BoF Exclusive | Did Fashion Kill Isabella Blow? (Part II)

Isabella Blow | Source: The New York Observer

In Part 1 of this exclusive excerpt from the afterword of Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion, Lauren Goldstein Crowe examined the widespread allegations that fashion was to blame for the tragic suicide of Isabella Blow. Today, in part 2, she looks at whether these allegations actually point to the fact that the fashion industry suffers from an image problem. LONDON, United Kingdom — Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen toiled in an

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BoF Exclusive | Did Fashion Kill Isabella Blow? (Part I)

Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow | Photo: David LaChapelle

The brilliantly eccentric, beautiful and iconic Isabella Blow lived fashion like no other. In the wake of her tragic suicide in 2007, she has inspired a film, a play and two books, including Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion, a biography by friend of BoF Lauren Goldstein Crowe that’s to be released early next week. Today, in the first of a two part series, we bring you an exclusive excerpt from the book’s Afterword in which Ms.

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Friday Column | Japanese Luxury Fatigue

Prada flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo

LONDON, United Kingdom — The scariest news I have recently read about luxury was in Tuesday’s Financial Times. The Japanese, it seems, have stopped buying luxury goods. Luxury imports in Japan were down 10 percent and sales of LVMH in the country were down 18 percent in the first quarter. And no, it’s not just the recession. “This is not a blip. This is a long-term shift in the market,” Brian Salsberg, the

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Friday Column | Noelle Reno to partner with Zandra Rhodes

Zandra Rhodes for Marks & Spencer

LONDON, United Kingdom — She may have given up the boyfriend and lost the company, but Noelle Reno, the founder of Degrees of Freedom with ex-boyfriend Matthew Mellon, has retained her love of working in fashion. After a year hiatus in the wake of the separation (during which she filed suit against Mellon in Manhattan Superior Court), she’s back in London and hard at work on her next fashion project—trying to grow Zandra

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Friday Column | Shockvertising

Tom Ford ad

LONDON, United Kingdom — Here’s a depressing sign of things to come. According to Luxury Briefing, Trendhunter has deemed “Shockvertising” a key trend for 2009. What’s Shockvertising? Advertising that borders on porn. Yes, you can blame the credit crunch. If consumers won’t be lured be grace and beauty, well let’s give them smut and see if that works. And it could work. Just look at the success

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Friday Column | Credit Crunch Fashion

PARIS, France — Sitting through the Paris collections, I was struck by how unappealing much of it seemed. I find that the editors who attend shows season after season get caught up in analysing a brand in terms of its recent history. Has it moved on, they ask? Where is it going? The ultimate compliment they pay is: “I’d wear that.” Now that I’m slightly removed from the day-to-day of it all, I tend to sit

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Friday Column | A Tale of Three Revivals

The Last Balmain, courtesy of Style.com

PARIS, France — I’m in Paris for the collections, after sitting last season out. It’s funny the way everything looks different when you’re actually here. Take Balmain, for instance. I assumed, from what I read in the press after last season’s showing by designer Christophe Decarnin, that it was the collection du jour; the one that everyone adored, adored, adored. It turns out that well, this is not really

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Friday Column | Failure to re-launch?

Matteo Marzotto, courtesy of The Sartorialist

LONDON, United Kingdom — The recent news that Matteo Marzotto and Gianni Castiglioni have bought the Vionnet brand reminded me of the old saying about second marriages: a triumph of hope over experience. Arnaud de Lummen has already had a hand at reviving Vionnet, the classic couture brand, over the past few years, but has now moved on to other projects. (You can read all about it in BoF’s exclusive interview with de Lummen.)

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Friday Column | Business vs. Fashion?

LONDON, United Kingdom — I just finished reading the interview with Jane Rapley, the Head of College at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in this month’s Luxury Briefing, and I couldn’t help but think that for a school that prides itself on being progressive, she sounded behind-the-times when it comes to the way the industry works and what her students need to thrive in it. Take for instance her answer to the

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Friday Column | Russians, Recession and Really, Really Expensive Jeans

Balmain jeans | Source: Courtesy Rex Features

LONDON, United Kingdom — If one wanted an indication that nothing is ever going to be the way it was in luxury, this was the week to watch. Forget about Karl Lagerfeld’s paper accessories at the Chanel haute couture show (a gimmick if there ever were one.) Consider instead the dichotomy of two of the most interesting items in this week’s fashion news. First, that Tom Ford is bringing out jeans with a $990 price tag in the midst of

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Friday Column | The Colour of Fashion

Michelle Obama in Isabel Toledo, courtesy JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

LONDON, United Kingdom — It was almost old times in fashion this week. First, even better than the Oscars, came the inauguration outfits. Vogue.co.uk even put up a slide show of what people were wearing on the big night. I can’t remember that happening when George Bush was elected, and then subsequently re-elected. Michelle Obama made some inspired choices. Isabel Toledo, who made the green beaded dress and coat the new first lady

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Friday Column | Barbie to the Rescue!

LONDON, United Kingdom — I was surprised to see that a number of big-name sponsors have signed on recently to support the upcoming round of fashion shows. In London, Henry Holland’s show will be sponsored by Sebastian, makers of hair care products. And Barbie is making an appearance in both New York and London — thanks to the fact that it is her 50th birthday. Mattel, makers of Barbie, have signed a three-year partnership

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Friday Column | Westfield London – Build It And They Will Come

LONDON, United Kingdom – I didn’t want to like the new $2.7 billion Westfield mall in London. I really didn’t. For one thing, I’m American. I’ve done my fair share of time in malls. For another, this mall happens to be pretty much in my backyard in London’s Shepherd’s Bush and I had been indoctrinated for months before the opening that it would be a tragedy for local residents. And then there’s the name. The Australian

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