Isabella Blow, ‘Fashion's Nutty Aunt,’ Is Dead

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Isabella Blow at the London launch of her limited-edition lipstick line, Blow, in 2005. Photo: Getty Images

Isabella Blow — editor, character, inspiration — died in London today, and the news came as a sad shock to the fashion community, particularly those who adore that world's more eccentric side. Blow, 48, was fashion's nutty aunt: always dressed perfectly in an outrageous hat, couture duds, painfully high stiletto heels; her lips were always fuchsia, scarlet, aubergine, and richly so. She worked formally in a variety of industry jobs, starting as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue and later serving as style editor of London's Sunday Times and fashion director of Tatler. She served less formally as muse to and champion of some of today's greatest talents: Alexander McQueen drew inspiration from Blow's extravagant, jolie laide persona, and Philip Treacy, London's top milliner, long designed with Blow in mind. Her personal life was famously rocky: She was painfully disinherited from her father's estate and was open about the difficulties she and her similarly stylish husband, Detmar, faced when trying to conceive. But, above all else, she loved fashion. She'll be missed for that, for her flair, her wit, her generosity of spirit, her style. —Harriet Mays Powell and Amy Larocca

Related: In Memory of Isabella Blow [Fashion Week Daily]