HiddenLight preps Isabella Blow drama and doc

DB Blow by Blow UK

From Broadcast

HiddenLight Productions is prepping documentary and drama projects about the late fashion icon Isabella Blow, Broadcast can reveal.

The Gutsy and In Her Hands producer has optioned Blow By Blow: The Story Of Isabella Blow, a 2010 biography of editor and fashion muse co-written by her husband Detmar Blow.

It is also working on “parallel-track” scripted and unscripted series.

Blow By Blow recounts the life of Blow who, besides serving as fashion director of The Sunday Times’ Style magazine and Tatler, left an indelible mark on British fashion by discovering models Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant. She also discovered iconic designer Alexander McQueen and star milliner Philip Treacy and Treacy’s muse, propelling his hat creations into the public sphere.

Blow was affected by severe depression during her life and died by suicide in 2007 aged 48, shocking the international fashion world.

Written by Detmar Blow, who was married to Blow from 1988 until her death, Blow By Blow gives insight into her life, providing behind-the-scenes detail of her place in the world of fashion and high-society, tracing her ancestry and early childhood and her later domestic life and celebrating her achievements.

Chief executive Johnny Webb told Broadcast that HiddenLight, which is gradually building out its scripted department after establishing itself as a factual-driven indie, immediately saw the potential for a drama as well as a documentary.

“This is the first time that both teams have been wildly excited about the scripted and unscripted version of the story,” Webb said. “It’s not unscripted-led, it’s not scripted-led: we can see the series for both. Blow had an incredible 30 years in couture, it’s a story of mental illness, high fashion, it’s really fascinating. You can see the feature doc, you can see the scripted series. It’s a real milestone for us.”

Roma Khanna, HiddenLight’s executive chairman, said stories where the team can “work together from inception” on scripted and unscripted are what the producer is seeking more of.

“From a research point of view, from an archival footage point of view [this is ideal],” she said. “It’s not going to be easy, but we’re excited to try. That’s a natural extension on the scripted side that you’ll see more of.”