Daphne Guinness Explains Why She Ended Isabella Blow’s Wardrobe Auction

Daphne Guinness shocked fashion fans last month by stopping the sale of the collection from the late, iconic fashion editor Isabella Blow’s wardrobe that was to be sold by the auction house Christie’s. Guinness bought every piece herself to prevent the auction from even beginning. The newly announced muse for and face of Nars Cosmetics’ fall campaign finally released a statement explaining her actions, how she came about her decision to stop Christie’s and what she plans to do with her recently acquired fashion fortune. {Vogue UK}

The late Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow in a photo by David LaChapelle

“The planned sale at Christie’s could only result in carnage, as souvenir seekers plundered the incredible body of work Issie had created over her life,” the statement said. “Indeed, in many ways, the auction would not be merely a sale of clothes; it would be a sale of what was left of Issie, and the carrion crows would gather and take away her essence forever.”

Guinness’ interpretation of Blow’s wardrobe as a symbol of the life of the woman she affectionately called “Issie” seems fair given the famous editor’s devotion to fashion and impressive collection. Guinness said she consulted Blow’s family, including hat designer Philip Treacy – for whom Blow served as a muse, Lady Amanda Harlech and David LaChapelle before committing to purchase the entire collection, and she said they supported her decision. She also said she plans to preserve the collection the way she believes Blow would have wanted it to be kept. {LookBooks}

“I would like this unique collection, marked by her grace and the fact it was so intimately hers, to allow people (whether students, lovers of fashion, historians) to remember her and benefit from her legacy, when we who knew and loved Issie are no longer here,” Guinness said. “In this way all of Issie’s friends, known or unknown, near or far, both those she chose and those who identify with her, will have access to something that no one should be afraid to call by its proper name: Isabella Blow’s Work of Art.”

Based on this statement, we hope to eventually see Blow’s collection displayed for the public in a museum – perhaps at the V&A Museum in London where Grace Kelly’s wardrobe was recently shown. Christie’s did not do anything wrong by intending to auction Blow’s clothing, but we are pleased to know there may be the opportunity to view the collection in its entirety at some point, thus offering a glimpse into Blow’s life as well as the beauty of the pieces she accumulated.

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