Daphne Guinness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daphne Guinness
Guinness in 2011
Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness

(1967-11-09) 9 November 1967 (age 56)
London, England
(m. 1987; div. 1999)
PartnerBernard-Henri Lévy
Modelling information
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Hair colourBrown and platinum blonde
Eye colourBrown

Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness (born 9 November 1967) is an English fashion designer, socialite, actress, film producer, and musician.

Early life[edit]

Her father is Jonathan Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne, the eldest son of Diana Mitford and Bryan Guinness. Diana Mitford was the daughter of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, the father of the Mitford sisters. Mitford divorced Guinness and married the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats. Daphne Guinness has said she did not know of Mosley's political affiliations, before she heard in 1980 on the BBC News that he had died.[1]

As a child, Guinness grew up moving between the country houses owned by her family in England and Ireland, and a villa in Spain, where Salvador Dalí was a family friend.[2] She later lived in New York with her half-sister, Catherine Guinness, who was working as a Personal Assistant to Andy Warhol.[3]


Guinness has been a fashion model,[4] a curator,[5] and fashion writer.[6] Christian Allaire of Vogue referred to her as a "street style icon, producer, musician, and muse of Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld".[7] Guinness has been described as a "performance artist" by The New York Times for her use of and experimentation with fashion.[8] She has appeared on the covers of multiple international editions of Vogue,[4][9] Harper's Bazaar,[10] Tatler, Zoo Magazine, and other fashion magazines.[11][12]

Guinness has written numerous pieces on the topic of fashion,[6] including columns published in Vogue,[13] the Financial Times,[14] The Times of London,[15] and Harper's Bazaar.[16][17] She also wrote the foreword to Alexander McQueen: Fashion Visionary,[18] contributed to Dressed to Kill: Jazz Age Fashion,[19] and co-authored Art/Fashion in the 21st Century.[20] As a designer, Guinness has designed a collection of shirts with Comme des Garçons for Dover Street Market,[21][22] and created an estimated 100 pieces for herself in 2010 with no intention of selling them.[23][24] She designed Contra Mundum, an 18-carat white gold glove encrusted with diamonds, with British jeweler Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen.[25][26] The glove was worn in McQueen's shows, and was auctioned at Sotheby's in 2017.[27]

She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1994.[28][29] Guinness has styled photo shoots for photographers Steven Klein and David LaChappelle.[21]

Following a divorce in 1999, Guinness became more involved in the avant-garde fashion movement,[5] establishing relationships within the fashion industry.[30] Guinness was a close friend of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen[5][31] and, according to Vogue, she "nurtured" his career.[25]

In 2004, she was brought on as a fashion consultant for Gucci by François-Henri Pinault.[32]

Following the 2007 death of magazine editor Isabella Blow, Guinness purchased Blow's entire fashion collection, months before it was scheduled to be auctioned by Christie's in 2010.[33] In 2014, Guinness exhibited more than 100 pieces of Blow's collection at Somerset House.[25]

In 2009, she created a scent named Daphne for Comme des Garçons.[21] Guinness collaborated with NARS Cosmetics as the model for the fall 2010 campaign, which included an eyeshadow named after her.[23][34] In 2011, she released a 21-product makeup line with MAC Cosmetics that included blushes, lipsticks and nail polishes.[35]

She curated an exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2011 that featured more than 100 contemporary pieces by various designers, including Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Valentino, and others, all from her personal couture collection.[5] The exhibit also featured The Phenomenology of Body, a short film Guinness directed focused on costumes through the ages.[4]

As a tribute to the deaths of Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, in 2011 Guinness dressed in public for the Met Gala in a Barneys window; she wore a feathered McQueen dress and other pieces from Blow's collection.[36]



Guinness has produced and edited three short films:

  • Cashback, a short film nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, was later made into a feature-length version. Guinness produced this film for the photographer Sean Ellis.[1]


In 2011, Guinness starred in Joe Lally's film, The Murder of Jean Seberg.[37]

At the end of 2011, photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani, Guinness, and stylist GK Reid produced The Legend of Lady White Snake, a film based on a Chinese legend, where Guinness played the central role of Lady White Snake.[38] Bernard-Henri Lévy wrote her dialogue for the film.[39]

In 2012, Guinness starred in Shakki,[40] a short sci-fi fiction directed by Julien Landais.


