Lately, I’ve been deriving some inspiration from the career of Daphne Guinness. An heiress of the brewing family, daughter of Lord Moyne, she spent summers in Cadaques, Spain, among a contingent of Surrealist artists, where Salvador Dali was a frequent visitor.
Daphne is a designer, has directed a couple of videos, written articles on fashion, and created a scent for Comme des Garcons. For me, she is reminiscent of characters, both real and fictional, from the 19th century who dedicated their lives to outré aesthetics. She’s a throwback to artistic thinkers and writers such as Wilde, Huysmans, and Baudelaire for whom the pursuit of style was not an avenue for self-aggrandizing ostentation, but rather a process of spiritual discovery.
In her own way, she has made herself into a work of art, as well as a work in progress. True to the Surrealist motivation to “épater le bourgeois,” Daphne is well-known as a icon of eccentricity.
Speaking of her outlandish style, she says, “I do it for the old people who laugh at me in airports.” She did, after all, attend a prominent clown school in London.
Daphne explains her style (or attempts to):