"Daphne Guinness" exhibition at the FIT in New York City

Daphne © René Hebermacher
Photograph by René Hebermacher

 Daphne Guinness, one of today’s most original fashion icons, is the subject of the upcoming exhibition Daphne Guinness at The Museum at FIT. Opening on September 16, 2011, and on view through January 7, 2012, the exhibition will feature approximately 100 garments and accessories from Guinness’s personal collection, plus films, videos, and images of and by her.

From her platinum-and-black striped hair to her towering ten-inch heels, from her to-die-for couture collection to her amazing jewelry, Daphne Guinness completely embodies the rarified personal style of a fashion icon. “She is one of the - if not the - most stylish women living,” says designer and film director Tom Ford.

DG book cover
"Daphne Guinness" book cover. Photograph by Kenis Davies

Guinness by David LaChappelle
"Daphne Guinness in Water", CA 2008. Photograph by David LaChapelle


"Daphne Guinness" will reveal how Guinness, who is not only a serious collector of couture but also a creative force in her own right, uses fashion to transform herself. Although Guinness has inspired some of the world’s greatest couturiers she says that she is “not a muse,” but more like “a bee” flitting from one designer to another. This is proven by the array of designers whose work will be on display.

A close friend of the late Alexander McQueen, the exhibition will include more than two dozen McQueen garments that have never been displayed. Also featured will be extraordinary haute couture 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. Clothes that Guinness has designed herself will show her love of uniforms.

Red suede shoes by Nina Ricci

Boots by Alexander McQueen
Boots by Alexander McQueen

Shoe by Alexander McQueen

Another exhibition highlight will be a wide range of extraordinary accessories, many of which were created in collaboration with Guinness. These include Philip Treacy’s hats and Shaun Leane’s “armor” jewelry, not to mention towering platform shoes made especially for her by Christian Louboutin and Noritaka Tatehana.

Several of Guinness’s films will be shown, including The Phenomenology of the Body (which explores the politics of clothing), Mnemosyne (which was inspired by her perfume), and Tribute to Alexander McQueen (watch below), as well as numerous images and videos.

Ensemble by Gareth Pugh





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 New York apartment. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book, also titled Daphne Guinness, written by Valerie Steele and Daphne Guinness, and published by Yale University Press. All royalties from sales of the book will benefit the Fashion Institute of Technology.

"Daphne Guinness"
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
7th Avenue at 27th Street
New York City

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