Isabella Blow Book Battle And Other Fashion Bios Worth The Buy

Isabella Blow Book Battle And Other Fashion Bios Worth The Buy
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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…

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A.L.T.: A Memoir by Andre Leon Talley
Andre Leon Talley has given the fashion world much to talk about, but we're expecting plenty more to come from the strong personality. Still, A.L.T. already chose to pen a book about his life, but his memoir focuses more on his childhood experiences growing up in the segregated South as well as the two major influences in his life: Diana Vreeland and his grandmother. (Available at

The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris by Alicia Drake
If the title isn't enough of a selling point, just think 448 pages of fashion, rivalry and '70s flashbacks to get you in the mood for spring's trend resurgence of one of our favorite decades past. (Available at

Chanel and Her World by Edmonde Charles-Roux
Perhaps the icon of all fashion icons, Coco Chanel's biography is a must-read for all fashion devotees. This particular one was reissued in 2005 with even more eye candy added after having been published more than two decades prior. The best part is the insight on Chanel's life that only a close friend and colleague could provide – in this case, Edmonde Charles-Roux who once served as editor-in-chief of French Vogue. (Available at

Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein and George Plimpton
Ever since our fave "It" girl Sienna Miller portrayed the fallen starlet, Edie Sedgwick, in the 2006 film, Factory Girl, we've been slightly obsessed with the Andy Warhol muse. Fall down the decadent rabbit hole with Edie in this vivid portrait straight out of the Sixties. (Available at

Christian Dior: The Biography by Marie-France Pochna
With an introduction by John Galliano, this biography depicts a particularly luxurious brand of Paris life that is synonymous with the iconic French designer. For someone who brought women so many important fashion moments (The New Look, ankle skirts), this one is a must read. (Available at

Yves Saint Laurent by Farid Chenoune
Take a YSL filled journey with this newly published biography, complete with images from all of the designer's past collections as well as anecdotes from some of his closest friends and colleagues. (Available at

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