David Bowie encouraged Guinness to pursue music, introducing her to Tony Visconti,[41] who had produced three of her albums as of August 2020.[25]

Optimist in Black (2016)[edit]

After the deaths of her brother Jasper and friends Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen,[42] Guinness went to a studio in Ireland, intending to record a cover of the Bob Dylan song "Desolation Row". While there, she wrote and recorded original songs which became the basis for her first album, Optimist in Black.[43] Optimist in Black was released on 27 May 2016, through private label Agent Anonyme/Absolute.[44] [45] The album was described by Kim Taylor Bennett of Vice magazine as "drama-pop with a gothic tinge"[46] and by Matthew Schneier of The New York Times as having "a glam-rock-ish, slightly psychedelic flavor".[47]

Daphne & the Golden Chord (2018)[edit]

In April 2018, Guinness released her second album, Daphne & the Golden Chord, also produced by Visconti. The album was recorded on analog tapes at British Grove Studios[48] in a three-week session. The band included 58 instrumentalists including timpani, tambourine, and bassoon players.[49] Will Hodgkinson of The Times described the album as "aristocratic glam fuelled by wit, character and a clear and abiding love of rock'n'roll".[50]

Revelations (2020)[edit]

Guinness' third album, Revelations, was released in August 2020.[42] Like her prior two albums, it was produced by Visconti. Thomas Barrie of British GQ said Revelations features "lusher, disco-inflected instrumentation, with flourishes arranged by Visconti in strings, and parts written for more experimental, obscure instruments like the theremin and ocarina".[51] Guinness collaborated with David LaChapelle on a three-part film series also titled Revelations, which featured songs from the album and explored references to the Book of Revelation.[30][52]

Upcoming album[edit]

In June 2023, in an interview with RuPaul, Guinness stated that she is planning to release an 11-track album around November 2023.[53] She began working on the album in 2021.[53]

Music videos[edit]

Guinness' music career began with the release in 2013 and 2014 of several music videos for songs which would later be included in her first album. These early videos include "Fatal Flaw" (directed by Nick Knight) in 2013,[54] and "Evening in Space", directed by LaChapelle, in 2014.[55] Jessie Peterson of MTV News said the video took the "fashion world to space". It featured costumes from designers such as Iris van Herpen and Noritaka Tatehana.

Guinness also released music video versions for two songs that were on the 2018 Daphne & the Golden Chord album – "Talking to Yourself"[56] and "Remember to Breathe".[57]

Two music videos directed by LaChapelle were released in 2020 for "Hallucinations"[52] and "Heaven",[58] two of the songs on the Revelations album.

Charity work[edit]

Guinness has walked in two of Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief shows to raise funds for disaster victims.[59] In April 2008, she auctioned off part of her wardrobe, with the proceeds going to a British charity called Womankind Worldwide, which deals with issues such as domestic violence.[60]

In June 2010, Guinness purchased at auction the entire wardrobe of Isabella Blow, her friend who died by suicide in 2007. The lot was purchased prior to an auction, which was arranged at Christie's.[61] She later announced that she would be displaying the wardrobe at Central Saint Martins and online, as well as starting a foundation to help with mental illness.[62] The official show, entitled "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore," was displayed in November 2013 at Somerset House in London.[63]

In February 2013, Guinness, along with Baroness Monica von Neumann and Lynn Ban, donated a collection of her shoes to the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology's Shoe Obsession exhibit.[64]

Personal life[edit]

In 1987, she married Spyros Niarchos, the second son of Stavros Niarchos.[65] The couple had three children. Her $39 million settlement, obtained at the time of her 1999 divorce, was added to her Guinness inheritance.[66]

She lives in London and Manhattan with her three children.[1]

She has been romantically involved with French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy for a number of years. In the February 2011 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Guinness confirmed to journalist Derek Blasberg: "He is obviously the love of my life".[23][67]


