INTERVIEW WITH DETMAR BLOW, AUTHOR OF "BLOW BY BLOW"

By Harriet Verney

If Little Lord Fauntleroy had grown up, acquired a somewhat dandy-ish wardrobe (pink punk suits and whatnot), a lawyer's degree and a penchant for modern art … well that would be Detmar Blow.

Meeting Blow it makes one want to move all ones china out of arm's reach --his hand gestures are almost as wild as his pedigree: half-Sri Lankan, half-painstakingly English and husband of the exotic fruit that was Isabella Blow, about whom he co-wrote a best-selling biography titled “Blow by Blow”.

Detmar has the sniff of aristocracy mixed with a whiff of the contemporary. He grew up in the delightfully dysfunctional Hilles house; an arts and crafts house he shared with a barefoot brother who sort of resembles Heathcliff , an eccentric sister who practically owns the velvet overcoat look, a couple of greyhounds and a pug “Alfie Blow”, a quite nice and very large William Morris carpet (to which the greyhounds took a strong disliking), and now his son and 6-year-old stand up comedian Sasha. He wears his favourite outfit, an “Indian monkey coat” on all special occasions -his wedding, his wife's funeral, his best friend's party and Christmas day- and has broken the frail 20th Century speakers several times blaring out Bryan Ferry and Princess Superstar's "Bad Babysitter" (“my favourite song, she should have made the big time”).

He’s a live wire, a high flyer, a fire starter and a party crasher. The best party, he says, is when he’s by himself. The worst are filled with bankers and other similar bores.

 

Cocktail Confessions

A fictional character you'd like to have dinner with?
Scarlet O' Hara

The cocktail that best personifies you?
Dirty Vodka Martini

The artist who arouses, inspires, and tingles you?
Jeff Koons

The song that takes you back?
Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix

The book on your bedside table right now?
"The Deserters" by Charles Glass

A Favorite or familiar smell?
Avignon by Comme des Garçons

 

Harriet Verney is a journalist/writer based in London. Photo by Rebecca Thomas.