Philip Treacy: “There Will Be People at that Exhibition Who Laughed at Her When She Was Alive”

Isabella Blow’s exhibition at Somerset House, Fashion Galore, is set to be a small blockbuster, but there’s at least one person who has reservations.


“It’s all very well them feting her now and going on about how wonderful and brilliant she was,” milliner Philip Treacy told the Telegraph. “There will be people at that exhibition who laughed at her when she was alive. They’re hypocrites and they make my blood boil!…They mocked her. It was cruel.”

While he’s ultimately in favor of the show and thinks the fabled muse and stylist would have been thrilled, he describes a less celebratory situation before her suicide in 2007. “For all her flamboyance and humour and warmth, Isabella actually suffered from low self-esteem. Very few people got to see that…Before she died, she told me that she felt as if she had been somehow left behind in the fashion world. It wasn’t true. But she was never feted while she was alive. She gave so much and worked so hard. She supported the careers of many young people who didn’t stand a chance without her, yet she never won a single award.”

He goes on to say, “I will make a hat for anyone. The people you think are terrifying, like Grace Jones, aren’t. And David Beckham is lovely and [Lady] Gaga is…Gaga. But she’s not Isabella. She didn’t go around in a blacked-out limo with six bodyguards; Isabella went on the bus wearing hats she could barely fit through the door!”

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