  1. ^ a b c Garratt, Sheryl. Daphne Guinness's glove story, Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2011. Accessed 31 August 2021.
  2. ^ "On my radar: Daphne Guinness's cultural highlights". TheGuardian.com. 30 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Daphne: Golden girl of the Guinness dynasty". Belfasttelegraph.
  4. ^ a b c Mead, Rebecca (19 September 2011). "Precarious Beauty". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d Lyden, Jacki (13 November 2011). "Daphne Guinness: An Icon on Fashion's Cutting Edge". National Public Radio. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b Solowij, Anne-Marie (5 September 2009). "There's a fungus in my fragrance". Financial Times. Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  7. ^ Allaire, Christian (18 October 2020). "Daphne Guinness On Bringing Her Surreal Style to TikTok". Vogue. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  8. ^ Trebay, Guy (30 December 2010). "Daphne Guinness, Fashion's Wild Child". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  9. ^ Staff (5 September 2008). "Daphne Guinness, Vogue Italia Cover Girl". NBC New York. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  10. ^ Makkas, Chrissy (18 November 2011). "Daphne Guinness Rocks the Cover of Harper's Bazaar Russia". The Fashion Spot. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  11. ^ Staff (30 November 2010). "Daphne Guinness for Zoo Magazine". Design Scene. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  12. ^ Dunbar, Hawley (8 March 2012). "Daphne Guinness For Hong Kong Tatler". Sidewalk Hustle. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  13. ^ Guinness, Daphne (4 May 2011). "Remembrance of Things Past: Daphne Guinness on Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow Behind the Windows at Barneys". Vogue. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  14. ^ Guinness, Daphne (17 May 2012). "Dress to impress". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  15. ^ Guinness, Daphne (13 June 2021). "Wearing L'Wren's clothes made me feel invincible". The Times. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  16. ^ Guinness, Daphne (4 May 2011). "Remembrance of Things Past: Daphne Guinness on Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow Behind the Windows at Barneys". Vogue. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  17. ^ Harper's Bazaar UK (3 May 2011). "Daphne Guinness' window dressing". Harper's Bazaar UK. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  18. ^ Watt, Judith (2019). Alexander McQueen: Fashion Visionary. London: Welbeck Publishing Group. ISBN 9781847961013.
  19. ^ Bates, Virginia; Bates, Daisy (2012). Dressed to Kill: Jazz Age Fashion. New York: Rizzoli. ISBN 978-0-8478-3413-6.
  20. ^ Oakley Smith, Mitchell; Kubler, Alison (2013). Art/Fashion in the 21st Century. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500239094.
  21. ^ a b c Reginato, James (2 February 2009). "Daphne Guinness: Rare Bird". W Magazine. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  22. ^ Wilson, Eric (24 April 2008). "Daphne Guinness strips down". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  23. ^ a b c Blasberg, Derek (11 February 2011). "The Real Daphne Guinness". Harper's Bazaar. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  24. ^ Blasberg, Derek (December 2009). "The Dress That Gets Results". Harper's Bazaar.
  25. ^ a b c d Cary, Alice (14 August 2020). "From McQueen Corsets to Armadillo Shoes, Daphne Guinness Reflects On 18 Years Of Her Avant-Garde Style". Vogue. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  26. ^ Guinness, Daphne (1 July 2011). "Daphne Guinness on the Unveiling of her Collaboration with Shaun Leane". Vogue. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  27. ^ Garrahan, Rachel (1 December 2017). "Sotheby's to Auction Jewelry Created for McQueen Catwalks". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  28. ^ Horyn, Cathy (3 August 2012). "Search On the Runway SEARCH Eunice Johnson and the Best Dressed List". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  29. ^ "The International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame: Women". Style. Vanity Fair. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  30. ^ a b Abad, Mario (26 March 2020). "The Apocalyptic World of Daphne Guinness". Paper. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  31. ^ Cochrane, Lauren (15 July 2020). "Daphne Guinness: 'I stood almost naked for six hours, being splashed with water'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  32. ^ "Fashion Scoops: Blonde Ambition...Birds Of A Feather...Presley Power". No. 69. Women's Wear Daily. 30 September 2004. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  33. ^ Menkes, Suzy (14 June 2010). "Fashion Report Guinness Buys Blow Collection". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  34. ^ Davis, Dawn Spinner (2 July 2010). "A New Face for Nars: Daphne Guinness". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  35. ^ Dunne, Eleanor (22 November 2011). "Daphne Guinness: MAC's Newest Collaborator Knows Her Way Around Drama". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  36. ^ Horyn, Cathy (27 April 2011). "Now Appearing, Real Daphne". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  37. ^ "Daphne Guinness". SHOWstudio. December 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  38. ^ Sparks, Cator. Do It Daphne! Guinness Shines in Short Film Based on Ancient Chinese Legend, Stylelist, 4 March 2012. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  39. ^ Feitelberg, Rosemary. Daphne Guinness and 'The Legend of Lady White Snake', Women's Wear Daily, 7 February 2012. Accessed 3 May 2012.
