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60 posts tagged "Daphne Guinness"

In Chelsea, Portraits Of The Artist And The Primate


Anh Duong was in Chelsea last night, surrounded by a gallery full of Anh Duongs. The painter’s new show, at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery, was devoted exclusively to self-portraits. “I decided I’m going to paint myself because I’m always available and on time,” Duong deadpanned. “So it started as an excuse, basically, and then it became a sort of diary. I’ve been painting myself for the last 20 years.” The portraits, which have the slightly off-kilter fluidity of Alice Neel’s (and the liquid eyes of Margaret Keane’s), show the artist nude and clothed, outdoors and in, with cameo appearances by dogs and stuffed toys. They also offer Duong an ample opportunity to dress up for her sittings, spotlighting a killer collection of frocks, accessories, and jewels. “I think they are also great excuses to use a color or shape or to add something to the painting, to the composition,” she explained. “That’s why I’m interested in painting objects, the bag, the shoes, whatever. I think also the clothes have a personal significance. As I child I would always dress up; I felt like it was some sort of make-believe world, where if the clothes were perfectly put together, then I was safe. It was a response to a chaos around me…I felt like it was this ideal world, so it came naturally that I would use that in my portraits.” A fashion-heavy crowd, including Barry Diller, Carlos de Souza, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, and Phillip Lim, came by for a look. Lim, a friend of the artist, found an especially good reason to keep a sharp eye open. “I think one of our trenches is in here,” he said, before spinning off to have a look. But Duong herself said she preferred to see her paintings as expressions of emotion and technique, rather than portraits, per se. After all, she added, “I really think that every work of an artist is a self-portrait—I just push it further.”

At Paul Kasmin Gallery nearby, the new show by Walton Ford was testing that hypothesis. Ford is known for his large-scale watercolors inspired by the animal paintings of J.J. Audubon and others, but several of the enormous pieces in the new show had no history at all: wall-sized paintings of gorillas mid-scream, without the context of time or place. A portrait of the beast within? The gallery was as thronged with stampeding visitors—Daphne Guinness, Salman Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi, and Olivia Wilde among them—but the artist himself was the picture of civility in a sharply tailored three-piece suit.

Photo: Patrick McMullan/

Jason Wu For Target, Tabitha Simmons’ Tap Dancer, Guinness Gets Into Film, And More…


Jason Wu has joined the ranks of Rodarte, Thakoon, and Richard Chai as the newest Target collaborator. Wu’s collection is the first designer collaboration set to bow after the success of Missoni for Target, WWD reports. [WWD]

Designer Tabitha Simmons enlisted the help of Craig McDean and one very talented tap dancer to show off her Fall 2011 collection in a short film. Catch her ankle boots and pumps in action in Tap Dancer, made exclusively for the launch of Simmons’ collection at Barneys. [The Window]

Over the weekend, designer Johan Lindeberg opened up a new BLK DNM shop in Stockholm. Lindeberg, who opened his first BLK DNM store on Lafayette Street in New York this summer, also announced that he has plans to open three more stores next year. [WWD]

Daphne Guinness is reportedly launching a film production company. It’s not her first outing in film, however. Guinness exec-produced Cashback, Sean Ellis’ Oscar-nominated short film. [Page Six]

Photo: Billy Farrell /

NC On CNBC, Guinness’ Twitter Find: Hogan McLaughlin, Vionnet Costumes From W.E. at Harvey Nichols, And More…


Next week, Naomi Campbell will be the subject of the CNBC Meets series. During the 30-minute episode, she talks about her mentors, like Bob Marley and Quincy Jones, her childhood in South London, and her charity work. The show will air September 28. [CNBC]

Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, and Hogan who? Hogan McLaughlin is probably not a name you are familiar with just yet, but the 22-year-old designer’s work is sitting in very good company at Daphne Guinness’ new FIT exhibit. That should certainly help with the young designer’s next goal of landing his work at high-end retail stores. [WWD]

Polaroids from the likes of Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, and Robert Mapplethorpe have been compiled in a new book, From Polaroid to Impossible…, featuring over 4,500 photos. The project originally began in the late sixties when Polaroid founder Edwin Land asked more than 800 artists to photograph anything they wanted on Polaroid film. [Hint]

The Vionnet costumes from the Madonna-directed film W.E. are now on display at Harvey Nichols. The retailer is showing off the thirties-esque pieces from the Wallis Simpson biopic through September 30. [Vogue U.K.]

