Somerset House has announced that it will be displaying an exhibition celebrating the life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art, Isabella Blow. Curated by Alistair O’Neill with Shonagh Marshall, and designed by award-winning architectural firm Carmody Groarke with installations by set designer Shona Heath, ‘Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!’ is being organised in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
Born into the world of British aristocracy, Isabella Blow’s 30 year career began in the early 1980s as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue. After returning to London in 1986, she worked at Tatler followed by British Vogue. In 1997 she became the Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style after which she returned to Tatler as Fashion Director. Driven by a passion for creativity, Blow is credited for having nurtured and inspired numerous artists, designers, models and photographers.
To illustrate her influence in contemporary British fashion, the exhibition will showcase over a hundred pieces from her personal collection, now owned by Daphne Guiness. Including garments from the many designers that she discovered and launched (such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald), this is widely regarded as one of the most important private collections of fashion. Blow is also known for discovering models Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant, and for her collaborations with major photographers such as Steven Meisel, David LaChapelle and Sean Ellis.
To accompany the exhibition, there will be a catalogue with new, commissioned photography by Nick Knight of the Isabella Blow Collection, edited by Alistair O’Neil with essays by Alistair O’Neil, Professor Caroline Evans, Alexander Fury and Shonagh Marshall. The exhibition will be open to the public between 20 November 2013 and 2 March 2014.