The news of Isabella Blow's suicide in shocked the international fashion world Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow and millions of other books are . Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow [Detmar Blow, Tom Sykes] on Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries. Blow by Blow book. Read 68 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. “One of the most original and influential people of the twentieth cent.
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download Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow Reprint by Detmar Blow (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery. download Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow 1st by Detmar Blow, Tom Sykes ( ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free . One of the most original and influential people of the twentieth century to me and many others.” —Alexander McQueenWith a career spanning.
The photo, an airbrushed number by Miguel Reveriego, shows Blow resting her chin in her hands while wearing a strapless white dress and a Philip Treacy black feather hat that curves over the upper half of her face to let one eye peek out.
But the similarity seems odd.
Blow was, after all, frequently photographed. To use the same shot, on books published in the same week, is practically to insist on a compare-and-contrast; to suggest less coincidence than conscious rivalry.
Faced with this self-awareness among authors and publishers, who am I to disappoint? Before I get there, though, a disclaimer: I know Crowe, who has written for these pages. I also have had my own Issie Blow experience — we were placed next to each other at various shows and I was treated to her rather X-rated conversation — although I did not know her well.
Many of the people who feature in each book, such as Daphne Guinness, have also appeared on these pages. I was interested because Blow had been such a colourful character, so I figured her story would make entertaining, and possibly instructive, reading. Written possibly subjectively by her husband Detmar after her tragic death, this book traces the life of Isabella from a childhood lived between privilege and tragic events and documents aspects of her career progress as well as her mental instability and ultimate demise and untimely suicide via in I have always been impressed with the unique style of Isabella Blow and this book has contributed in some way to a greater understanding on my part of this larger than life yet vulnerable character.
Written possibly subjectively by her husband Detmar after her tragic death, this book traces the life of Isabella from a childhood lived between privilege and tragic events and documents aspects of her career progress as well as her mental instability and ultimate demise and untimely suicide via ingesting weedkiller. The book is beautifully presented and the cover photograph is an ethereally beautiful one that captures the essence of Blow feminine all hat, eyes, lipstick and zany British femininity.
This book, written by her husband, paints an intimate portrait of a woman plagued by manic depression throughout her life. That said, childhood events and the character of both parents may have sent the sanest child into a life coated by imagined inadequacies and fear.
Blow By Blow
How Isabella made up for all this with After a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year to see the late designer Alexander McQueen's exhibit, my interest was piqued about his relationship to style iconoclast Isabella Blow. How Isabella made up for all this with her larger than life persona in her wild hats and costumes, bright lipstick and a tendency to flash her breasts is a great tale.
The book is also peppered with an array of bold-faced names from Madonna to Elton John to Rupert Everett.
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the finest portrayals is of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who gave Issie her first jobs as her assistant at Vogue. I would guess that his will was due to his hating to think that all he had worked for would be piddled away.
Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow by Detmar Blow
For Issie this was understandably, since no explanation was given a rejection that rocked her already fragile self worth. Issie apparently bought into the system that was so harmful to her. She yearned to produce a male child then, according to custom, he would inherit the family estate and felt a failure when she couldn't.
Her rank among the British aristocracy gave her a sense of entitlement for things that she could not afford.
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Detmar defines a total cash bleed, but the download of jewelry, homes, decor and cars a "new Bentley" gets a passing mention blithely continues. Issie's life is empty and clothing, art work and baronial residences fill a void. She seems to feel no world outside her bubble of fashion and her society of party oriented aristocrats and parvenus.
It's a cruel bubble, especially for women as they age. As they dine and drink, Issie attempts to outparty and outdress them. Her celebrity image is important to her career, and probably vital to her.
After several suicide attempts and yet another breakdown, at the hospital she advises the staff that she is famous Husband Detmar is grieving, but not fully analyzing what happened. His childhood had the same love deficit as his wife's. He loved the fun of Issie. Did Detmar need the fun because he couldn't have the love? Could the pressure to produce this fun, not just for him, but for everyone else as well have pushed her too far?
Issie loved her jobs in the fashion world, but they carried with them the pressure to be more and more outrageous. Maybe she realized there were limits and couldn't face the world without "more".
