Daphne Guinness: Fashion As Art In Barney's Window & Beyond

by Mara Siegler · May 2, 2011

If you walk by Barney's today at around 5pm you will inevitably notice a beautiful, thin, model-esque woman preening for tonight's Costume Institute Gala in the window dressed in a feathery Alexander McQueen. That woman is artist, socialite and taste-maker Daphne Guinness and it's not the first time she's taken fashion outside the box.  We take a look at her risk-taking, eccentric style.



Her full name is The Honourable Daphne Suzannah Diana Joan Guinness

She was married to Spyros Niarchos, son of the Greek shipping billionaire Stavros Niarchos, in 1987 at and divorced in 199

She has three children

The love of her life is married French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy

Named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1994



Daphne is an artist, but also acts as a muse for plenty of fashion designers. She frequently models in charity shows, has appeared in countless editorials, made a cameo in Kid Cudi's Pursuit of Happiness music video, has a collection named for her by NARS, and is a frequent staple on the social scene.

[Images via]


Daphne tends to favor couture clothing and the most extravagant looks from top designers. Sky high heels, daring hair and make-up, large jewels, feathers, scarves and other accessories complement the look. Extreme but elegant is the name of the game.


Dressing For The Met At Barney's

As for today's high-fashion performance art at Barney's, don't expect to catch any glimpse of flesh. She's keeping things classy. “I am not doing a burlesque — no way,” she tells the New York Times. “I’m going to be getting dressed behind something. I’m not Dita Von Teese, nor shall I be.”

Her note on the performance:

It reads:

Friends, students, all,

I shall be making a small tribute to fashion as Art and alas, for friends sorely missed. This will take place at Barneys at around 5pm on Monday May 2, 2011.

Your opinions I value the most for the future belongs to you, mine is but an ephemeral offering but I hope not to disappoint.

I consider that Art can be manisted in clothing, although there is a polemic on this topic.

But it is our capability as humans to transform ourselfs by the way we dress.

And the Master of our times I think we may agree is being honoured tonight.




[Daily Style Phile: It's Daphne Guinness Time!]