Blackwell, whose real name is Richard Sylvan Seltzer, is best known for his annual bestand worst-dressed lists but he also worked as an actor, Hollywood agent and costume designer.
His longtime companion and business partner, Robert Spencer, told The Star-Ledger newspaper of Newark, N.J., Thursday that the fashion maven was hospitalized and had been unconscious since Tuesday.
But a representative for Blackwell, 86, later told "Entertainment Tonight" that Blackwell's condition appears to be improving.
"He appears to be cognizant of his surroundings and although groggy, he did acknowledge Spencer's presence. Tomorrow the doctor will decide whether or not they can take Mr. B. off assisted breathing," the publicist told "ET."
The entertainment news program said Blackwell is believed to be suffering from septic shock, which doctors are treating with antibiotics.