseted dresses with belted waists and

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Louis Vuitton

dirndl skirts with brocade detail. Hussien Chalayan, Sonia Rykiel and John Galliano at Christian Dior all embraced aspects of the Ladylike trend: cinched in waists, full skirts, waist hugging tailored jackets, lace and ruffles. The ladylike trend exudes Isabella’s sophistication but with the odd slit in a skirt, sheer lace inserts revealing bare skin and nipped in waists accentuate the womanly curve which Isabella loved so much.


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LIPS THAT BLOW

Givenchy

Issy once said “If you don’t wear lipstick, I can’t talk to you. You need to have lips – they are important for getting men” as it seems she was right. In ancient Greece, painting red lip paint on a woman’s lips signified them being a prostitute, during World War II nurses were urged to wear lipstick to increase morale within the male troops as it was sexy and gave troops some eye candy and many celebrities made their name after that permanent application of a fiery shade. Marilyn Monroe was a sex icon of the 50’s and her most recognised staple is her white blonde hair and those luscious

Dolce & Gabanna

red lips, even David Bowie followed suit. Then Madonna and Courtney Love and of course Isabella Blow – so much so Mac dedicated a redder than red lipstick in her honour – the Blow red. Stars today like Dita Von Teese, Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba and Megan Fox are all associated with a sexy, bold, dramatic, luscious lip. The bold lip was key in Autumn Winter 09 and Spring Summer 10 and it has been followed on for this winter 2010. Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent and Sonia Rykiel were just to name a few whose model’s made a statement this February with a bold lip that

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Dior

Issy would have been proud of. This seasons shades went from deep purple at Missoni and hot pink at YSL but the Blow red took the crown – Dolce and Gabbana, Givenchy and Herve Leger sexed their models up with a slick of Blow red lipstick. This connotation of lipstick with making impact, drama and sex appeal is still standing strong and will have men’s jaws dropping. Isabella will be urging all ladies to swipe our lips with a bold colour to face any daily activity – a trip to Tesco or walking the dog – this winter forget your coat, as long as you have a fiery colour on those lips you’ll be fully dressed.


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James Jeanette has the Blow factor.

J

ames Main aka James Jeanette is L o n d o n ’s hottest new muse, flamboyant, fabulous and e c c e n t r i c. J a m e s Jeanette turns heads wherever he is, whether it’s in a dingy east end warehouse or sitting front row at a Louise Grey catwalk show, James Jeanette is definitely the new darling of the London fashion scene. Growing up in the rough ends of “Aberfuckingdeen” you’d never imagine, from these roots that once a sweet wee lad called James Main is now more feminine than his Mum and Nan – put together. He speaks to Testmag.co.uk about what he loves most in life “good friends, good times, also the unexpected and bizarre which just makes me LOVE to be alive.” Unexpected and bizarre are James Jeanette’s middle names. He is perfectly polished

with flawless pale skin, tall, skinny, with a slick black gelled crop and eyebrows so perfectly plucked that they cause all girls to turn green with envy. All this as well as his immaculate and absolutelyfabulously-brilliant eccentric style coin him as the breath of fresh air and the originator of the moment -hence why Gareth Pugh’s classes him as his current muse. Currently shacked up in a flat in Hackney, James Jeanette is a creative genius and has his perfectly polished fingernails in all sorts of pies: styling, modelling, performing, acting, and fashion buying, this versatility and originality are traits which give James Jeanette the Blow factor. In June last year James Jeanette added ‘shop owner’ or “shop girl” (speaking to Dazed digital) to his list and opened a punk inspired boutique in the East end of London called ‘Jeanettes’ and just a few of his good friends popped by Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane... you know, the usual. Having worked as the door bitch at the late-great and sadly missed ‘Boombox’ nightclub, James Jeanette is a big face in the London fashion 56

and music scene, hence the hundreds of guest who arrived at the shop opening to show their support and to guzzle down alcohol and dance to the reggae and dub music that deafeningly pumped from the speakers of legendry DJ Jeffery Hinton. If there’s a fashion party James Jeanette is there - strutting his stuff to a David Bowie track wearing his black leather mini dress, studded leather jacket, and slashed tights, killer heels with a sprinkle of glitter on his chest and a slick green eye shadow.Whilst his puffs ever-so-fabulously on his cigarette and sips his vodka tonic from a straw everyone else is in awe of his supermodel frame. Everyone wants a piece of James Jeanette right now, since being signed to Union Models James Jeanette has been appeared in publications like British Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Arena Homme + and V magazine. This well respected fashion personality is bold, original, eccentric, fucking wild and doesn’t give two shits, just like Isabella.


