FAMOUS Italian couturier, once
said, ‘Life is a stage for Daphne [Guinness]. Funeral or balls,
she always makes a performance …’
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in
New York was certainly transformed into ‘a stage’, with a number
of spectacular pieces from Guinness’s large wardrobe on display.
After two years in the making, the Daphne Guinness exhibition
was ready to open its doors to visitors on September 16, 2011. It
took Guinness years to collect wonderfully remarkable and outstanding
pieces from high-end designers and the eccentric fashion icon is
ready to share some of them with the public. Today, Guinness owns
around 2,500 dresses and 500 pairs of shoes.
The exhibition runs through January 7, 2012. The ‘icon
of style’ herself, Daphne Guinness, was co-curator working alongside
the director and chief curator of the Museum at FIT,
Daphne Diana Joan Suzannah Guinness was born on November
9, 1967 in Hampstead, London. Other than being recognized as an
artist, a brewery heiress, and a socialite, Guinness also has an
amazing eye for fashion.
In 1994 she was named to the International Best Dressed
List. Guinness had once said, ‘I don’t do event dressing, because
every day is an event.’
With a wide range of different materials, colours and
designs, many pieces from her wardrobe are a splendid mix of classiness
with an almost funky, yet stylish twist.
Walking around the museum was like taking a tour right
into her private walk-in closet: a complete mind-blowing experience.
With more than one hundred classy pieces as well as a few videos
and pictures in and around the showroom, it was a spectacular treat
Each piece was a stunning work of art to be closely
admired. More than just garments, they seemed like murals or even
paintings on display. Such vivid and lavish pieces could express
more than a million words put together. They conveyed a considerably
open and unafraid character that Guinness is known for. Her towering
10-inch platform shoes are magnificent creations that prove Guinness’s
The exhibition is divided into six sections: ‘Dandyism’,
‘Armour’, ‘Chic’, ‘Evening Chic’, ‘Sparkle’, and ‘Exotic’, featuring
pieces from the likes of Valentino, Chanel, Givenchy, Christian
Lacroix, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Rick Owen, Azzedine
Alaïa and John Galliano. Styles differ from slightly masculine
and fierce to overly feminine and flamboyant.
There were more than two dozen chic, never-before-seen
pieces from the late McQueen. The world-renowned designer was also
Guinness’s close friend.
It might have been the end of the exhibition as we walked
through the doors and out into the open air; however it was not
the end of Guinness’s fashion endeavour. Her adventure into the
fashion world is one that people closely follow, watching the courageous
woman unafraid to express her artistic self. In many ways, Guinness
has the tendency to highlight the importance of self-expression
and individualism. •
Lola Saab is Paris editor of Lucire.
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