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Isabella Blow (1997) Mario Testino

LONDON - Somerset House, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins, is proud to present Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, a major fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art.

Born into the rarefied world of British aristocracy, Isabella’s thirty year career began in the early 80s as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue. On her return 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, Isabella is credited for having nurtured and inspired numerous artists and designers.

The exhibition showcases over a hundred pieces from her incredibly rich collection, one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design, now owned by Daphne Guinness. This includes garments from the many designer talents she discovered and launched, such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald amongst others.

Isabella 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, which pushed the boundaries of convention in her increasingly provocative fashion spreads and establishing herself as a legendary figure within the international fashion and contemporary art worlds.

Curated by Alistair O’Neill with Shonagh Marshall and designed by award-winning architectural firm Carmody Groarke, with installations by celebrated set designer Shona Heath, the exhibition displays thematically the breadth of Isabella’s collection, a life lived through clothes. 

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Installation views of 'Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!' at Somerset House.

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A circular hat with slit detail by British designer Philip Treacy during a press preview for the "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!" exhibition at Somerset House in central London. A new exhibition in London takes a look at Blow's life and wardrobe, including some spectacular early pieces by designer Alexander McQueen and milliner Philip Treacy who she helped nurture from students to global stars. AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT. 

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Alexander McQueen & Isabella Blow (1996) David LaChapelle 

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 Isabella Blow (2002) Diego Uchitel