The Life of a Style Icon: Daphne Guiness Exhibit Opens at The Museum at FIT

August 4, 2011 • Celebrity Style, Designers, Fashion, Fashion Blog, Industry, Yahoo

Daphne Guinness

With the enormous success of the Alexander McQueen exhibition on display at the Met, chronicling the game changing contributions the late designer made to the fashion world, fashion exhibits may be making new strides as culturally relevant experiences. At least that what we’re hoping for from The Museum at FIT’s latest exhibit, featuring one of McQueen’s most notable muses, Daphne Guinness.

Boots by Alexander McQueen

Coat by Chanel

Dress by Alaia


The Museum at FIT aims to highlight a different angle of the fashion world, the style icon. Opening on September 16, 2011, and on view through January 7, 2011, the Daphne Guinness exhibition will feature approximately 100 garments and accessories from Guinness’s personal collection, plus films, videos, and images of and by her. Guinness has been a staple in edgy, avant-garde and envelope-pushing fashion since long before it was deemed “mainstream”. She gave fashion new heights, figuratively and literally, with towering ten-inch heels, one of a kind couture pieces and outlandish jewelry. “She is one of the—if not the—most stylish women living,” says designer and film director Tom Ford. Her fans in the blogosphere describe her as “the ultimate fashion fantasy.”

The exhibit will also delve into the woman behind the costumes, someone who defines herself as not only a serious collector of couture, but also a creative force in her own right who uses fashion to transform herself. As her friend, art historian, John Richardson, puts it: “She’s the object of her own creativity. Her persona is her own masterpiece.” And this masterpiece includes a staggering collection of almost every notable designer on the planet, many of which will be on display at The Museum at FIT.

Coat by Christian Lacroix

Shoes by Nina Ricci


Dress by Alexander McQueen

In addition to two dozen Alexander McQueen looks Guinness received from good friend McQueen, the exhibit will also feature couture looks from Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Lacroix, and Valentino, as well as demi-couture by Azzedine Alaïa, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, and Rick Owens, and futuristic styles by young designers such as Gareth Pugh and even uniforms that Guinness herself designed. Accessories will include Philip Treacy’s hats, Shaun Leane’s “armor” jewelry and her famous gravity-defying platform shoes made especially for her by Christian Louboutin and Noritaka Tatehana.

Daphne Guinness will be co-curated by Daphne Guinness and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, with the assistance of Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume. The exhibition’s design, by Ken Nintzel, will be inspired by Guinness’s own New York apartment. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book, also titled Daphne Guinness, written by Valerie Steele and Daphne Guinness, with all royalties from sales of the book going to benefit the Fashion Institute of Technology.

If you happen to be in New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week spring 2012 or, be sure to check out the opening week of Daphne Guinness at The Museum at FIT.!


-Alia Rajput



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