Monday, August 3, 2009

Isabella Blow: Distrust the Biography

People say, how are you? And you say, ' Fabulous.' But not Isabella. She'd say- ' Suicidal'

“I want to die,” she would tell her friends, in what seemed, perhaps, like more elaborate hyperbole. How could she, they wondered, as they stood amid the splendid world she’d created for herself, full of beauty and friendship with the witty and the famous, most of whom, quite literally, worshipped at her fee

How could she? How could they- how do we end up with large pools of people
lying to themselves so often and so vehemently they forget
what it is to be alive? That they do not know
neither money
nor beauty
nor friendships based on parties
can give us meaning

Her friends were concerned, but they were also growing tired of her macabre side... ” As one put it, “Someone finally said, ‘Look, Issie, if you really mean to kill yourself, there’s a pool out back, go drown!’”

These. Are. Not. Friends.
This was a woman deeply, deeply alone.
She came from here:

When Blow was 4 years old, her younger brother drowned in a half-full swimming pool while, as she later recalled, her mother was upstairs putting on lipstick and her father mixing some drinks....Blow’s parents never recovered from the tragedy, and her mother eventually left when Blow was 14. “It was literally a handshake and then she was off,” says Detmar. “The stepmother came with three daughters and sort of said to Issie, ‘Okay, then. You’re out.’”

and ended up with this man:

“She said, ‘Samo,’ which is ‘same old shit,’ which is all that Basquiat ever said,” Detmar ( her husband) says. “It’s not the most original thing for her to have said, but that’s what she said. Samo. ( he comments on her ORIGINALITY )I finally said, ‘Okay, I’ll move out,’ and I rented a flat in Shoreditch, which is very fashionable.” He also had some affairs, most famously with Stephanie Theobald, a supposedly lesbian writer.

“I had a lot of loneliness,” he says, defending himself. “Issie was always working. I had to schedule time with her, so I always had these platonic crushes. Because I was married to Issie, I got much prettier dates than I ever could have on my own.” (!!!!)

Blow, for her part, retaliated with the gondolier and his bulging white pants, but in the end, she told her friends that he stole a lot of her money and wasn’t good for much else.

Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow
, is co-written by Isabella's husband of 18 years, Detmar Blow ( would you like your cheating ex-husband to write your autobiography? ) due 2010

She could not have the babies she wanted. She thought of herself as hideously ugly. She was
abandoned by her father, cast out of her own home. She was cheated on and lied to and clinically depressed. She jumped off a bridge and shattered many bones in her long body. What is the real story of Isabella Blow? And how will we know if her husband tells us her life?

What is the real story of Isabella Blow?

* all quotes from NYT
June Paski said...

i love the photos, she always wearing awesome hat!

Katy said...

Her photo's are beautifully stunning - I think if I had a cheating ex that wrote my story - I would come back and haunt him so badly! What a mind blowing woman.

Lydia said...

You've introduced me to someone new to me. She's striking. The ex sounds like such a jerk, but maybe he'll do justice to her in the work. We can hope.

magnoliaamber said...

Hi Maggie, many thanks for your recent comment. I really do not expect that fortune cookie wondering to be commented by the blogger-writer I have been following!

By the way, even Blow's name sounds like a tragedy to tragic.
I need to read twice to make sure that what i read is not a fictive character.

Her image reminds me of Cruella de Ville in 101 Dalmatian, though. Beautiful in cruel way somehow..

Anonymous said...

I always learn so much from you- fascinating life but tragically untreated BiPolar illness it seems.

erin said...

I'll probably read it anyways, just to make fun to the ex husband. He is probably trite and falsely sympathetic.

All This Trouble... said...

Yeah, that's just what I'd want. Seems she's still being shortchanged, doesn't it? Maybe Detmar, Ryan O'neal and Joe Jackson should start paling around together.

I'm just sayin'

Ms. Moon said...

There are so many layers to this woman's story. One of them is creating beauty out of madness and horrible sadness, I would say.

bella rum said...

Nothing quite like those cheating ex-husbands. A lovely lot.

bella rum said...

Maggie May, I've been having difficulty posting a comment using my new blog at wordpress -

When I used my old blog at blogger, it finally worked, but I no longer blog there. Just wanted you to know. You don't have to post this.


Shana said...

Did you get an advance copy of the book? The whole story is so fascinating and tragic and there-but-by-the-grace-of-god-ish.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I have always been fascinated by her. I hadn't heard about the book.

Kate Hanke said...

I'll have to check out that book!

Julia Rizzolo Blackman, said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adrienne said...

i have always been fascinated by ms blow. incredibly iconic in her style and showmanship; and now, i suppose, as a real person who suffers under the weight of life's very real, and often ignored pain.

thanks for sharing this maggie may.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Oooh, I feel so culturally advanced, and it's only 11:30 AM. Thanks for that. This sounds like a book I'd like to read. Fortunately for me, Mr. Bee finds writing a grocery list burdensome, but oh, he's not gonna be happy when my book gets published (and written).

Anonymous said...

I do love her - I always think it's so incredible that despite all of this, she still fought to make those with talent evident to the world. She was a pretty amazing woman. xo

joliedove said...

WOW this is soo good - i didnt think it would be too long before they made a film about Blow! But as you say, from her ex?

I loved Isabella Blow, such a tragically secret life - amazing blog!!

Anonymous said...

I love her cameo in "The Life Aquatic".

Heidi said...

isabella has always been fascinating to me. i was truly sad when she died and still feel sad when i read about her or see pictures of her. you can see the depth of her sadness in her eyes in every picture of her. Stories like hers make me want to hold my children in my arms forever and never let them go.Hx

bluntdelivery said...

hey! thanks for stopping by my blog. i'm glad i came over here... i love photography and quotes... all that good stuff! i'll be back =)

molly said...

i would NOT like my cheating ex-husband to write my life story--he absolutely would get it wrong. what a blow!

Lola said...

Those photos!!!!! Very interesting post, Maggie. Now, I might read the book to see what the dick has to say.

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