Tatler's Blow leads from the front in Naples

Tatler fashion director Isabella Blow has gone beyond the call of duty by taking part in a topless fashion shoot for the next issue of the magazine.

Entitled “See nipples and die”, the shoot took place over a five-day stay in Naples, led by photographer Robert Astley-Sparke.

Blow decided to pave the way after Tatler’s Italian fashion contributing editor, Michele Gervasuti, suggested the “nipples” idea.

Blow said: “Naples rhymes with nipples, and nipples, I notice, have been out in other magazines but not Tatler. So that was the concept for the shoot – a nipple had to be out in each shot.”

Blow had five weeks to prepare herself for the shoot and said she had no qualms about going topless. “I had to, you know. As my uncle had to lead the troops at Dunkirk, I had to lead the girls into it, otherwise they wouldn’t have done it. Jessica [Andrews], who was working for me said, ‘No, please, no’ and I said, ‘If you don’t, you’ll lose your job’. If you notice, every single shot has got a nipple – apart from my cousin Daisy Fraser, whose isn’t out because her mother would have killed me.”

Condé Nast chairman Nicholas Coleridge is believed to have sent Tatler a note of support saying he was “mad about it”. The team were given the option of doing the shoot on the Amalfi coast or in the same place as photographer Mario Testino had done his campaign, but the streets of Naples were chosen.

Blow added: “Naples is very, very sexy and I just thought, ‘fuck it, let’s go on the streets’, because that’s where it all happens. We wanted the rawness.

Naples is what London should be or must have been like before the Second World War – lots of narrow streets and the boys are beautiful.”

By Ruth Addicott

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