Daphne Guinness is a rather enviable woman; the regal 44-year-old comes from serious money, has her own MAC cosmetics line and is one of the biggest stars of the fashion world. A figure synonymous with daring haute couture, Guinness even played muse to Alexander McQueen before his death. Her unique style and vast interests make Daphne one of my ultimate girl crushes.
Let me first note that Guinness had an entire museum exhibition of her wardrobe. Not her designs: her closet. Daphne’s unique sense of style caught the eye of the Fashion Institute of Technology, who created the exhibition. The show featured pieces from Chanel (Lagerfeld is another designer supposedly inspired by her), Valentino, Alexander McQueen (naturally) and more. One article describes the show thusly:
Woke up thinking about Proust & [Guinness] again, realizing that Proust writes from the intersection of modernity and memory, and that is the same spot at which Daphne Guinness gets dressed each day. A constant lively juxtaposition of everything in life, served up on the surface of a tiny blonde. [via NPR]
YEAH, Proust and stuff. Deep stuff. You go, Daphne.
Most items in the exhibit were trend-defying and wonderfully strange: not quite what one would expect from a woman who holds the title of “her honorable”. The fact that Guinness defies societal fashion conventions sometimes inspires me to go a bit off-the-track with my own style choices. Though I don’t think I could ever be so brave as to change for a gala in a Barney’s window (OK, I would if I got to keep that dress).
Guinness, who married at 19 and has three children, is a rather wise soul, despite her eccentric look. She was recently quoted in a Harpers Bazaar article as saying, “I treat clothing or a piece of jewelry like it was a piece of art, even though people who collect clothes get a bad rap because they’re told it’s all vanity.” This reverence for the art of fashion is why I collect vintage clothing, and also why I immensely respect Guinness and her status as curator of an oft-snubbed craft.
But to simply label Guinness as a fashion lover would do her a great disservice. She’s crated a fragrance with Comme des Garçons, inspired a NARS cosmetics line, made short films, produced short films, modeled for and collaborated with David LaChapelle, walked for Naomi Campbell, studied Shakespeare and also studied opera (which she can sing as well). Basically, Daphne is everything I would be if I could afford it. But since I can’t, I am perfectly content to live vicariously through her endeavors, and I can only hope that in 20 years I’m half as interesting as she is.