NO word sufficiently sums up Daphne Guinness. Eccentric seems too quaint for a woman who recently had a pair of shoes fabricated to resemble knives. No, the Real Daphne (@TheRealDaphne) may be closer to the spirit of 19th-century romantic adventurers. She takes risks.
Markus Klinko & Indrani
Her latest is to appear in a window at Barneys on May 2, dressed in featheryAlexander McQueen for the Costume Institute gala, which will celebrate his work. She is expected to enter at 5 p.m., in one of four windows devoted to pieces from her closet as well as from the collection of the late Isabella Blow, with hats by Philip Treacy and objects by the jeweler Shaun Leane, all friends of Mr. McQueen.
“I am not doing a burlesque — no way,” she said from Paris, where she was filming a movie. “I’m going to be getting dressed behind something. I’m not Dita Von Teese, nor shall I be.”
Initially, Dennis Freedman, the store’s creative director, proposed displaying some of her clothes, with cards noting where each thing was worn. “Like a social diary,” he said. “Then Daphne said, ‘Why don’t I get dressed in your window?’ I thought, ‘Oh, my God, of course.’ ”
There is a long history of live windows at Barneys, according to Simon Doonan, the creator of many displays. He recalled live windows in honor of the Duke and Duchess of York (“when they were together”) and others with the actual celebrities. “Donatella Versaceloved it.”
Ms. Guinness wanted to recognize Ms. Blow, whose wardrobe of McQueen clothes she bought last year. “I know it’s the right thing to do because he’d be mortified if she wasn’t somewhere represented,” she said. In recognition of new talent, she also wants to include pieces by Hogan McLaughlin, whom she met on Twitter. He designed a cat suit with stretch panels “so it looks like I’ve been flayed alive,” as Ms. Guinness said.
The windows (without Ms. Guinness) will be up for a few weeks. “There’s been this discussion for longer than I’ve been alive that fashion is not art,” she said. “My feeling is that this is another piece of evidence that, yes, there is a commercial side to fashion that is needed, but there are these crossover moments that do become art.” She paused. “I hope it works, and I don’t faint.”
Written by: Cathy Horyn