|Birth: ||Nov. 19, 1958|
|Death: ||May 7, 2007|
How the late Isabella Blow upstaged all her mourners.
The fashion stylist Isabella Blow was never knowingly underdressed, and even in death she did not disappoint.
Arriving a fashionable 15 minutes late for her funeral at Gloucester Cathedral, her woven willow coffin was draped with a quilt of lillies and white roses. It had been preceded by a stream of gazelle-like models and black-clad fashion designers even more elegantly groomed than the six black horses that drew her glass hearse.
Mrs. Blow died 11 days ago at the age of 48, having told friends that she had drunk weed killer. Her exit was as uncompromising as her bright red lipstick and the delightfully demented hats for which she was famous.
Her husband, Detmar Blow, broke down in tears as he followed the coffin into the cathedral for a service conducted by the Dean of Gloucester, the Very Rev Nicholas Bury.
The 350 mourners included the models Sophie Dahl and Erin O'Connor, the designers Jasper Conran and Alexander McQueen, the actor Rupert Everett and the many fashion designers, models and journalists whose talents and careers had been nurtured by Mrs. Blow.
Milliners in London must have run out of black hats. They arrived in all shapes and sizes, from an extravagant witch's hat to a mysterious feline mask more Batman than Catwoman, to the minimalist two black roses worn on each side of her forehead by Mrs. Blow's sister Lavinia.
But the finest creation was reserved for the guest of honour. After the coffin had been carried into the cathedral by pallbearers including Otis Ferry, son of the rock singer Bryan Ferry, a black bust was placed on it. From a tea-chest-sized box,the milliner Phillip Treacy produced a hat in the shape of a fully rigged black galleon festooned with streamers blown by a fan concealed in roses.
Everett had agreed to read a poem but told mourners that as Mrs. Blow never cared for ready-to-wear and was more comfortable with couture, he had written something of his own.
He recalled his last meeting with Mrs. Blow after a free trip to Bombay as a guest of Dulux, the paint manufacturer. She had been lined up for a lucrative and much-needed directorship but blew her chances by arriving late and leaving early at every function arranged for her. She said that life was too short to sit through a fashion show of saris in every colour in the Dulux chart.
Everett said Mrs Blow had been "dazzled by life and life had been constantly dazzled by her". He added: "I don't think we will ever fully understand. You were so loved you inspired us all. Now you've got what you wanted, Issy. Life was a relationship you rejected. You were a one-off genius, friend. You were your own creation in a world full of copy-cats. I will miss you for the rest of my life."
City of Gloucester
Maintained by: Ruth
Originally Created by: cookie
Record added: May 16, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19394665