Thursday, 18 February 2010

Chapter 3 Issy Blow



As I was a late friend I had little knowledge of her upbringing, what she was like at school, who were her early friends, I can assume she went to Heathfield, somewhere like that, she had a natural air of superiority. I could be wrong though, we just never discussed our education or whether we had any at all. I have since learned she went to an American University. Anyway this held no interest to me at all. We were both Thatchers girls, in London in the 1980's. This somehow seemed to have affected her desperate need for money and an impressive job. Her father sadly left her little money and it is said this really upset her. About twenty years ago she got married to Detmar in a tight purple medieval velvet dress with her husband dressed as a knight. Pure drama.
I can only really comment on what she told me and how she felt about her work with Conde Naste. She would complain she was undervalued, I saw the opposite. Think about it, she had her salary paid for when she was sick and had broken feet. Issy was paid for in hospitals most of the time. I really truly believe that Geordie Greig had masses of patience. Now I am not sitting in the office watching so I might be completely wrong. It just couldn't have been easy. Issy was a huge character and was given a free reign in an office which people usually have to be in between 9am to 7.30pm. A magazine is incredibly hard work. I think she had an amazing ability to seek out talent, beauty and wit, but sitting at a desk would be of no interest to her.
Enough of my opinion because its not interesting.
I saw her many times during her depression, once at a weird mental hospital in Vincent Square, Issy would continually give a lovely looking mental patient her clothes. She gave away her Fendi handbag, a dress or two anything in fact. She told me she had no clothes and could I buy her a Balenciaga dress.. I said okay, she asked for one that would look good all the time. I really didn't like black on her but I bought her one that could slip over her shoulders easily. She was crying a lot, and as I went most of the time with Lucy Ferry/Birley, I take my hat off to her wonderful friend. Lucy showed enormous courage and had a sensible down to earth attitude with her. She would change the subject, discuss flowers, music, shows anything to get Issy interested in something else other than suicide. Issy would say things to her like get me a gun, where are the pills, but Lucy would quietly ignore this and lovingly put on her bed socks, help do her hair, and try to be as normal as possible. It was just heartbreaking to see this vibrant woman change all of the time. At another hospital in Marylebone I took her fish and chips, she was again in a terrible state..I still truly didn't understand why someone as talented as she was, wanted to leave the planet.
Issy was able create extraordinary things, when she put her mind to something. She was generous with her friends, she liked people all getting on. Of course gossiping was fun and playing tricks.

She had a good humour, she described jumping of the bridge, she was laughing saying can you imagine what the people thought when they saw me landing.. She would then go quiet. I wondered if she had worn one of her hats. One of her hats she gave me. It is straw, with a pom pom. I love it. She loved Philip Treacy so much, I think she was happiest with him.

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