News__ Blowing Up

June 28, 2010 | By

In some ways, Isabella Blow (1958-2007) is the Sylvia Plath of the fashion world. She was talented, dramatic, suicidal and an often misportrayed paramour. She discovered Alexander McQueen and Sophie Dahl, but broke both her ankles in a failed jump to death. Her style was as flamboyant as her company (she was Andre Leon Talley's assistant and milliner Philip Treacy's muse) but her eventual death came from a pedestrian weedkiller cocktail. A series of homages and dedications--including McQueen's S/S '08 collection--have kept her memory alive but starting next month her whole life will light up the stage.

Blow by Blow is a play by Jean Bergantini Grillo opening on July 21st. It premieres as part of the 11th Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City. For less than a movie ticket (speaking of, John Galliano has his own cinematic biography of Blow in the works) the play should be full of all the good stuff: tragedy, glamor and elaborate costumes. Grillo spent three years working on the script so you know there's a lot of heart in it. As Isabella Blow put it, "I think thinking is stylish. Looking is stylish. Culture is stylish. I think you need to be inspired by something in order to look good."

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