Stefano Tonchi writes:
“Take the Honorable Daphne Guinness, the descendent of one of the most prestigious British aristocratic families. In “We Are Such Stuff. As Dreams Are Made On…”, the photographer Nick Knight casts Guinness as a latter-day Prospero, melding epic Shakespearean drama with the over-the-top glamour of the New Romantics and London’s famed Blitz club. Needless to say, Guinness parties up quite a storm. After serving as muse to countless British designers, she is now, at 47, throwing herself into a career as a musician.”
Echoing the general economic climate, Lambert declared 1992 a year of “deep fashion recession” while cautiously proposing the eccentric Isabella Blow as a “fashion dissident.” And in 1997 Lambert foresaw that informal California styles would emanate eastward from Silicon Valley, due to the growing prestige of the “geek cult.” Now her prophecies are fulfilled by Jonathan Ive’s appearance on the 2015 register.
I like to imagine that I first met Daphne Guinness when I was a child. As the story goes, I was with my parents one day when they were stopped by a photographer on a photo shoot on the streets of London. I have no idea what I was wearing or why we were stopped, but as it turned out, the photographer inquired if my parents would allow me to be in one of his shots. They obliged. However, once I caught a glimpse of the woman I was to be photographed with, I looked scared, ran into my dad’s arms and refused to be involved. I’ve been told the exaggerated smokey eye makeup triggered it. In my defense, as a 3-year-old, I simply couldn’t appreciate the striking vision standing before me.
I never knew who the woman was, nor could my parents tell me. But I’ll never forget their description— striking, half-fashion, half-fantastical face of makeup and polished, two-toned Cruella de Vil-esque hair.
Granted, the age difference between Guinness and myself does not 100% support this theory — word has it she was still wearing Chanel suits in the late ’80s — yet I think it’s clear why she will continue to pop into my mind when I relive the story.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have always been in awe of Daphne Guinness. When you read interviews with her, her broad spectrum of knowledge from fashion to ancient history and everything in between is apparent. An eclectic fashion icon who has stayed true to her style, she’s often dismissive of the mainstream industry.
Heiress to the Guinness brewery family, muse to Steven Klein (and many more) and close friend of the late Lee Alexander McQueen, Guinness has been collecting fashion since long before I refused to be photographed with her [apparently]. And while I could write about Guinness for days — the films she has produced and edited, her music video directed by Nick Knight, her acting career, MAC make-up collaboration and, of course, the exhibition at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology — I won’t. Each warrants coverage in its own right, as does her impressive personal fashion archive, including the entire wardrobe of her dear friend, the late Isabella Blow, which she purchased in 2010, three years after Blow’s death.
In 2012, the fashion muse did a serious wardrobe clean out – auctioning off 102 of her archive pieces in order to raise money for the Isabella Blow Foundation. It was there that Lady Gaga purchased one of Guinness’ Alexander McQueen gowns, once worn for a Harpers Bazaar shoot. Gaga reportedly paid 85,250 GBP, setting a new record for a McQueen item.
Arnold Scaasi, the Canadian clothing designer whose exuberant creations were worn by generations of first ladies, socialites and Hollywood stars, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 85.
Michael Selleck, a longtime friend and an executive at Simon & Schuster, said Mr. Scaasi died of cardiac arrest at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center shortly before 2 a.m.
“I am definitely not a minimalist!” Mr. Scaasi once declared, acknowledging his fondness for bright colors, prints and embellishments like ruffles, bows, bugle beads, fur, feathers, fringe and paillettes. “Clothes with some adornment are more interesting to look at and more fun to wear.”
The proprietor of a long-running atelier in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Scaasi was known for bringing the techniques of the French couture to prominent American women. Among them were Barbra Streisand, who wore a sheer, sequined, broadly bell-bottomed pantsuit designed by Mr. Scaasi to the 1969 Academy Awards, and Barbara Bush, who appeared in a puffy-shouldered blue velvet Scaasi gown for the presidential inauguration of her husband, George Bush, 20 years later.
Mr. Scaasi also designed formal wear for the first ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Joan Crawford, Joan Rivers, Elizabeth Taylor, Diahann Carroll and Mary Tyler Moore were all “Scaasi Girls,” as his most devoted clients were called. Ms. Moore appeared in a well-known ad campaign called “Me and My Scaasi.” He also made clothes for the sculptor Louise Nevelson, a close friend; flocks of debutantes; and even an order of nuns.
It’s about to rain men: Beginning today, New York City will host its very own menswear week in New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Four days of shows and presentations featuring emerging brands like the Brooklyn-based Cadet to American staples like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren are set to take the city (well, mostly just Skylight Clarkson Square) by storm. Organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the event counts Amazon, Dreamworks, Cadillac, Shinola, Axe and more as sponsors. And of course what is a fashion week without celebrities? Joe Jonas, Victor Cruz, Dwyane Wade and Andy Cohen are just four of this year’s ambassadors for the event.