Friday, May 25, 2007

For Isabella

Ever since I heard about Isabella Blow's sad departure, I've been wondering if I should blog this, or if it would seem like I was cashing in or something. In any case, I'm not. I met Isabella in 2001 when I was living in New York and had just done a small Visionaire/ Dior Homme project for Hedi Slimane's Paris book. I guess it was a fashion moment or something, and at a party somebody introduced me to Isabella and we chatted and she started talking about the exhibition of her hats that she was preparing and she asked about my work and we exchanged contacts and party talk. Later on that week she called me up and asked "why don't you design my exhibition?". The show was going to be called "When Isabella met Phillip" and was her collection o Phillip Treacy hats or course. She was coming back to NY a month later so we agreed that I would show her a proposal. My idea was fairly simple: create a closed display box for the hats, a sort of containing a labyrinth of about 80cm high, clad with mirrors and lights on the inside, and display the hats in this interior mirrorspace. this box would be hanged from the ceiling at about eye level so people could enter it with their heads, walk around and look at the hats. From the outside it would look like the people visiting the show were all wearing a giant hat. Isabella was impressed, found it "very modern" and thought it fabulous. Promptly she sent it to Phillip Treacy and the Design Museums's then director Alice Rawsthorn, but from then on things went kind of wrong. Mr Treacy found the project too futuristic or something, and Mrs Rawsthorn sent me an email which for some reason I received a year later(it arrived on a old laptop that my assistant checked mail on, boring story). The project was never realized, Isabella was always enthusiastic and was generous introducing me to people as she always did with everybody, always promoting fresh ideas, and always on the lookout for new. I never included this small project on the website because I always thought that one day she would get a chance for another show and we could use it. I guess it too late, and when I look at the quick sketches I did for the project it looks less like an audience wearing a giant hat and more like a funeral procession...

1 comment:

sandman_gr said...

Isabella was amazing...and so is the photo you posted of her.
Your proposal for her seems very interesting to say the least.