Daphne Guinness is one of today’s most iconic women of style and a powerful creative force in her own right. This spectacular sale comprises over 100 pieces from her personal collection and features rare haute couture and accessories from designers including, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Chanel, Christopher Kane and Gareth Pugh. With estimates starting at £300 this is a unique opportunity to own a piece of fashion history from an illustrious collection. Proceeds from the auction will go to The Isabella Blow Foundation.
You’ve been termed a fashion ‘muse’. What in your opinion does being a muse entail? And was musing your aim all along?
A muse to me is a sort of meditation: to muse, or to be a muse. In ancient times they were regarded as the inspirers of learning and the arts. To objectify myself as such a being is impossible; I am merely myself.
Your style has been described as ‘futuristic, but also from a bygone age when getting dressed was considered a demanding form of self-expression? Is fashion your way of expressing yourself?
Fashion is not something I follow passionately. I am more instinctual in my habits; I will gravitate towards a look, but purely for the interest of it – that and my lack of patience. Clothing is not a form to me of self-expression; it is merely an extension of my imagination, my intuition, and being constantly late!
And if so, what does your choice tell us about you, and you about yourself?
I am not qualified to answer that question. Surely it is in the eye of the beholder.
Tell us about the gestation of the one-of-a-kind sculptural metallic silver mini dress Alexander McQueen made especially for you. How did the design come about? Where did the inspiration arise?
It is based on a silhouette that he did for me from one of his shows, and as usual, I asked for a modification. I also requested the dress in various colours, because I really loved the shape. But saving Alexander, I did not obsess about fashion. Beauty or painting, yes, but actually our discussions were mainly about love.
The proceeds of the sale are to benefit the Isabella Blow Foundation. What do you hope and expect that this Foundation will achieve?
I hope to restore Isabella to her rightful place in the constellation of fashion, art, freethinking and original human beings. The world is a duller place without her. She was my friend in life, and death does not alter that. The circumstances of these tragedies have overshadowed what should be celebrated; the art, the originality, the humour and the wonderful times that were created from that. On a side note, one never thinks that these will end, and her death shocked me to my living core. I relish those who remain.
The real issue is mental health. It seems that artists in particular are vulnerable to bi-polar episodes because they occupy the periphery, where others are, too – but the former are innocent, and for most part unprotected, impulsive. They see what we cannot.
Mental health is not a subject that people wish to discuss, and it is becoming evident to me that this needs to be broken – like aids, like cancer. One example: in NYC they have closed down St Vincents Hospital. What happens to the patients? They are given pills and no palliative care. This is something that needs to be addressed urgently.
On a happier note, Isabella’s collection will be an inspiration to students around the world and that makes me very happy. If it means I lose some of my things, well, that is a small sacrifice. It is the only practical way of passing the torch. In the end artists are here to serve our infinite imagination. By default they transcend and push the boundaries, and by their vision, they change the world in which we live.
Costume, Textiles & Fans