Daphne Guinness is a secret fashion designer!

10 December 2010


Daphne Guinness, heiress, muse, collector of couture and famous for wearing - sometimes bonkers although often just heartbreakingly beautiful - fashion. These are often haute couture or bespoke pieces from the studios of her friends, Karl Lagerfeld, Gareth Pugh or the late Alexander McQueen. But when quizzed on Tuesday about her outfit for the British Fashion Awards she replied that it was one of her own designs. And that got us thinking.

We know that her amazing heel-less shoes were the product of a collaboration between her and bespoke shoe-maker Natascha Marro and we have to admit, we never see anyone else in them. (Gaga’s are a bit different) so, who is behind her self-designed outfits? Does she have a little team of elves working away in her basement? Does she man the Singer sewing machine herself? We had to find out.  


In that absolutely BRILLIANT documentary, The Secret World of Couture, from yonks ago, she described how ‘If I see something advertised, I don’t want it any more, if I see something on a movie star I don’t want it any more, it’s done.’ Over time she has produced a range of white shirts which were sold at Dover St Market, and even her own fragrance with Comme Des Garcons. More usually though, she seems to prefer making just ONE of everything (or one in every colour) for herself, rather than dealing with the bother of actually producing and marketing a range of her own. The lady herself filled in the blanks for us;

‘I often if not always customise my pieces, and I have several different people working on my sketches. It just depends where on the planet I happen to be. I can work a sewing machine but I am not fast so that I leave to others. I started doing this from the age of 5 as since I am tiny nothing fit.

*thrills!* . . . and as for her most recent creations -

'I am making costumes for a film I am in the middle of shooting and I like to wear them in so I am comfortable. Anyway, a long and boring story, but I have probably made about 100 pieces. I have no production and they are figments of my imagination made real. Hope this helps - Daphne’

How perfect is Daphne? the antithesis of so many celebrities, who sell (but do not design) clothes ranges under their names, Daphne designs, but doesn't sell, her pieces. Ah well. The Guinness wardrobe's gain is clearly net-a-porter and Liberty's loss (or do you say that the other way round?)

- Naomi Attwood


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