The Isabella Blow book war just won’t quit. And the authors of the competing biographies–Tom Sykes, who cowrote Blow by Blow with Isabella’s widower Detmar, and Lauren Goldstein Crowe who wrote Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion–continue to use the fashion blogosphere to duke it out.
Crowe has spoken out again, though this time, instead of responding to Syke’s latest outrage, she’s taking issue with one of the sites covering the saga, lady blog Jezebel.
Seems Crowe didn’t like Jenna Sauers’ implication, as she recapped the back-and-forth on Jezebel, that the authors were simply drumming up publicity at Isabella Blow’s expense. “Far be it from us mere bloggers to act like some kind of voice of morality here, but a talented and troubled woman died and all these people can think about is their petty little publicity-chasing book-selling feud?” Sauers wrote.
So Crowe sent a response to us and Racked, titled, “A Letter to Jezebel.” Here it is, in full:
How strange of you to recall, step-by-step, the grisly tale between myself and Tom Sykes (“Competing Isabella Blow Biographers Attack Each Other,” November, 11, 2010) but when it comes to my completely coherent clarification to decide to “act like some voice of morality” and point out that “a trouble woman died,” and accuse us both of pandering for publicity’s sake. In fact the moral move, journalistically speaking, would have been to mention that my comment about my party, (“Detmar’s sister and cousin were there as were both Isabella’s sisters and her step-mother and a variety of cousins. Also Philip Treacy and Lucy Ferry who didn’t attend Detmar’s launch. But hey, that’s the world we live in,”) was intended only for a few friends and made little sense without the accompanying clip on the party from the Daily Mail, which was primarily about my relationship with Jude Law. (Below).
I spent well over a year writing a book about this “troubled woman,” one which I am proud to say that many of the people closest to her — including those who came to my party — found a moving, fitting and entertaining tribute, but see no reason that her tragic death should stop me from correcting the item that ran on Racked, or indeed on Jezebel.
My email never attacked Detmar or Tom, merely pointed out some facts that might help journalist friends in selecting photos, should they decide to cover the event. I have never said that my book is better than Detmar’s, only that it is different — as is evidenced by their very titles. For the people who want to read about her marriage to Detmar and the complicated relationship they both had with their families, then Blow by Blow is the book for you. If, however, one is more interested in the behind-the-scene stories of her, well, of her life in fashion and why she became the creative visionary she was, then my book, Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion, will probably be more satisfying. In actuality this is thanks to extensive interviews with many people who couldn’t attend my party — namely designers like Julien MacDonald and Jeremy Scott with whom she was close, photographers with whom she travelled and worked for long periods of time, like David LaChapelle and Donald MacPherson and many talented others including Katie Grand, Nadja Swarovski and Daphne Guinness.
Many thanks for your kind attention.
Lauren Goldstein Crowe