Inspired by the deep but troubled friendship of superstar designer Alexander McQueen and fashion icon Isabella Blow, singer-songwriter Mary Lyn Maiscott has written and recorded a tender, transporting rock ballad called “Alexander/Isabella.” Released as a digital single, the song will appear on an EP, Stories, coming out later this year. Vanity Fair has linked to the song in a slide show called “Designed for Destruction” on its Web site and has called the ballad “hauntingly beautiful” on Twitter.
Mary Lyn wrote the song after reading about McQueen and Blow—whose lives both ended in suicide—and seeing David LaChapelle’s surreal 1997 Vanity Fair portrait of them. At the 2011 Metropolitan Museum exhibition of McQueen’s work, “Savage Beauty,” she took copious notes on his astounding, often outrageous designs. “Obviously,” Mary Lyn says, “a song is not a biography, but in a way I was trying to distill the essence of these two scintillating but tortured people.”
Inspired by Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow
“Hauntingly beautiful,” says Vanity Fair
Nick Miller produced the song at Mercy Sound Studios in NYC, playing all the instruments except the violin—played by Joan Chew, of the band Instrument Thieves. Nick previously produced Mary Lyn’s song “Time,” on her EP Crucified, which was also a Vanity Fair Twitter pick.
A longtime New Yorker, Mary Lyn has appeared at clubs ranging from CBGB’s and Folk City to the National Underground and Ella Lounge, as well as on the popular Internet TV show Rew & Who? Her songs have been played by radio DJ’s in the U.S., Mexico, and France. The host of Ohio’s The Louie B. Free Show has called her song “Blue Lights,” from her CD of the same name, “an instant Christmas classic.”
Mary Lyn is also a journalist whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, The Village Voice, StarPolish.com, and other publications and Web sites. She has interviewed such prominent musicians as Debbie Harry, Linda Ronstadt, and Rickie Lee Jones.
She is married to author Robert Rosen, who wrote Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon.