Daphne Guinness: Alexander McQueen ‘Changed My Life’

Daphne Guinness is one of those endlessly fascinating fashion figures who we can never get quite enough of. After all, this is a woman who wears Rick Owens to work out, owns Isabella Blow‘s entire wardrobe and takes decadent baths that flood other people’s apartments. Now the eccentric icon is the subject of a captivating profile in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar. You should really read the whole thing, but allow us to pick out our favorite parts.

The part where Valentino perfectly describes the essence of Guinness:

“Life is a stage for Daphne. Funerals or balls, she always makes a performance. But behind the extraordinary looks is the sweetest and most tender human being.”

The part were Tom Ford agrees:

“Daphne is not just a great and stylish beauty; she’s also an honest and true person inside. She is so completely real and simple and straightforward in the best way.”

The part where she does a ton of crazy cool stuff we didn’t know about:

Guinness isn’t merely a girl who puts together a look and calls it art. She’s a hive of creative activity, always cooking up a new project, like her eponymous fragrance with Comme des Garçons, which is sold at London’s Dover Street Market, the Rei Kawakubo–owned retail temple. She was also a muse for François Nars’s cosmetics line. She’s made her own short films, and she produced Sean Ellis’s Oscar-nominated 2004 short, Cashback. And she doesn’t just model for photographers like David LaChapelle; she collaborates. But not all of her artistic efforts have been publicized: She is also a poetry devotee, she has studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and once, at Larry Gagosian’s house in Manhattan, she took me onto the back porch to sing in a perfect soprano a selection from an opera that she’d studied in her 20s.

The part where she buys all of her own clothes:

Perhaps Guinness’s most unique sartorial trait is that at a time when nearly anyone can borrow a dress to walk down anything resembling a red carpet, she actually pays for almost everything she wears. “My biggest [fashion] mistakes have always been when I’ve borrowed something,” she explains. “It’s either too big for me or I hate the color or it smells of someone else’s body odor.”

The part where she explains her fated introduction to Alexander McQueen:

After at first declining to be introduced–”I don’t have to be friends with someone to respect their work,” she says–she met McQueen by chance when he noticed her on the street and introduced himself as the designer of the jacket she was wearing. “He tapped me on the shoulder, and we headed to the pub. That was it!”

The part where she says this about her dear friend:

“He was so bright, he could see things in five dimensions. Lee didn’t take any prisoners, and when he smelled shit, he said it! To be unconditionally loved by someone…He changed my life.”

[Harper's Bazaar]

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