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This book is painful to read, and its photos of Issie painful to view. I hope Detmar can find happiness, he sounds like a good person, trapped in an unfeeling circle of family and so-called friends.
Feb 18, Deidre rated it liked it Shelves: While it's not as lyrical perhaps as a book about this fashion icon could be, this is still an important read. Others have written of her with more grace but not with more love.
The book isn't just a story of fashion in the s and the power of a muse, it's also a story of crippling depression and loss. The short chapters and slightly jumbled timelines make it a bit of a chaotic read but the heart of it rings true. Aug 03, Jane Turner rated it liked it Shelves: But Issie aspired for a life of upper crust financial security and a family, despite having veins pumping with blue blood, electric shock, and anger over the betrayals in her life, including those by: Her mother for putting 5-year-old Issie in charge of her 2-year-old brother, who drowned; 2.
Her husband 1 for wildcatting, and 2 Detmar for trading her infertile body for that of a breeder. As husband Detmar recounts the blows suffered by Isabella, we wish her stiff upper lip had been stripped of MAC lipstick and diagnosed properly. But our story of Isabella Delves Broughton continues on. She will be forever remembered for her fearless, peerless beauty.
Apr 29, Susan rated it liked it Shelves: This book is poorly written and atrociously edited I lost count of the typographical errors. However, if like me, you were fascinated by Isabella Blow, muse and mentor to some of the most innovative and inspirational talents the world of fashion has ever seen McQueen and Philip Treacy, to name the most obvious , it's still a good story. Isabella Blow was a true original with a gift for understanding the intersection of high fashion and art and for not giving a damn what anyone else thought ab This book is poorly written and atrociously edited I lost count of the typographical errors.
Isabella Blow was a true original with a gift for understanding the intersection of high fashion and art and for not giving a damn what anyone else thought about her choices. I loved her sense of style and am still inspired by her today. She was the high priestess of hat loving, Manolo Blahnik wearing punk fashionistas everywhere and there were interesting details about her various jobs in the world of fashion that I never knew, including her stint as one of Anna Wintour's assistants.
Reading about her tragic upbringing as well as her ongoing battle with mental illness, which ultimately resulted in her suicide in , was sad and made the last bit of the book pretty hard to take. I'm not sure her husband was the best choice to write this biography, especially considering the hell he's lived through, but I am glad that she hasn't been forgotten.
I would love to know what really happened between her and McQueen, but now that he's also gone we may never know that story. If you are interested in fashion and know the players, you might find this interesting. I read it cover-to-cover in one might, but I enjoy a good tragi-fashion with a sprinkling of salacious gossip. Don't expect a literary masterpiece.
Jan 20, Rachel rated it it was ok. The pacing in this book is extremely odd: However, this is not so - the majority of chapters stretch to 2 pages, maybe 3, with the occasional photograph thrown in. The authors are poor writers - which is inexcusable, given that one of them works as a reporter. Every chapter is devoted to some specific event in Isabella's life, but events chosen often appear random.
Ther The pacing in this book is extremely odd: There is no clear focus in this biography, and appears to be a bunch of random memories cobbled together to form a brief outline of a fantastical figure. Most aggravating was the way famous people were name dropped throughout the book - Elton John, Madonna, Kate Moss - but the encounters with them are never fully or properly divulged.
For instance, the reader is told that once Issie and her husband had dinner with Elton John, who left early and paid - and that's the entire encounter, reduced to two brief paragraphs. How utterly disappointing.
If you're looking for a good biography on Isabella Blow, this is not it. At the end, the only impression I got of this intriguing character was that she was a woman who dressed outrageously and couldn't handle simple and practical affairs like managing one's finances without going into deep debt, and who at the end, made many and various creative attempts to fling herself out of this world.
Jun 23, Missy rated it really liked it. I truly enjoyed this biography by her beloved husband and dear friends. I knew of Isabella Blow only by her off-the-hook hats and outfits along the runway.
This book covered her devotion to her wilting aristocratic roots, her shameless individualism, her skill for pushing the fashion envelope which needs to be pushed or the '80'd revival will never go away , and her passion for supporting others even when she could not support herself. I also thought it was a touching story of loving someone wi I truly enjoyed this biography by her beloved husband and dear friends.
