Daphne Guinness Fashion Muse, Collector of Soulful Pieces

Who is Daphne Guinness?


The museum at FIT, in NYC, featured an exhibit about her life which ended in January 2012. As they discussed, she was born to the brewery heir Johnathan Guinness in 1967 but came into her own after her divorce:


“In 1987, at the age of nineteen, Daphne married Spyros Niarchos, who was twelve years her senior and the second son of the fabulously wealthy Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos. A year later, she had the first of their three children. According to all accounts, they lived in a gilded yet constrained world, surrounded by bodyguards, traveling by yacht or private jet between homes in St. Moritz, New York, and the family’s island in Greece. After her divorce in 1999, Daphne resumed her maiden name, and over the past decade she has emerged on the world’s stage this extraordinary fashion creature” (Fit Biography).

I love the museum at FIT, as they are always bringing great exhibits, which are current as well as historically significant. They split her styles into types,  including her love of structured armoresque clothing. She is able to shield herself and find herself in fashion. The exhibit highlights, which featured a large quantity of her clothing and quotes, can be found here: Fit exhibit.  She is a fashion icon, collector and artist.  Daphne creates her own fashions when needed and has worked with other companies to create pieces.


To some of you, the auction of her items is old news and to others new information, but either way I wanted to highlight the best sources for images of the auctioned items online while they are still up. The original photographic image above alone, set records. When it was all said and done it had raised 742,000 dollars! Christies, in South Kensington, auctioned off this record breaking collection on June 27th.  The catalogue alone is pure eye candy…yum.  See the Christies link here:

Now her Mcqueen pieces, which will no doubt only increase in value, broke records at the auction.  Alexander Mcqueen is another obvious option for those who want future mind blowing vintage for their collections.  His genius pieces as you can see are already sought after, especially the structural metallic Mcqueen dress sold there. It was also part of the Matt Collishaw Bazaar photo shoot. Please, don’t even get me started on Alexander’s Iris platforms- you can view them in the catalogue below. It is no surprise that Lady Gaga bought at least one piece successfully, as confirmed if not more anonymously.


It is fitting that this auction was in memory of Isabella Blow. It had been rumored that Daphne opposed an auction that would have as she put it “scattered her friend’s memory to the winds”. She feels the collection should be in a museum or for student study.  This auction may have been the compromise.  She purchased the clothing archive after her friend’s death and has revealed it will be exhibited possibly online for all to see. The loss of both friends Blow and Mcqueen to suicide have impacted her life greatly, hence her foundation. As stated in Vogue UK: “I just wanted to preserve who she really was, I had to make sure it was safe. It’s difficult for me to look at it though-it smells of her. Her wardrobe was a narrative of her life”.


I think this is a beautiful as well as very true statement and one of the reasons many of us are attracted to vintage accessories and even fashion in general….that narrative.

Who was Isabella Blow?


She was most famously accredited with discovering Mcqueen at the Saint Martins graduate show in 1994. She was not only his patron and friend, but she was soulful inspiration. She was a fashion editor, stylist who loved to transform her body into sculptural art.  Mcqueen’s creation of some of his amazing head gear, were inspired by her constant head art.  His tribute collection can be seen here in this article: tribute article. Isabella Blow’s quotes and photographs are a joy to take in. Vogue UK did a great bio article and image archive which can be found at this link.


The Auction:

You can find a complete image gallery of the lots in the auction here: Christies.  The Christian Lacroix gown and the opera jacket were amazing!  The 1930s inspired Anna Molinari  and the 1920s inspired Marni sequin dress appealed to my heart.  There were also Christian Lacroix pieces from the 80s included and are certainly considered vintage.  However, as you seen in the title, though many pieces were relatively new in terms of what constitutes a vintage garment– but they are future vintage. The lucky owners will have some of the most iconic fashions of our time worn by an avant guarde icon!

The Girl Who lived in the Tree. Alexander Mcqueen Dress circa 2008-9. Photograph Matt Collishaw, Harper’s Bazaar. From The Daphne Guinness Collection Catalogue.

Just hit view ECatalogue and agree to see the complete catalogue.

Originally published in 2012. Great archive of the fashions from her collection.