Isabella Blow might have loved fashion more than anybody else in the world, and now the rest of us will be able to get a look in her enormous, exceptional wardrobe when it goes on display in London later this year.
Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! â€” the exclamation point is an official part of the show’s exuberant title â€” will open in November at Somerset House in London and is expected to close in March, 2014. The exhibition is being produced in concert with Central St. Martins and the Isabella Blow Foundation, a charitable foundation established in her memory by Daphne Guinness to support aspiring fashion students and fund research in depression and mental health.
Guinness will also be lending the event Blow’s legendary wardrobe, which she bought in its entirety back after Blow’s tragic suicide in 2007.
“Isabella â€¦ made our world more vivid, trailing color with every pace she took. It is a sorrier place for her absence,” Guinness said to Women’s Wear Daily. “When I visited her beloved clothes in a storage room in South Kensington, it seemed quite clear the collection would be of immense value to a great many people.”
The Isabella Blow exhibition will be organized by theme to investigate various parts of her life. It will start by showcasing her upper-class British background, then focus on her interest in discovering and patronizing new talents, like then-students Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy. The fourth section will be a tour through her enormous collection of shoes and hats, and finally the exhibit will wrap up with a look at her passion for the English countryside.
Blow’s hat collection could have carried an exhibition all by itself, and this more comprehensive celebration will be massive. There will be 100 pieces from her collection on display, including some highlights from Alexander McQueen’s final student collection, which Blow purchased in its entirety when she discovered him at Central St. Martin’s. There will also be pieces by Philip Treacy, Jeremy Scott, Viktor & Rolf, and others.
Alexander McQueen’s entire spring/summer 2008 collection, created by McQueen and Treacy in memory of Blow, will be there as well.
Nick Knight will be photographing the collection for the exhibition catalog, which will be published by Rizzoli.
Blow had a huge impact on many important and aspiring designers, and Guinness says she established the Isabella Blow Foundation with the hope of someday staging an exhibition like this one.
“I am doing this in memory of a dear friend,” Guinness said, “in the hope that her legacy may continue to aid and inspire generations of designers to come.”
Via WWD/Photo: WENN