Saturday, February 18, 2012

There's Just Something About Daphne

It's no secret that I am completely fascinated by Daphne Guinness' every move. From the days when she was just another heiress in pictures of the front rows during Paris couture, to when the streak of black in her hair turned into her trademark ("skunk") coiffure, all the way up to last year when she made headlines "dressing" in a window at Barneys before the Fashion Institute Gala at the Met-a bit of performance art. Her style is at once classic and avant-garde. Fearless. Inspirational. Unapologetic. And, to be sure, chockablock full of couture. However, she does marry high and low, costume with Cartier, McQueen with Top Shop, Dior with denim...well, maybe not that last bit. More like Dior with H&M. Perhaps.

When I discovered that her gran was Diana Mosley (after her divorce from Bryan Guinness, Daphne's grandfather, she married the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley) it made me love her even more. Diana Mosley started out as one of the Mitford sisters, who sort of scandalized England before and during WWII. I love the Mitfords, from the acerbic Nancy (who wrote Love In a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love, and was one of the Bright Young People of pre-War Britain) down to the youngest sister Debo, The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, herself a wonderfully funny storyteller and author, and , with her late husband the 12th Duke, saved the family home Chatsworth and restored it to it's place as one of the Great Houses of England (and also happens to be grandmother to super model Stella Tennant). Throw in sister Unity (who was so enamored of Hitler she shot herself in the head when England declared war on Germany, but failed to kill herself) and Jessica (Decca), known as the "red sheep" in the family due to her communist leanings, they are one interesting family.

Wow, I really digressed there. I'm talking about Daphne! This post came about because her amazing apartment was listed in the New York Times for 14 million dollars a few weeks ago, and I started looking about on the Internet for pictures to post. It really is a personal space filled with the things she likes, loves and collects. The pictures from Architectural Digest I had seen before (you can read the story here), but a few new ones surfaced recently on this tumblr page dedicated to her style by a true fan. The newer ones of her New York apartment are are from Lifestyle Mirror, the ones of her home in Mayfair, London, are from Harpers Bazaar UK, photographed by Bryan Adams.


Quintessential Daphne
The four bedroom apartment is in the former Stanhope Hotel. A large, kaleidoscope-like Damien Hirst butterfly painting stands guard at the entry.
One end of Daphne's living room. Wardian cases and orchids mingle with photos by David LaChapelle and Bert Stern. I love the wall of antique mirrors.

Looking the opposite direction in the bright, light living room. The silver leaf ceiling is to die for. The furniture placement has that sort of slightly off, modern take on the English Country House feel that I love.

Daphne's own little Versailles. This hall of mirrors leads off the main entry to the bedrooms.
Did I mention Ms. Guinness is in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame?
Daphne turned the formal dining room into a library. A photo of herself by friend David LaChapelle is propped up in the corner. One of the spare bedrooms has silver papered walls.
A rather English corner of a guest bedroom.

The divine Daphne lounging in her own room. I want to replace all my sheets with pure white ones...I think you can leave your bed unmade with white sheets and it still looks good.
Yes, she has a kitchen! Daphne rather infamously made an off-hand comment "I'll eat when I'm dead" that got a lot of mileage for a few weeks. It does look like there is an awful lot of Ensure and Red Bull in the fridge, though...

I love this picture of Daphne's desk in London by Bryan Adams. Look! She has a Guinness mouse pad!

Her collection of butterfly boxes spans the Pond. I have a butterfly collection at my parents' house that belonged to my uncle. Perhaps it's time I do something with it...

Just a typical day at the Guinness house. Daphne is wearing Contra Mundum, a piece of armor made of white gold and over 5,000 diamonds-a collaboration between herself and jeweller Shaun Leane.

I absolutely love this Bryan Adams photograph. The Alexander McQueen kimono is just so beautiful. And her room looks rather small! I could totally pull this off! (The room, not the kimono)