Isabella Blow

Branding: The Repurposing of Isabella Blow and the Papacy

The last time I saw Isabella Blow in person was backstage at the 2003 fall/winter Dior haute couture show. I was standing off to the side of the preparation madness, in between a colleague of John Galliano’s and my too-young German lover. Issy had shanghaied one of makeup wizard Pat McGrath’s assistants and was having her lips retouched right there in the middle of the room as if she were about to walk the runway herself. She was wearing a surreal Philip Treacy hat, of course, its veil rolled up to allow the makeup artist access. (Issy loved veils; they hid her face. They were symbolic