Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Clothes are my downfall and passion. I have loved them all my life.  If I have an addiction, I put my hand up in the air and say this is it.  Literally I dare not go near Sloane Street, I simply could spend all day there, but it is Sloane Street, and not the designers themselves.  If only the addiction was amphetamine. You cannot get this drug anywhere these days, yet if you go to the doctor, telling him you wish to slash your wrists, you can be sure you will be either locked up in the Priory, or given anti depressants, both of which could kill you, as it did my friend Issy.  I love clothes. Plain and simple clothes.
Last night I was with Tim Willis who was the ex boyfriend of Issy Blow's before she met her husband Detmar. Tim and I have an off and on love story, I suppose he likes me because I liked her.  He was in love with her many many moons ago. He met her when she wore a flag around her body and she apparently looked incredible. She was always incredible. He could not believe that half the clothes had survived, my housekeeper said they were filthy at the time, but here they are shown in a pristine beautiful way in the Embankment galleries, Somerset House. My congratulations to Phillip, it is one of the best put together shows I have ever seen.
Issy has imitators, but she is like a curiosity shop of eccentric and ravishing ideas and they are just that, imitators. Fans that try to be her. She had inside knowledge that few would have access to today. For instance there is not a Galliano or a another Phillip, there is not.  I know I am a fashion editor for Genlux Magazine, which has beautiful photographs, and the only one of its kind in Los Angeles. There is no Alexander Mcqueen, although Sarah does an incredible job keeping the whole thing together, but there is no Alexander.  These people are difficult to know, they have huge characters themselves.
The ownership of Issy's clothes, however was onerous, when she ran out of money she borrowed them, often never returning them. She gave me a hat that came from the Victor and Rolf show, which strictly did  not belong to her at all. I gave it back to Phillip last week. She was always giving things away.
 Of course the show was beautiful, totally incredible on the embankment, spectacular. It obviously could not show her funny side, her dirty finger nails, her lipstick all over her face, her dry wit, her tears.
You can however buy the hats and lipsticks in the foyer.
Nobody can have her outrageous, stunning, bagman, trashed up style, that is only hers. Last week Lady Gaga nearly got it, but she was neat, and there was no neatness in the innate  style of Ms Blow. Daphne has been influenced, we all have, but there is no Issy. Issy could be a bitch, she could be kind, she was funny, she could make me cry. She did often. She was as brutal as she was witty, but she too was fragile. I said I wanted to work once, and she turned on me and said "Stop taking jobs away from those that need them" She was thinking financially, I was thinking mentally. I love to work. I spent four summers with her in the South of France, not mentioned by Detmar's book Blow by Blow, or Lauren Goldstein Crowe's book written on her. They were obviously too unimportant to mention, but not for me.  Isabella could touch everybody if she chose too. At the time her cup was half empty, she was depressed. They were life changing for me, in every way. Before I looked like a girl from the Tyrol and then she turned me into Marilyn for a Tatler shoot. I was horrified, I felt uncomfortable in the white dress.  It was not so much what she said, it was what she didn't say. She loved to whisper is corners, about little gossips and wonderful stories. Issy was incredible to children, and to my son Charlie, whom she encouraged to trash her clothes, she said they looked better that way. She would put them on him and then make him run round the garden in the heat until they looked lived in. Then she told him that they were perfect. Funny he was singing for another party last night. Another brilliant person, Sir Terence Conran. Another idealist, for Liberatum.

Charles sang at Issy's funeral, "When I am laid"  and at the memorial. Children loved her. Once his friend Scarlett Carlos Clarke and he made a film about Issy and Detmar. It was hilarious.
I did not go to the dinner that Daphne Guinness gave at Claridges last night as he was singing and Thomas Gould was playing the violin, they were both playing and singing in my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly.  Pablo asked me to Liberatum  cultural evening at the Sanderson Hotel, to honour Sir Terence Conran, and that was as stimulating. Pablo is so clever the way he puts people together, with delicious Perrier Joet Champagne, with gorgeous bottles. . I was sitting with the brilliantly talented  Film Director, who made one of my most favourite films, The man with no name, Sally Potter,  with music from the Pearlfishers which I love. Also I chatted with Stephen Jones and Pam Hogg's. Luckily I was wearing my Louis Vuitton Hat, and not one of Phillip's.  Stephen had designed it. Phew. Then there was Terry Gilliam, his wonderful daughter Amy, Martha Fiennes, Alan Yentob, Julia Peyton Jones, surrounded by so many names, that I forgot the razzmatazz of Issy.  I wanted to be with the living. The beauty of Pablo's cultural evenings and week ends is that he creates families.
Pablo certainly creates a cultural merry go round which is good for the brain, Issy would like to have been included in both. I know she would, and she would have gone to both parties too, even if hers was on the same night..
Sir Terence  spoke well about his life, he is a man who has achieved so much, and our whole lives would be different if he had not succeeded.  He taught me to appreciate the modernist designers, furniture, food and kitchen equipment, the chicken brick. From designing Mary Quant's shop to Quaglino's he has encouraged and coaxed us to live well, in a  stylish simple way. Far from the glamorous closet of Isabella Blow's.
Without these colourful creatures, my life would not be as it is today. Thank you.

1 comment:

Vinnes said...

"Creatures". hahaha