Sunday, December 18, 2011

Daphne Guinness

I must admit I have never been that "in" to Daphne Guinness. She's always been on my peripheral vision here in New York - tottering around on heel-less shoes at the same art exhibition as me,  dining at the same restaurant, getting ready for the Met gala in the window of Barney's - but I have never actively followed her exploits or had a fashion crush on her. I always dismissed her as some poor lost spoilt english heiress who was undernourished and overwrought and had nothing to do except try and look eccentric.

But recently, all that has changed. There's a "Daphne Air" at the moment. She has pervaded my space but in a good way.  It started with a fantastic article on her in the New Yorker, followed by a trip to the Fashion Institute Museum's exhibition of her wardrobe.  And after watching various videos about her, I actually think she is quite a fantastically (still) eccentric, interesting,  humorous-as-only-the-Brits-can-be and rare creature.  For those who are not intimately acquainted with her, here are some 101's:
  • Heir to the Guinness beer fortune
  • Granddaughter of Diana Mosley, one of the Mitford sisters
  • had 3 kids with her first husband (how they emerged from her teeny pelvis belies belief)
  • Was besties with Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow
  • Bought all of Blow's clothing after she died to save them from going to auction and being plundered by "souvenir-seekers"
  • Has a fantastically interesting wardrobe collecting vintage Chanel, McQueen, Alaia, Givenchy and Valentino as well as a jewelry collection to die for
  • Wears a badger stripe through her hair and gets away with it
  • Involved with Bernard Henri-Levi the French philosopher who remains married to a chanteuse
  • Famous for wearing staggeringly high platform shoes without heels and not falling over
  • Prefers to think of herself as a "bee, flitting from one designer to the next" rather than a muse
  • Has done collaborations with MAC, Barneys and Comme de Garcons
  • One of today's most original fashion icons
Here is her tribute to Mcqueen that is showing at the FIT exhibition.

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