The Planned auction of the late Isabella Blow’s fashion and photography archive in September will now not go ahead, it was announced last night. The reason? Daphne Guinness has arranged to snap up the lot!
The auction house Christie’s spokesperson added “The executors are delighted that their sister’s estate can now be settled and are very confident the collection has found the perfect home.”
With Daphne Guinness in the 90's
The collection itself would make someone either an unbelievable wardrobe OR a small museum. With over 50 Phillip Treacy hats, shoes by Manolo Blahnik, masses of couture, including 90 pieces of her protégé, Alexander McQueen’s work. Plus, examples of John Galliano’s early work, a number of Manolo Blahnik shoes, items by Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon and many others, it is a real document of a certain era in fashion.
with Jean Paul Gaultier, wearing a famous John Galliano mantle
Isabella’s speciality was identifying talent before whichever designer it was had ‘made it’ so not only are the pieces valuable for their labels, but rare or even unique. Daphne Guinness is also a big fan/client/muse to many of the same circle of designers, but the real reason she stepped in was "It’s Issy — it’s her DNA — it should not be scattered to the four winds. I want it to remain as a monument."
With Manolo Blahnik at a McQueen fashion show
After all the two are not the same size (and Isabella’s wardrobe was made to measure for her in the studios of the designers she mentored, rather than picked up at Selfridges or Harrods) AND, we know that Guinness already has a generous wardrobe, or rather storage warehouse, of her own. So much so, that she has held auctions of her rather fabulous fashion overspill in the past.
“The reaction to news of the Isabella Blow Collection has been a tribute to the dedication and style of a true fashion muse,” said Patricia Frost, Director, Vintage Fashion and Textiles, Christie’s. We absolutely agree. In fact, even though we weren’t quite sure we had the necessary means to go and bid at the auction (had it taken place) we have been doing a little pondering about the future of this unbelievable array of fashion wonders. We WOULD have earmarked The Phillip Treacy blue spiky hat, the McQueen 'Teerabul Songvitch’ silver plastic mirror shards dress (she was in there YEARS before Gaga) and the John Galliano poodle coat.
Seeing as we now have no chance of buying these, we wonder. . . Will Daphne give it back to McQueen’s company for their archives? (Blow had loads of rare early pieces including his entire graduate collection from his days at Central Saint Martins) Wear the bits and pieces giving them a new lease of life alongside her Gareth Pugh and Chanel couture? OR donate it to a museum? There’s the V&A as well as Zandra Rhodes’
- Naomi Attwood