Iconic McQueen dress up for auction

If only we had a spare £25k

He was the enfant terrible of the fashion word, and she was the stylist and editor who discovered and championed him. Together, they formed one of the most formidable – and ultimately tragic – partnerships in the industry.

And now, a little piece of design history is up for grabs – a dress that Alexander McQueen created especially for Isabella Blow is up for auction. The heavily beaded cocktail dress is one of the most historically important McQueen made, and the design is a variation taken from his Eshu collection of autumn/winter 2000.

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The gown – which is expected to fetch between £25,000 and £35,000 – was inspired by the ancient Yoruba people of Benin and Nigera, and combines tribal-inspired beadwork and a horse-hair fringe at the hem.

Blow insisted that McQueen made the dress strapless for her but, due to the weight of the beading, it made it impossible for her to wear, so she gave it to her assistant (lucky assistant).

Blow famously discovered McQueen at his Central St Martin’s graduate show, buying his entire collection for £5,000, and the pair forged a lifelong friendship that lasted until Blow’s untimely death in 2007.

The Passion For Fashion auction - which will also feature selected pieces from Diana Vreeland's archive and a signed David Bowie jacket - takes place on 25 June at 2pm, 249-253 Long Lane, London SE1 4PR. For more information, go to kerrytaylorauctions.com.

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