Perhaps best known for her skunk-streaked hair, Daphne Guinness, 45, has slowly evolved from a millionaire’s wife to one of the most inspiring style icons of this era. Indeed, as a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness, the 18th-century inventor of Guinness beer, Daphne had quite the extraordinary childhood. With family country houses in England, Ireland and Spain, travelling was a luxury Daphne was able to indulge in and with neighbors such as Salvador Dali good company was always present.
It was during her unhappy marriage to wealthy Greek shipping tycoon, Spyros Niarchos, when her true sense of style began to manifest. In an effort to escape her constricting life and possessive marriage, Daphne frequently went shopping to engage in a little retail therapy. Yet it was not necessarily the stunning clothes that she bought that caught everyone’s eye. Rather, it was her style and the unique way she put the items together that made her stand out.
With her daring and eccentric style, Daphne has continued to play the role of the muse to countless designers who describe her as being their ideal client. In the past, Valentino has commented on Daphne’s style saying, “Daphne amazes me all the time. When I think she has reached the best, she comes up with something better.” The late Alexander McQueen also had a fantastic designer-muse relationship with her as well, until his heartbreaking and tragic death of in 2010. To this day, many of Miss Guinness’ best-known looks have been Alexander McQueen ensembles.
Daphne’s style could be described as sumptuous, decadent and, above all, luxurious. She creates a fascinating juxtaposition of classic style with avant-garde pieces. Her go-to color palette consists of black and white; however, the garments she chooses to wear always consist of unique, innovative designs. Perhaps Daphne’s most memorable look was the Alexander McQueen crème feather gown worn at the 2011 Met Gala. To say the least, Daphne looked absolutely divine.
In 2011, an exhibit opened at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City displaying signature looks from Miss Guinness’ personal collection. Many of the exhibits are devoted to great fashion designers, but only a few are devoted to women of style. From her couture collection to her amazing jewelry and notorious 10-inch heels, one thing is certainly clear: trends, designers and muses may all come and go, but Daphne Guinness will continue to be inspirational for years, if not generations, to come.