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Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An extraordinary biography of Isabella Blow, whose pedigree, wild style, and outrageous antics catapulted her onto the London social scene and made her a fashion icon.

In 2007, thenewsof Isabella Blow’s suicideatthe age of 48made 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 an
ebook, 304 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Liz M
Lucky for Lauren Goldstein Crowe, Isabella Blow lead a fascinating life. All I knew of Isabella before reading this book was that she was a friend of Alexander McQueen's and a muse to Phillip Treacy; I wanted to learn how she entered the fashion world and what, exactly, she did. This book covers Isabella's family, her working life and some of her personal life. This book functions well as an overview of Isabella's life but, unfortunately, feels repetitive and disorganized. Crowe digresses into a ...more
Carole Tyrrell

Isabella Blow; the ultimate fashion victim, a clothes horse, a tragic figure, an eccentric toff?
I remember Isabella Blow mainly through her appearances in society or party pages. She would always be wearing an interesting outfit or saying something equally amusing. She appeared to be one of those people who are really fun to have around and are outrageous and provocative because that is who they are. I’ve always admired people who can swan out in a hat designed to look like a sailing shi
This is a much better written biography than 'Blow by Blow'. She doesn't dwell as much on Isabella and Detmar's upbringing (though critical points are included) and focuses more on Isabella's life and career once she was out of school. She makes relationships more clear; for example, while Detmar mentions Isabella's closeness to Bryan and Lucy Ferry, he never explained the relationship. It was helpful to know that Lucy and Isabella went to school together. I also liked the 'Cast of Characters' a ...more
Jun 26, 2011 Gina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mardel, Beverly, Maribeth
Lately, I have become increasingly interested in Isabella Blow, but I don't know that this book provided me with the sort of details I'd wanted. Frankly, I don't think it's the place of a biographer to interject personal conjecture within the text. Save that for the Afterword. That said, the Afterword in this book is an interesting commentary on the savaging and the blaming of the Fashion Industry vis-a-vis Isabella Blow's death.

I would have enjoyed a few more photographs. Given that Isabella B
Cynthia Rennolds
I had never heard of Isabella Blow until I ran across this book. The book was a fast, interesting, engaging read. She haunted me for days after finishing the book.
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know much about Isabella Blow, other than she worked in fashion editorial and liked to dress extravagantly.

I learned a lot about the strange, exciting, impressive, and sad life she led. It was also interesting reading this book right after I read Grace: A Memoir, because it mentioned a lot of the same people in the world of fashion glossies in the 80's and 90's.

I think even those who are not necessarily interested in the world of fashion but are interested i
George Ilsley
Isabella Blow was of course fascinating but this volume has a "rush to print" quality that does not do the subject justice. Crowe makes a point of thanking her editors (who she claims actually edit) which I took to mean that they had to do a lot of work trying to whip a substandard manuscript into shape. Even so, there were typos (even on the very first page) and clunky sets of words posing as sentences, which distracted from the narrative. All in all, this bio made me crave a well-written one a ...more
Insightful and I enjoyed the web of people and incidents in the life of someone I had fixated on for years and years. There were some awful mistakes however, such as calling "Harold & Maude" a classic British film, and calling Pam Hogg an American designer famous in the 70's! There was also a lot of patronising explanation of British concepts and terms. These things ticked me off and made me doubt Crowes' accuracy in general. Despite that I did enjoy it, but now I want to read Detmar's accou ...more
Jenny Housley
A really enjoyable read about a woman who was determined not to come to grips with how the world had turned out. Isabella was born into a world that never expected a woman of her station to have to earn a living. She had some major talents and made a huge impact in the fashion world but she did seem to take ownership of people as if they were staff. A good insight into the world of her protégés, Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen. A very sad but very funny book - or am I just insensitive?
This book has a "hey, this legendary figure in the fashion industry just died a horrible tragic death--we better publish a book about her!" feel--it comes off as half-baked, clumsy, and worst of all, DULL. I don't know how you can make a book about a woman who wore dead sea creatures on her head as a fashion statement boring, but Lauren Goldstein Crowe does it.
Hmm.... Maybe I'm indulging in too much British stereotyping here, or maybe the author did her best with the available material, but I thought it was a pretty dull and somewhat empty tale of a person who for many years had a wild and unconventional life.
What a fascinating human being! I cried at the end, bi-polar disorder is so heartbreaking. Isabella Blow seemed to be so inspirational to those around her and that in and of itself is precious.
I can't believe people like Isabella make a living just getting dressed. It is fantastic. Olden Day Lady Gaga...
was not something I would normally pick up, but was really interesting to read.
The writing isn't amazing, but hey, it's the best book so far about Isabella...
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Lauren Goldstein Crowe has written about the fashion industry for over a decade as a columnist at Conde Nast and Time magazine in London. Her last book, cowritten with Sagra Maciera De Rosen, The Towering World of Jimmy Choo, was published by Bloomsbury in 2008. Lauren is American and lives in London."
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