I am *not* your fashion info go to girl, by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have picked up a few things here and there over the last year. Like, when people started talking about the “armadillo” shoes from Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2010 show, it was hard not to listen. They were unmistakeable – to the point that when I saw the new Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” music video I heard myself saying (out loud, mind you, in an empty room) “Holy crap, she’s wearing the Alexander McQueen’s!” Yeah…I don’t really do that – at least not about fashion stuff.
I kind of did that again when I read that someone had actually worn the AM shoes in public, on a Red Carpet, and hadn’t needed anything to assist in walking in them. I had to find out who this creature was and see proof of them out in the real world. Turns out it is the rich “couture collector”, Daphne Guinness.
I had no idea who she was, so I did some googling and found out some things:
- She is the daughter of Johnathan Guinness, of the Guinness Brewery family – making her an heiress.
- She spent part of her childhood in an artists’ colony in Spain, where she used to swim in Salvador Dali’s lobster-filled swimming pool.
- She says that her weird obsession with armour “might have come from the Surrealists” that were there.
- In the 80’s, she lived in NYC with her sister, and hung around with the likes of Andy Warhol, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, the owners of Studio 54 and Fred Hughes, the editor of Interview magazine, while playing wih the idea of being an opera singer.
- At 19, she married Spyros Niarchos, son of the Greek shipping billionaire Stavros Niarchos, whom she had 3 kids with and divorced in 1999 with a (disputed) $40mil settlement.
- Her trademark skunk colored hair was “accidental”. She “..glue(s) bits on to it and this is how it turns out.”
All of that is just background to the woman she has become. She can be described as many things: “a designer, stylist, writer, filmmaker, collector and now a perfumer with a scent called Daphne”, but she can not be called boring, that’s for sure. In fact, some of her quotes crack me up:
Discussing why she created her own scent:
“She dismisses most perfumes, describing being sprayed with scent in a department store as ‘disgusting’, like being covered with mosquito repellent”.
Or when discussing how she didn’t fit in St. Tropez, while she was married:
“I remember, for example, going to that ghastly place in St Tropez, Cinquante Cinq, with all these people at the table eating in their bikinis and getting sprayed by those horrible hoses they’ve got in the canopy above, and there I was in full riding gear. Well, I didn’t want to be half naked in front of all these ghastly, repulsive pink people in their horrid little floaty dresses getting sprayed with water, did I?”
Gawd, so pretentious, but you can see how she completely wouldn’t think that – maybe that’s why it cracks me up.
So, there she was, walking the Red Carpet with François Nars (NARS Founder and Creative Director) for the launch of the NARS 15X15 Project. The project is a celebration of the 15th Anniversary of NARS and the centerpiece of the project is the “15X15” book, in which Daphne is included. There is only a limited edition run of 1500, with the full $80 purchase price being divided between 15 different charities. However, there are indivdual portraits available for purchase, too.
Man, I love learning about creative people and things. Don’t you?