Daphne Guinness: “I don’t approach fashion; fashion approaches me!”

What is a fashion icon? Who qualifies to be one? In this age and technology, fashion icons are popping up as fashion shows are streamed live on the web. It used to be Audrey Hepburn but now some refer to Lady Gaga, Blake Lively, Florence Welch and many others for inspiration.

There is actually a How to Be a Fashion Icon article on wikiHow, knock yourself out. Personally, I would go through the ‘Don’t’ list and break every single one of those rules, without looking like an idiot, of course.

As McQueen is obviously one of our favourite designers, we cannot miss out Daphne Guinness as a fashion / style icon. I had thought her collection of McQueen items were worthy of an exhibition and it is! Her personal wardrobe will be exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in New York come September. On show will be pieces by Azzedine Alaïa, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen.

She looks nothing like her actual age. Daphne Suzannah Diana Joan Guinness is an artist of Irish, English, and French descent and an heiress of the Guinness family. (Trivial fact: Her sister was a companion of Andy Warhol and Guinness grew up with Salvador Dali and the Surrealists.)

“I don’t approach fashion; fashion approaches me,” said Daphne Guinness. In recent years, we have seen Guinness grace the photos of fashion events and runway shows, most of the time in her signature gravity-defying Nina Ricci heels. She has been cited as an inspiration to Lady Gaga, Tom Ford and even Valentino. “Life is a stage for Daphne,” says Valentino. “Funerals or balls, she always makes a performance. But behind the extraordinary looks is the sweetest and most tender human being.”

Apparently, Guinness wears many hats. She collaborated with Comme des Garçons on her own fragrance, which is sold at London’s Dover Street Market. She was a muse for François Nars’s cosmetics line. She produced Sean Ellis’s Oscar-nominated 2004 short film, Cashback, which I absolutely love and thought was mind-blowing for me at that time. She models for and collaborates with artists and photographers like David LaChapelle and designers like jeweller Shaun Leane. She is starring in and producing an art film about the mysterious death of American actress Jean Seberg.

Documentary filmmaker Brennan Stasiewicz has filmed Guinness in Daphne’s Window. The shoot follows Guinness as she prepares for her installation in the windows of Barneys New York where her collection of McQueen pieces is showcased. The film climates with a performance art piece in which Guinness models a lilac feathered gown designed by McQueen’s Sarah Burton and leaves for the Met ball from Barneys’ window. Watch the film on Nowness here.

To conclude, Guinness explains, “… when people label me eccentric or different, I’m kind of astonished because I think this is completely normal, this is just how I am…” I completely agree.

X Sybil

(Image from Nowness)

About fashionartisan
Bringing out the art in fashion

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