Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness
9 November 1967
Hampstead, London, England
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Hair colour||Brown and platinum blonde|
Her father is Jonathan Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne, the eldest son of Diana Mitford Mosley and Bryan Guinness. Diana Mitford was the daughter of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, the father of the Mitford sisters. Mitford divorced Guinness and married the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley. Daphne Guinness has said she did not know of Mosley's political affiliations, before she heard in 1980 on the BBC News that he had died.
Daphne Guinness' mother, Jonathan Guinness' second wife, was Suzanne Lisney (died 2005), of Cadaques, Spain, and Paris.
As a child, she grew up in the country houses owned by her family in England and Ireland. She spent her holidays in an 18th-century former monastery in Cadaqués, Catalonia, where the neighbors included Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Dieter Roth, and Richard Hamilton.
Guinness' first work in fashion was with Isabella Blow. At the request of Fashion Institute of Technology director Valerie Steele, she spent two years mounting an exhibition of a hundred displays of her clothing, which was staged within the context of her other projects, film and modelling. She has worked with Karl Lagerfeld, NARS, MAC, Akris, Gareth Pugh and Philip Treacy, working with them artistically or as a model or both.
She designs fashion, jewelry, and perfume. Since 1994, she has been on the International Best Dressed List. In 2010, she was named in Tatler's top 10 best-dressed list. In 2011, she created a make-up line for MAC cosmetics. In January 2011, she was asked by Tom Ford to close his comeback womenswear show.
Guinness has walked in two of Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief shows to raise funds for disaster victims. In the same vein, in April 2008, she auctioned off part of her wardrobe, with the proceeds going to a struggling British charity called Womankind Worldwide, which deals with women's issues at home and abroad, such as domestic violence.
In June 2010, Guinness purchased at auction the entire wardrobe of Isabella Blow, her friend who committed suicide in 2007. The lot was purchased prior to an auction which was arranged at Christie's. Guinness said of the purchase, "Indeed, in many ways, the auction would not be merely a sale of clothes; it would be a sale of what was left of Issie, and the carrion crows would gather and take away her essence forever." She later announced that she would be displaying the wardrobe at Central Saint Martins and online, as well as starting a foundation to help with mental illness. Guinness also held an auction in 2012 where she raised $744,285 for the Isabella Blow Foundation. The official show, entitled "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore," is set for display in November 2013 at Somerset House in London.
In 2012, Guinness auctioned 100 items from her wardrobe to raise funds to start the Isabella Blow Foundation: a charity that provides donations for bursaries at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, and also supports mental health charities.
Guinness has worked as an artist, actress, model, collector and designer. Fashion photographer Steven Klein, chose Guinness for two Vogue Italia covers. In the first, she plays Jean Seberg in Romain Gary's "Les Oiseaux vont mourir au Perou" In the other, she embodies Delphine Seyrig in Alain Resnais' masterpiece, "L'Année dernière à Marienbad".
In Spring 2009 Guinness was chosen as the face of an advertising campaign for Swiss clothing brand Akris. In 2009 Guinness launched her eponymous fragrance in partnership with French fashion house Comme des Garcons.
David LaChapelle chose her to appear in his Maybach advertising campaign in two pictures for the car's Zeppelin model. On another occasion, when working for LaChapelle, she spent six hours in a tank of water, immersed for up to two minutes at a time, to produce two underwater images, with one titled "Daphne Guinness in Water".
In Autumn 2010 Guinness launched a limited edition makeup line with French cosmetics company NARS. In 2011 Guinness collaborated with MAC cosmetics to launch a limited edition makeup line.
She is also featured in the series "Return to Eden", which has not yet been released.
In September 2011, more than half a million visitors attended the Alexander McQueen exhibition "Savage Beauty", at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Shortly thereafter, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology devoted one of its galleries to about a hundred of Guinness' most important pieces.
In May 2011 Guinness was asked to dress live in the window of department store Barney's New York ahead of the Costume Institute's MET Gala, to mark the opening of “Savage Beauty.”
In 2016 Guinness starred in Stevn Klein's advertising campaign for Macallan Whiskey. Guinness appears extensively in David La Chapelle's 2017 ‘Lost And Found’ series.
Guinness has produced and edited three short films :
- Cashback, short film nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, was later made into a feature-length version. Guinness produced this film for the photographer Sean Ellis.
- "Phenomenology of Body" was a hymn to the evolution of the female wardrobe over millennia, and is available on the NY Times website.
- "Mnemosyne" was an 'anti-commercial' made to comment on the scent, "DAPHNE", that Guinness made at the request of Comme des Garçons. The film was nominated for a Webby award.
In 2011, Guinness starred in Joe Lally's film, "The Murder of Jean Seberg".
In December 2011, she was photographed, while recorded livestream, by Nick Knight of SHOWstudio.com for 36 hours, resulting in five short films which were played in the windows of the Paris department store, Printemps. In several of these films, Guinness, a soprano, sang opera arias, making her public musical debut.
At the end of 2011, photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani, Guinness, and stylist GK Reid produced "The Legend of Lady White Snake", a film based on an ancient Chinese legend, where Guinness played the central role of Lady White Snake. Bernard-Henri Lévy wrote her dialogue for the film.
In 2017 Guinness starred in ‘The Aspern Papers’, a film inspired by letters between romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern and Juliana Bordereau directed by Julien Landais.
- In 2013, Guinness released a music video entitled Fatal Flaw which was directed by Nick Knight.
- In 2014, Guinness released a music video for the song "Evening In Space" the lead single of her debut album set to be released in September. The video was directed by David LaChapelle.
- In 2014, David Barron directed a documentary filmed in Guinness' Irish home called Daphne Guinness, The Last Leveller that focuses on her musical work and personal musical tastes.
- In 2016 Guinness released three music videos: one for the song The Long Now, directed by Luca Pizzaroni, for the song Magic Tea, directed by Christel Franken, and for the song Old School, directed by Jamie Kendall.
- Two more music videos were released in 2017: for the song Remember To Breathe, directed by The Fashtons, and for the song Electric Consciousness, directed by Joseph Lally and featuring fashion designers The Blonds.
- Optimist in Black was produced by Tony Visconti and released in 2016.
- Daphne and the Golden Chord was produced by Tony Visconti and released in 2018
Performances to date
- In 2014 Guinness performed at Shepherd's Bush Empire
- Guinness made a guest appearance on Tony Visconti's 2013/ 2014 tour Holy Holy (band).
- In 2015 Guinness performed at The Steve Strange Memorial tribute: Strange Romance in Cardiff, where she sang a duet with Boy George.
- In 2016 Guinness performed at The Natural History Museum's topaz exhibition opening.
Guinness currently writes with friend and music collaborator Malcolm Doherty
In 1985, when she moved to New York City, Guinness came to know Andy Warhol, for whom her sister Catherine had been a personal assistant for many years. In 1987, she married Spyros Niarchos, the second son of Stavros Niarchos, the shipping magnate. The couple had three children. Her settlement, obtained at the time of her 1999 divorce, is for an undisclosed sum, which was added to her Guinness inheritance.
She lives in London and Manhattan with her three children: Nicolas Stavros Niarchos (born 1989), Lex Spyros Niarchos (born 1991), and Ines Sophia Niarchos (born 1995).
She has been romantically involved with French TV philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy for a number of years. In the February 2011 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Guinness confirmed to journalist Derek Blasberg: "He is obviously the love of my life."
In 2017, Guinness auctioned Contra Mundum, a gold and diamond set chainmail glove made in partnership with jewellery designer Shaun Leane, through Sotheby's NYC. It sold for an undisclosed sum.
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