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ECCENTRIC COUTURE Isabella Blow awakes in her Mayfair flat, after an hour she’s ready, brushing lint off her shoulders, straightening her skirt and rubbing red lipstick off her teeth. With a teethy smile Isabella Blow takes one final glance in the mirror and reels off her signature style check list: Alexander McQueen frock. Check. A plunging neckline. Check. Manolo Blahnik shoes. Check. A slick of red lipstick. Check. An enlarged crystal encrusted lobster. Check. Without the Dali-esque jewelled crustacean lobster hat on top of her head Isabella would feel as though she’s lost an arm or even worse, has no lipstick on. Surrealist art was a cultural movement in the 1920’s that developed from the works of the Dada movement, the visual arts and literature that based its work on anti-war movements during World War I. Surrealism started in Paris by its leader Andre Breton and started as a primarily literature movement but soon spread across the globe holding more visual connotations through cinema, photography, art and architecture. This revolutionary movement was provocative, daring and shocking for its time; it paved the way for other art movements to be introduced like pop art and introduced the notion of conveying political messages through art. Surrealist artists’ base their work on creating surprise by mixing unexpected juxtapositions to create shock. Salvatore Dali mixed unexpected objects with food to stimulate the unconscious mind to associate

these objects with sexual connotations. The 1936 lobster telephone represents strong sexual connotations; it represents the sexual references that are associated between food and sex. When speaking into the telephone you are speaking into the lobster’s genitalia. Andre Breton coined the term surrealist objects as objects that we only glimpse in dreams whose fate seems problematic and disturbing. The combination of what seems a meaningless object mixed with another is done to provoke an emotional reaction, in the words of Salvatore Dali ‘a specific sexual feeling.’ As well as shock value and the slight element of humour, Dali’s based a lot of his work on ‘Paronia-criticism’ a method which consists of a delirious state of interpretation. Its aim is to achieve a distilled grasp of reality by changing people’s perceptions on habitual objects and perceptions. Isabella was a very sexual person, shocking, disturbing and problematic, traits that are the foundations of surrealist art and Salvatore Dali’s work. Another person who resembles the same traits as Isabella and Salvatore Dali’s work isn’t only James Jeanette but also Lady Gaga. Gaga was 58

sporting the jewel encrusted lobster hat during her tour in London early in 2010. This infamous lobster emblem is one of the most famous surrealist objects. One of Elsa Schiaparelli most famous dressed is the 1937 Lobster dress, the white silk full length evening gown had a large lobster printed on the front. The dress was famously worn by Wallis Simpson in a series of photographed by Cecil Beaton. The lobster hat that Issy wore was her most eccentric and definitely one of her most famous, its sexual connotations and the fundamental elements of surrealist art objects are traits which made Isabella, Isabella - it made her such an influential and respected women in the fashion industry and life in general. Like most of Issy’s hats, this one especially acted as a shield from the people in the fashion world who she didn’t want a kiss from “They say, ‘Oh, can I kiss you?’ I say, ‘No thank you very much’. That’s why I’ve worn the hat... I don’t want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love”. Her personality was part of a movement in promoting eccentricity and difference in the fashion industry, which her protégés are still pioneering.


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FABULOUS FACTS Favourite Food:

Indian

What she ate for Breakfast:

Half a banana

Tea or Coffee:

Tea - Strong – very strong

Favourite perfume:

Fracas

Some weekly fads:

Yoga and Dry Stone Walling

Pet Hate:

Someone who doesn’t wear lipstick

Favourite cigarettes:

Marlboro (the red pack)

Favourite designer:

Alexander McQueen and Muiccia Prada

Favourite Shoes designer:

Manolo Blahnik

Worst designer:

Thomas Maier at Bottega Venetta – Issy was invited to his catwalk show (a very private affair) he was waiting on Isabella to be seated so the show could start, he called her to hurry her and she replied ‘I can’t make it to the show, I’m having an orgy – a big fat orgy, Sophie Dahl and load of female models are lying naked on my bed” then hung up the phone. Bottega then pulled all their advertising from Tatler, Editor Geordie Greig was not impressed.

Facts:

Only wrote in lilac ink Only wore Matte lipstick – lasts longer from smoking Only drank fizzy water – something she adopted from Anna Wintor She loved getting naked

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“Blow... like blow job” Q&A’s from some people who knew her the most

Kamel – a very close friend of Isabella’s and acted as her carer when she was ill in the last two years of her life.

her inimitable laugh. Q. What was the most outrageous/memorable thing she ever said to you?

Q. Explain the first time you met Isabella?

She once booked a taxi, people didn’t get her name so she was spelling it then she said blow like blowjob! Then I asked her “are you good with blowjobs” she replied “what do you think with these teeth!”...

A. I knew about Isabella, I always wanted to meet her, I met her several time by chance in the street, in euro star, in a newsagent, etc and once in a supermarket, I said hi and her attention went suddenly on this old lady whom she recognized the label of a trench from the 30’s that this old lady was wearing, even the old lady was impressed, the trench was green, just A green trench everyone would say, but for Isabella, it wasn’t just a green trench coat it was MORE than that. So she ended up taking my number, she called me 3 months after asking me if I wanted to have a tea with her...saying “this is Isabella Blow, I don t know if you remember we met in Waitrose, would you like to have a tea?”...