  40. ^ Julien Landais (18 August 2013), SHAKKI starring Daphne Guinness Trailer HD — by Julien Landais, retrieved 5 December 2016
  41. ^ Babey, Ged (10 August 2020). "Daphne Guinness: Revelations – album review – 'Probably the Last Great Glam Rock Star'". Louder than War. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  42. ^ a b Hodgkinson, Will (7 August 2020). "Daphne Guinness: Revelations review — ground control to planet pop". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  43. ^ Nelson, Karin (27 May 2016). "Daphne Guinness: Always a Strange Bird, Now With Songs". W Magazine. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  44. ^ Borrelli-Persson, Laird (25 May 2016). "Daphne Guinness Dishes on Her Favorite Musicians as She Drops Her Debut Album, Optimist in Black". Vogue. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  45. ^ Rigg, Natalie (18 January 2016). "Your First Look at Daphne Guinness' New Music Video". AnOther Magazine. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  46. ^ Bennett, Kim Taylor (23 May 2016). "The Beauty and Humor in Heartbreak: Stream Daphne Guinness's Debut LP 'Optimist in Black'". Vice. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  47. ^ Schneier, Matthew (25 May 2016). "For Daphne Guinness, the World Is a Stage. So She Picked Up a Mike". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  48. ^ Petrarca, Emilia (27 April 2018). "Daphne Guinness on Her New Album, Posers, and Diet Prada". The Cut. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  49. ^ McMahon, Milly (12 October 2018). "Daphne Guinness Strikes a Golden Chord". Paper. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  50. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (20 April 2018). "Pop review: Daphne Guinness: Daphne & The Golden Chord". The Times. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  51. ^ Barrie, Thomas (13 October 2020). "Daphne Guinness and Tony Visconti discuss their latest musical collaboration, Revelations". GQ. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  52. ^ a b Hodgkinson, Will (15 February 2020). "Daphne Guinness: David LaChapelle, Elton John, Bowie tributes and being a pop star in your fifties". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  53. ^ a b RuPaul (26 June 2023). "Daphne Guinness and RuPaul on Privilege, Couture, and The Art of War". Interview. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  54. ^ Choi, Mary H. K. (10 June 2013). "Daphne Guinness's 'Fatal Flaw' Music Video With Nick Knight Is A Triumph". MTV. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  55. ^ Peterson, Jessie (22 August 2014). "Watch Out, Ariana—Daphne Guinness' New Video Takes The Fashion World To Space". MTV. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  56. ^ Graff, Gary (25 January 2018). "Fashion Icon Daphne Guinness Debuts Swaggering 'Talking to Yourself' Video". Billboard. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  57. ^ Cacouris, Christina (8 September 2017). "Premiere: Daphne Guinness Goes Glam Rock In "Remember to Breathe"". V. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  58. ^ Shaffer, Claire (16 October 2020). "Daphne Guinness Debuts Video for 'Heaven,' Directed by David LaChapelle". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  59. ^ Brant, Peter. "Daphne Guinness". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  60. ^ "Daphne Guinness Auction: A Peek Inside The Closet of a Stylish Eccentric". The Luxe Chronicles. 30 April 2008. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  61. ^ Alexander, Ella (15 June 2010). "Isabella Blow auction cancelled". British Vogue. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  62. ^ Mau, Dhani (16 February 2012). "Daphne Guinness To Exhibit Isabella Blow's Wardrobe at Central St. Martins And Online". Fashionista. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  63. ^ Conti, Samantha (8 May 2013). "Isabella Blow Show Set For London". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  64. ^ Rabinovitch, Simona (20 February 2013). "MFIT EXHIBITS 150 EXTREME DESIGNER SHOES". Gotham Magazine. Niche Media. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  65. ^ "On my radar: Daphne Guinness's cultural highlights". the Guardian. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  66. ^ "Daphne Guinness can't recall her marriage to Greek shipping heir Spyros Niarchos". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  67. ^ Blasberg, Derek (12 February 2011). "Daphne Guinness: Bernard-Henri Levy 'Is Quite Obviously The Love of My Life'". Huffington Post.

External links[edit]