I also thought it was a touching story of loving someone with a mental illness and the hard struggle to separate the illness from the true person. Plus I just find the whole UK scene of knowing distant relations and being poor but still important fascinating. And she really loved fancy hats, I wish they would com back in style.
Even if you have no interest in high fashion, this book is so layered with other topics that many would enjoy it and learn from it. And, it is a quick read too, love those short chapters for bus reading. May 24, Laura rated it liked it. This is bittersweet biography of his wife, who committed suicide in She was famous in the fashion world, and it is an interesting story, with lots of betrayal, parties, English society, etc.
However, it is kind of sad that Isabella ultimately couldn't get things together. I thought the writing was uneven - he wrote with Tom Sykes, but it didn't feel like there was always a professional at work here - there are several short, very choppy chapters. And at times it was a little tough to keep t This is bittersweet biography of his wife, who committed suicide in And at times it was a little tough to keep track of who was who. Sometimes a little more detail like holidays would be welcome; I also wanted an update of what was going on with him - did he ever get Hilles?
He doesn't even mention Alexander McQueen's suicide - an epilogue would have been appropriate. Jan 08, Danna rated it really liked it Shelves: Detmar Blow, Isabella's husband, writes the story of Issie's life.
He starts with her childhood and goes, "blow by blow", through her life. I love how pictures were inserted into the story throughout, rather than just in the middle of the book. I actually wish there were more! It was fascinating to learn about Isabella and the number of fashion designers she influenced.
Hearing of her escapades and fashion ensembles was intriguing. Short chapters and a quickly moving story made this a fast read. By the end of the biography, I was totally enamored with Issie. Although I knew that the story would end with Isabella's suicide, by the time it came, I was heartbroken and found myself crying.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fashion and is into larger-than-life nonfiction memoirs. Oct 09, Catherine rated it it was ok. Detmar Blow's telling of the life of his late wife Isabella is. I don't mean that he lacks emotion, but his telling is unexpectedly straightforward. The backbone of the second half of the book, the years he was married to Isabella, is his diary, and there is a superficiality to the writing that may come from adhering too strictly to a timeline of events.
Or it comes from the type of lifestyle that they chose and loved, full of name-dropping, wildly expensive goods, and Detmar Blow's telling of the life of his late wife Isabella is.
Or it comes from the type of lifestyle that they chose and loved, full of name-dropping, wildly expensive goods, and a dedication to the performance of life as art. I get the impression that "Issie" lacked an internal self-identity independent of who she surrounded herself with and what she was wearing or doing.
May 15, Carl added it Recommended to Carl by: Detmar Blow the author. This is probably the first memoir I've read that was written by someone I have met. Detmar makes a loving and apparently forthright biographer of his late wife, the fashion icon Isabella Blow -- his understandable frustration is as evident as his sympathy and adoration. With tiny chapters, often two pages or less, the book clips along nicely, although it does have the feel of a mere list of events. Overall, though, it is effective: Dec 28, Elizabeth rated it it was ok Shelves: This is hardly an in depth look at Isabella Blow from someone who knew her best, but -- as the title suggests -- a simple blow by blow timeline of her life.
It is a framework for a book rather than a fully-fledged book, and there is very little to be learned from this book that you cannot find in the obituaries, retrospectives, and in memoriums written about Isabella Blow at the time of her death.The only time Blow becomes insightful is when he offers observations about the physical or emotional injuries that Issie's long-term manic depression and her six failed attempts to kill herself inflicted on herself and others.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Besides, when Anna Wintour comes off looking compassionate, you know something is amiss. The result is a frustrating glimpse into the life of a true upper class eccentric, which often reads more like a list of events than an insightful biography.
Though he makes much of Sue Noble and Tim Webster, Modern Art's first stars, he doesn't seem to have included them or others in his clubby personal circle. If you are interested in fashion and know the players, you might find this interesting. I was interested because Blow had been such a colourful character, so I figured her story would make entertaining, and possibly instructive, reading. To complain about how unfair life had been to him, how poor he was and "name drop".