Q. Why do you think she was such a style icon? A. Cause she was meant to be with someone like her, intelligent, clever, funny, fragile, adjectives I could give to Daphne Guinness too... Q. Can you give me one fabulous fact about Isabella? A. She senses fashion, art, literature... life... with all the fun and drama 

Q. What is your fondest memory of her?

Q. If you had to describe Isabella in one word, what would it be?

A. My fondest memory of her: she was sitting, not talking looking at me with those eyes, she had this look that only a sad little 10 years old would have... but then suddenly i think straight away about her laugh,  i fell in love with her laugh,

A. “Issy”

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Alice Holland – worked as an intern at Tatler when Isabella was Fashion Director and sparked a relationship with her. Q. Explain the first time you met Isabella A. I met Isabella on my first day of work experience at Tatler. Her PA at the time had asked for extra help in the fashion room, I over eagerly agreed to find myself on my hands and knees organising the mess of press samples and Issy’s wardrobe for the better part of the morning (which Sam I’m sure you will realise appealed to my slightly OCD organised nature). At about midday Issy came in wearing the (I think they are) Alexander McQueen thigh high crystal incrusted nude boots that looked like what the white witch would wear to an ice-skating competition with a Fendi white fur coat with an appliqué brocade waist and a bucket hat that came down below her eyes and was red mesh with crystals so she could see you better

Anna Bromilow - Worked under Isabella as both Fashion Assistant and Fashion Editor at Tatler. Q. Explain the first time you met Isabella A. I first met Issy at the Tatler offices. She’d started as Fashion Director a few days earlier while I was in Milan and I was in work early eager to meet her. It was her incredible voice wafting down the corridors of Vogue house that alerted me to her arrival. I stuck my head round the door and saw this incredible vision. It was a gothic sight - acres of black duchess satin rippling towards me. Issy was wearing a ball gown and huge pink disco bauble earrings. I was immediately struck by her piercing protruding blue eyes and very flattered by how pleased she was to meet me. Q. What is your fondest memory of her? A. My fondest memory of Issy is singing karaoke with her in Paris. It was one of

than you could see her. (nope nothing underneath the coat as far as I could tell). I have to embarrassingly say I think it was the clichéd when-I-first-met-Issy moment I was 18, totally overwhelmed by Jess, Anna, Katherina and Sekina and just how glamorous they were and then Issy came in I’m pretty sure I spend the next few months at Tatler bright pink and underdressed.

Q. Why do you think she was such a style icon? A. She not only wore what I didn’t have the balls to but what I didn’t have the brain to have thought of. Q. Can you give me one fabulous fact about Isabella

A. Smoking in the office, and leaning over to tell me she liked my sweater, I don’t but I’ve kept it! (Black from Reiss with a twisted neckline)

A. A great friend of mine –Eloise – and I both worked for Issy about 6 months apart before we even met, our stories are almost identical, usually involving nudity, smoking and laughter. Not really an Issy fact, but Issy was the first thing Eloise and I bonded over.

Q. What was the most outrageous/memorable thing she ever said to you?

Q. If you had to describe Isabella in one word, what would it be?

A. She asked me almost in the same breath why I hadn’t killed myself yet and what my boyfriend at the time was like in bed.

A. Human

those random wild nights out you found yourself on with her and we stood up in front of a ton of fashion insiders and sang Dusty Springfield’s Son of A Preacher Man. I felt very close to her at that moment.

create images that wanted to make you feel something.

Q. What is your fondest memory of her?

Q. What was the most outrageous/memorable thing she ever said to you? A. Too many instances that would be too embarrassing and crude to recount. She was filthy and loved making you squirm. Most memorable- she made me believe I was capable of being a fashion editor. I was an assistant when I met her and she spotted something in me I probably hadn’t realised in myself yet. Q. Why do you think she was such a style icon? A. She loved pushing boundaries but with an innate intelligence and with huge cultural relevance. There was a passionate, reckless logic to her work. She wanted to

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And she was one of the few in the industry who was completely real- there was nothing phoney about Issy. She was eccentric, fabulous, the real deal. Q. Can you give me one fabulous fact about Isabella A. Issy was a great cook. Q. If you had to describe Isabella in one word, what would it be? A. Thrilling


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TRIBUTES “a free spirit that really believed in individual talent” Anna Wintor, Daily Mail

“She was without a doubt one of the great figures of fashion of the 20th century” Geordie Greig, Daily Mail

“She was like an exotic bird” Michael Roberts, Daily Mail

“Her ambition was to better people’s lives by exposing them to creativity” Zac Posen, Daily Mail

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“she was a ray of sunshine. She was a beautiful brave woman: indefatigable, courageous and brilliantly theatrical” Detmar Blow, Daily Mail

“She was bored by clichés. She didn’t do ordinary or dull. She wanted the photographs to be modern, erotic, naughty, the story of the badly-behaved aristocrat – a bit like herself. She always wanted to pull the rug out from under the Establishment.” Geordie Greig, Daily Mail

“she was the most interesting person I’ve ever met” Philip Treacy, New York Times

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LONG LIV ISABE

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VE QUEEN ELLA

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£10.00

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Eccentric - The Blow Issue