Thursday, 18 February 2010

My friend "ISSY" on meeting Isabella Blow Chapter one 19th May 1958 - 7th May 2007



With so much in the press about Issy Blow this week I thought I would write and tell you some stories about her that are personal to me. I met her about eight years ago.. I should have met her before but I can be very anti social despite a reputation as a social butterfly. I was at Nicky Clarke the hairdresser, and talking to an amazing hairdresser called Rupert there. He said your twin is upstairs. I said no one is my twin, he said oh yes you have, go upstairs and you will see. I was dressed in a simple Gucci coat, flicked hair, chloe trousers. I went upstairs and there was a vision, spikey hair, red lipstick smeared on her teeth, a cigarette being puffed although not lit. I bounce up and say to her, Rupert says I am your twin and I have to say hello. Issy rolled her head back and laughed. Her yellow teeth on view, now she was having her lipstick put on, her hair being calmed and a hat on the side ready to be put on. I said I wanted to go to the East End, she asked for a lift and took me to her husband Detmar's gallery, Modern Art Inc. That is where I first saw Tim Noble and Sue Webster's heart. I loved it and wanted to buy it. Sadly I did not. Issy was laughing the whole way. I then saw her a week later at one of the shows and she blanked me. She didn't recognise me. I learnt this was her.
I then bumped into her on Elizabeth Street, she was in tears, in a Halequin coat and gold shoes.. I think that's what she was wearing. It matters not, because her clothes were always one off numbers, evan when she was swimming. She was carrying a plastic bag. She was crying saying "I am going to die down the street and no one will remember me" I asked her to come home and made her a cup of coffee, whilst she told me she had suffered from depression since she was a child. One of her brothers or sisters had died and she felt she was blamed and everything had gone wrong from then onwards. All I could see was a woman in a Harlequin coat and gold shoes, I didn't understand depression, or this kind of problem. I had sorted out mine by going to yoga. I now understand of course, at the time I did not. She told me "you don't need to work, you have enough" she looked round my drawing room in Chester Square. Then she said she wanted to feed Philip Treacy's dog but that there wasn't any dog food. We went round to his flat. I felt we were breaking into it. No dog was there. We sat and talked in his green and gold room, may be it was something else, but that's what I remember. I thought what fantastic colours. She talked about Alexander McQueen how he didn't appreciate her, that he had forgotten, that he hadn't paid her. Her tears were flowing throughout. She was wearing his clothes I was sure. It wasn't Gareth Pugh, that was later. I didn't feel she meant what she was saying. I felt she needed love. I left her on Philip's doorstep, hugging her, asking her to come and live with me and I would look after her. Her chipped nails crunching up the plastic bag, still looked interesting. I thought you are the only one in the world who could make dirty chipped nails funky.

I rang her later on, the telephone was off, I rang two days later the telephone was dead. Out of the blue I get a call asking if she could come and stay with me in St Tropez with Tim Noble and Sue Webster. I said yes of course. She came, and I remember she wore this amazing silk swimsuit especially made for her by Alexander Mcqueen, in eau de n'il. She wore it with nothing on underneath. She was weirdly sexy. Unusual because she was not pretty. She was very thin but hated exercise. She showed me her scar, all scrunched up under her clothes. She would burst into tears about not having any children. She would continually say "you have everything" Tim Noble and Sue Webster at the time loved her. I don't know about now, but then they did. Tim was always making jokes, Detmar, Issy's husband looked after them at the Gallery. Issy said she had discovered them. I don't know who discovered whom.

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