In 2007, the news of Isabella Blow’s suicide at the age of 48 made headlines around the world—but there is more to the story of Isabella than her tragic end. The key supporter and muse of milliner Philip Treacy and designer Alexander McQueen, Blow was truly more than a muse or patron. She was a spark, an electrical impulse that set imaginations racing, an individual who pushed others to create their best work.
Her fascination with clothing began early, as did a willingness to wear things—and say things—that would amuse and shock. She began her fashion career in New York City as assistant to Anna Wintour at Vogue. Over time she became famous for her work, yet it wasn’t enough to assuage her devastating feelings of inadequacy. Still, in her darkest moments, even as she began a series of suicide attempts and prolonged hospital stays, Blow retained her wicked sense of humor, making her friends laugh even as they struggled to help.