What's The Deal With….Daphne Guinness?


A familiar figure to fashion-followers, just who is the first-row mainstay in the freaky getups, anyway?

The Hon. Daphne Suzannah Diana Joan Guinness is a throwback to an earlier era of eccentric, decadent aristocrats: and she comes by it honestly. The daughter of a baron and a French model, Guinness is a beer heiress and claims kin with Mitford sister Diana, putting her in the upper pantheon of British eccentric decadence.

So what does she do? Well, she was a model. She’s a self-described artist. Sometimes she writes. But she’s probably best-known as a muse and fashionista.

In the 80s, Daphne and her sister came to New York, hung out with Warhol and were generally glam. She married shipping heir Spyros Niarchos at 19, had three children, and divorced in 1999 with a settlement that made headlines across Europe.

Guinness is active on the charity circuit; this year, she walked in Naomi Campbell’s White Ribbon Alliance runway show.

Guinness has a famous couture collection, with a special interest in armor. She’s thick with many a designer, but was a muse to Alexander McQueen. Recently, she made news when she bought up late fellow muse and friend Isabella Blow’s wardrobe to prevent its going to auction.

She’s allegedly in Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” video. And she’s the inspiration for NARS‘ Fall/Winter line because “[possessing] an elegance which is timeless, Daphne [was] the ideal icon to capture fall 2010’s old-Hollywood meets futuristic look.”

Guinness is known nowadays for being the paramour of French philosopher-sex-symbol-sometimes-ridiculous-public-intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy. The two are known to stare silently into each others’ eyes in public, despite BHL’s continued marriage to Lace actress Arielle Dombasle.

She has said, “True beauty always has something a little strange about it. The flaws in something are sometimes the most beautiful bits. The perfect Barbie doll that has the huge inflatable lips, boobs redone to look all perfect: I don’t think that’s very interesting.”

[Images via Getty]

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