THERE SHE BLOWS: A selection of looks from the late Isabella Blow’s wardrobe will go on display in a new exhibition, “Fashion Blows,” that will take place in The Room at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto starting Oct. 23. The show is a capsule of the successful “Fashion Galore!” exhibition at Somerset House in London, which wrapped up earlier this year.
The first international show of Blow’s wardrobe has been organized by the Isabella Blow Foundation, which aims to help aspiring art and fashion students and support mental health charities, and Hudson’s Bay. A fundraising dinner will be held on the evening of Oct. 22, hosted by Daphne Guinness and Liz Rodbell, president, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor.
The organizers have established a Toronto-based committee for the event to be chaired by Suzanne Rogers, and funds raised will sponsor a Canadian fashion student to join the MA program at Central Saint Martins in London. Money from the event will also support the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s leading hospital for mental health, based in Toronto.
“To stage this first international fundraising event and exhibition at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, an environment where fashion is celebrated every day, is a privilege,” said Rodbell.
The show will feature 53 looks from designers including Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan. It will run for 16 days, and admission is free of charge.
Guinness, one of Blow’s oldest friends and the owner of the archive, is honorary co-chair of “Fashion Blows.”
She told WWD that people have increasingly come to understand the woman that Blow was after they have seen her wardrobe on display.
“They now realize how clever she was. I would prefer to have her around, and I think about her every day — but at least [the exhibitions] are something,” said Guinness. Referring to the fundraising, she added: “I hope we’re doing what she would have wanted.”
Guinness said, ideally, the show would travel to places that would not normally get to have a fashion exhibition. She said it will likely travel to the west coast of the United States at some point.