Thursday, 25 November 2010

Daily Fashion Inspiration: Daphne Guinness

Fashion and art-loving Daphne Guinness is surely one of the most eccentric and intriguing figures of our time. Petite and curious, she considers haute couture an essential part of Western culture. She loves being surrounded by artists to absorb their genius and inspire their creativity.

Name: Daphne Suzannah Diana Joan Guinness.

Bio: Daphne is a fashion connoisseur, and is fascinated also by men's fashion : she is capable of telling apart the subtle nuance variations of a Huntsman's 1925 suit from a 1929 one (also because she owns both).
With her mother, she would spend her summers in Cadaqués, Spain. Often by Salvador Dalì 's pool that, she recalls, was "full of lobsters". Hanging out with them Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Richard Hamilton. But she was very young and had no idea who they really were: "They were just neighbours to me".

The origins: She is the daughter of beer heir Jonathan Guinness and his French wife Suzanne Lisney.
At 19 she married Stavros Niarchos, with whom she has three children (Nicolas, Alexis and Ines). At that time she starts collecting couture: "I found that fashion became an extension of self." She divorced in 1999. After seeing her at a party wearing a rather flamboyant hat, her great friend Isabella Blow suggests that she collaborates with Tatler as fashion editor.

What does she do: "I do ideas". Bernard-Henri Lévi told her once: "You are not a person anymore, you've become a concept".
What's next
She would like to be a film director again , and plans on writing a novel: "It's evolving. I guess all novels must be part of what you know, and it's a difficult thing to write because there are many many things that I don't understand about my life."

Alternative projects: She has financed and produced the film Cashback, by Sean Ellis, that earned a nomination for the Academy Awards. She has designed a collection of white shirts for London's Dover Street Market. She has shot a short-film: The Phenomenology of Body. She has posed for all the greatest photographers, from Steven Klein to David LaChapelle. She has developed the fragrance Daphne for Comme des Garçons. She has taken part in the video Pursuit of Happiness by KiD CuDi.She is fascinated by the production process and is "interested in absolutely everything, except football".

Shoes: Killer heels. She was the first to wear Alexander McQueen's Armadillo shoes in public.

Jewelry: "It doesn't have to be real": she loves style, but not showing off. She has collaborated with Shaun Leane, jewel designer for Alexander McQueen, for a jewellery line inspired by armour.

Hair: Until some time ago she sported blonde, very light hair, with two big distinctive dark locks. When we last met she had brown hair: "I'm going through this black phase now, it's my fetish colour".

Her style: "Surely I'm not a conformist. I don't think I belong to any category".

Style advice: "Follow your instinct."

Good habits: Reads the papers, does yoga, takes a walk every day and sees her friends very often. Besides, she recycles second-hand clothes. She will wear the same outfit more than once, because "clothes must be lived in". And has put up for auction most of her "Fabergé Egg" period wardrobe (this is what she calls the years of her marriage to Niarchos) and donated all proceedings to Womankind.

She hates: Intolerance, racism, ignorance and the modern obsession for what she calls "celebrity culture". The dry-cleaner's: "My idea of heaven would be to open up a proper, old-fashioned laundry, where shirts could be laundered in a proper, old-fashioned way.”

She's crazy for: Uniforms and armour : "A kind of disguise, a way to become invisible". Feathers, birds, the idea of flying.

Favourite dress: A very simple grey flannel dress by Alexander McQueen.

Favourite cities: Paris and New York.

Favourite food: Sushi and mashed potatoes.

Favourite drink: Tea.

Motto: "Judge not."

Favourite shops: Dover Street Market in London, and flea markets all around the world

Favourite designers: Her friend Alexander McQueen: "He put to rest the idea that fashion is not art. He was an artist".
Balenciaga ("Revolutionary"), Karl Lagerfeld ("An inimitable wonder"), Valentino ("Makes every woman look stunning").

Her icons: Her grandmother, her mother.

First thing in the morning: A cup of tea.

Born in: Ireland.

Lives: Between London and New York.