Before there was Gaga, there was Isabella Blow


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Isabella Blow interviewed with red hat

Truly inspired flashes of creativity only strike once in a while, that’s why they inspire us so much.  A little credit where credit is due would be a lovely gesture from pop’s latest queen, Lady Gaga, as she clearly found her forward footsteps from the outrageously divine Isabella Blow.

Isabella Blow interviewed with red hat

The Patron Saint of Fearless Fashion

Casting off the iron cuffs of fashion’s traditional roots, flamboyant trend-spotter Isabella Blow became synonymous with all that is extravagant and surreal in our otherwise neutral-hued reality.  Besides her natural gift for predicting future fashion trends, Blow’s passionate dedication to haute couture led her to befriend several up-and-coming designers, notably Philip Treacy, milliner to the avant-garde set and the late, great Alexander McQueen.

Isabella Blow style

It All Started with a Hat

As she embarked on her second marriage, Blow stumbled upon a burgeoning hat maker by name of Philip Treacy whom she quickly employed to fashion her wedding headdress.  Always the keen eye for obscure talent, she set Treacy up in her flat to begin his first collection, which she promptly wore all around London.   This began their legendary partnership and his flourishing career.

Isabella Blow in Philip Treacy hats

Discoverer becomes Muse

Lover of all things opulent, Blow wore her bizarre taste splendidly.  With a dignified elegance, she was a natural for other-worldly garb.  It wasn’t long before she found the freshly graduated alum of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and quickly snapped up his entire graduate collection.  Soon becoming his effervescent creative spark, she encouraged him to use his middle name when starting up his own fashion line and thus Alexander McQueen debuted.

Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow by David LaChapelle

The Spirit Lives On

Though she suffered from depression for years and ultimately took her own life in 2007, her iconic style and its influence still resonates strongly in the fashion industry.  With the emergence of Lady Gaga on the world scene in 2008, Isabella Blow’s incomparable style has been channeled once again.  Though Blow bravely charted the path Gaga now walks, the singer has yet to publicly credit the aesthetic innovator.  However, fashion is also just fashion and those who know of Isabella Blow are very aware of the impact her visionary appeal had.

Isabella Blow and Lady Gaga lobstersIsabella Blow and Lady Gaga lace

Translation into English

Isabella Blow is perfect to draw real-life inspiration from.  She was not so over-saturated in pop culture that she becomes a bore to discuss.  In fact, although she was among the top influencers in the highly stylized world of couture, she was not necessarily a household name to the average fashion follower.   Discover your inner Isabella for any occasion from a stand-out headpiece at a wedding to a bold pattern mash-up while out for coffee; it’s carrying the right attitude that makes it happen.  Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “What would Blow do?”

Isabella Blow with "Blow" hat

2 thoughts on “Before there was Gaga, there was Isabella Blow”

  1. Her designs are amazing i really like the blow hat but i have seen the SHOWstudio interview with lady Gaga where she does say that Isabella Blow is one of her inspirations

    • Hey Rachel, thanks for mentioning the SHOWstudio interview. From the places I checked out I hadn’t heard a peep about Ms. Blow, so it’s nice to know there is documentation of Gaga’s influences.


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