Isabella Blow was a woman who wore many hats both literally and metaphorically. In addition to being credited as discovering Alexander McQueen and serving as the designer’s friend and confidant, the late fashion icon once assisted Anna Wintour at Vogue before moving on to become a top fashion editor herself. But Issie as those close to her affectionately called her was plagued by depression throughout her life and eventually committed suicide in 2007. The glamorous and tragic chronicles of the fall of one of fashion’s greats are detailed in not one, but two new memoirs that both landed on bookstore shelves this week.
One, Blow By Blow is coauthored by Issie’s husband Detmar Blow and Tom Sykes, while the other Isabella Blow: A Life In Fashion is written by Lauren Goldstein Crowe who has no relation to the late fashionista (but the book is apparently being optioned for a movie). Both parties are duking it out in a book battle, and here’s the latest rebuttal from Tom Sykes after Crowe suggested her version had greater credibility based on the attendance at her book party:
“Isabella loathed her step mother and frequently referred to her (in her own inimitable style) as ‘a creature my father met on a bus in Hong Kong’ so I would not take her presence at a book’s launch party to be a particularly powerful endorsement of its integrity. I bumped into Lauren Goldstein Crowe at a party a few months go and she told me she was so sick of working on Isabella’s story that she was giving up writing to become a ‘consultant’! I have to say, judging from the only excerpt I have read, she’d be well advised to do so. It was an excerpt on Business of Fashion, about whether or not ‘fashion killed’ Issie and it was so childish I struggled to get past the opening paragraphs in which Ms Crowe went on about how she was the daughter of a psychologist. Does she seriously believe her parent’s job gives her some unique insight into other people’s minds?”
We’re thinking book sales might have to determine the winner of this one, and feel free to judge for yourself. But if the life and times of Issie Blow isn’t on your priority reading list, maybe these other fashion memoirs will appease your insider fashion fix. We know you’ll need a good book to bury your face in to get through the holidays, so check out our picks for must-read fashion memoirs in the slide show above and let us know if there’s any we missed!
*UPDATE: Lauren Goldstein Crowe recently responded to Tom Sykes’ snide remarks above with the following statement:
Lauren Goldstein Crowe: Can you please clarify that there was a clip attached to my email? Without it repeating my comments makes no sense. This was not an email meant for publication but merely a note I sent to a few journalist friends. In it I was simply referring to the fact that the Daily Mail was more interested in my relationship to Jude Law, who very sweetly attended my party, than to the importance of my other guests to Isabella’s life. [As told to Racked]
Sounds like the fire won’t be dying down anytime soon…