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Fashion stylist and icon Isabella Blow dies at 48

Stylist and fashion guru Isabella Blow, a vibrant and often outrageous presence on the British fashion scene, has died, her husband said. She was 48.

Detmar Blow said she died in the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in western England. News reports said she had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Renowned for her blood-red lipstick and larger-than-life hats - one memorably resembled a jewel-encrusted lobster - Blow was credited with discovering designer Alexander McQueen and milliner Philip Treacey and helped launch the careers of models including Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl.

Most recently, Blow was an editor-at-large for Tatler magazine.

"She was in the office just last week, bursting with ideas. They sounded impossible, but you always knew with Isabella it would work and be marvelous," Tatler editor Geordie Greig told The Daily Telegraph.

"She was bored by cliches. She didn't do ordinary or dull."

Born Isabella Delves Broughton in London in 1958, Blow moved to New York in the late 1970s to study ancient Chinese art at Columbia University. In 1981 she met Anna Wintour, then fashion director of U.S. Vogue, and was hired as her assistant.

"I don't think she ever did my expenses, but she made life much more interesting," Wintour told The Times newspaper on Monday.

Blow later returned to London, where she worked for Tatler, the Sunday Times and British Vogue.

A 2002 exhibition and accompanying book, "When Philip Met Isabella," featured Blow in an array of Treacey headgear.

Blow married her husband, an art dealer, in 1989.

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