The legendary journalist and editor was the star of the designer’s AW94 show, Banshee
As fashion partnerships go Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen are the ultimate, the zenith. Together they led fashion into a new era – the era that got the whole world obsessed, desperate for a piece of this fantasy world they were creating together in London, the Cool Britannia years, the years where anything was possible.
“A muse is someone who is a constant inspiration,” Blow once said of her relationship with McQueen. “You can’t buy a muse, it’s like a love affair with somebody.” For McQueen and Blow, however tumultuous their relationship was, it was indeed a love affair.
To limit her to just a muse would totally diminishes Blow’s huge contribution to both the name (she literally renamed him Alexander – “everyone else calls him Lee, I call him Alexander, because of Alexander the great!”) and the success of McQueen. All the way back at his AW94 show – ‘Banshee’, the one where a heavily pregnant woman walked as sounds of wailing Banshees played over the PA system – Isabella served not only as the muse, but as the absolute star.
First,walking in a purple draped shirt with a krall neck, next in a black chiffon dress and an embroidered waistcoat, the legendary journalist and editor was met with rapturous applause from her fashionable peers as she entered from backstage. Taking her second turn on the runway, ‘McQueen’ stencilled in silver over her lacquered hair, she took a pause, and took another turn. It’s a venerable moment, and one which showed McQueen’s clothes could be worn by more than just his models.
As we count down to the release of the new tell-all documentary McQueen on June 8, which will undoubtedly shed light on the ups and downs of McQueen and Blow’s relationship, now’s time to brush up on your McQueen history. This is the perfect place to start.