Daphne Guinness prepared for last month’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala by donning an Alexander McQueen gown of pale gray duck and ostrich feathers, striking a series of ethereal poses, and surveying her appearance at a Lucite vanity. All of this took place not in the comfort of Guinness’s apartment or hotel suite but in a window of Barneys New York on Madison Avenue, where a crowd of hundreds had gathered to watch (both in person and online, thanks to a livestream by Barneys). Guinness described it as “the crowning moment” in a six-week project that saw the department store showcase pieces from her legendary couture collection, but it was more like a warm-up.
On September 16, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will debut “Daphne Guinness,” an exhibition devoted to the fashion icon, editor, model, muse, and stylist. It will feature approximately 100 garments and accessories from her personal collection (which ranges from haute couture by the likes of Chanel and Valentino to Gareth Pugh ensembles and uniforms of her own design), along with films, videos, and images, of and by her. Co-curated by Guinness and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum at FIT, the exhibition will be designed by Ken Nintzel, who took inspiration from Guinness’s New York apartment. Tide yourself over for the show (and accompanying book, published by Yale University Press) with Daphne’s Window by documentary filmmaker Brennan Stasiewicz. The new video (posted below) includes a first glimpse of the armor-inspired sculptural pieces that Guinness created in collaboration with jeweler Shaun Leane.