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

Daphne Guinness, Undressed


“What was it like to go through Daphne Guinness’ closet?” someone asked Valerie Steele at the Museum at FIT Friday morning, minutes before Daphne Guinness, the exhibit, opened its doors.

“Closets—not closet,” Steele, who curated the exhibit, corrected. “It truly was every girl’s dream.” Standing next to Steele was Guinness herself, immaculately dressed in one of her signature more-is-more outfits, complete with heel-less black claw shoes. The duo spent months sifting through Guinness’ extensive collection of one-of-kind McQueen, Givenchy, and Rick Owens pieces in London and New York, eventually narrowing it down to 100 items for display. What stands out about Guinness, through the exhibit, and conversation, is her profound appreciation for the art of fashion that extends far beyond most peoples’, fashion insiders included. For Guinness, every intricate stitch and button detail provides a visual fixation, a tool for performance art (“sometimes it’s just the only way to deal with things”), and, at times, a shield of sorts.

“I used to use [fashion] as a defense, in a way,” Guinness tells the audience. “It was a protective tool, and now it’s not.” Guinness and Steele sat down with to talk about how they managed to work through Guinness’ collection of over 2,500 garments, why chic is no longer an armor, and what they learned through the process.

How did you pick out the pieces for the exhibit? It must have been pretty tough to narrow it down.
VS: Daphne is so organized, she has a computer database on all of the clothes. First thing we did, I went through and circled all the ones we wanted and Daphne went through that list. Then, we kept looking in the closets in New York, her apartment in London, and finding more things. Just a week and a half ago, Daphne found in a box in London—it was a McQueen for Givenchy cape that had been lost and she called me to put it in the show, so we did.
DG: It’s the only organized thing I did in the last three years. Yes, the cape had been split apart from the dress that went with it.

Daphne, it must have been tough to part with some of these pieces, right?
DG: I got Lee [McQueen] to make the black cape in that transparent material and I was like, “Oh, I really love it, I don’t know if I can part with it for the exhibit.” Then I thought, “OK, I signed up for this and it’s got to mean something here, so I will include it.” Also, it was really important for me to be here and be a part of putting all of this together. You can’t style it like it was on the runway because that was the artist’s vision, but it’s not necessarily how I would do it. Or, how I would wear it on a different day, in fact.
VS: At one point, Daphne even asked me, “Do I style it like I would now or at that time when I got it?” I told her to style it like she would now. We thought it would take days and days to style it, but it was really fast.

Daphne, when you look through it today, do you already want to change how it’s styled in the exhibit?
DG: No, I’m really comfortable and happy with it. It all makes sense now and really puts it into context. Valerie has done a great job of putting it into the context of why I have certain things. For example, David LaChapelle, he was always the best at lending things. Also, he gave me a couple of pieces, which no one ever does, ever. I have never been given anything in my life actually.

DG: Yeah, really. It’s so unfair—no, you know what’s good about it? I think that’s why I had close relationships with these people; it’s because I wasn’t trying to use them. It was an equal thing. They knew I was in it for the right reasons and I knew they were in it for the right reasons. And, when you are a designer, a lot of these people don’t have any money. People think because they have a name that they have money, but they don’t. They put their heart and soul into it. They really do. A lot of people feel entitled about it and like they don’t have to give back. I find that so disrespectful to someone’s art, especially knowing how many hours of work they have put into it. Continue Reading “Daphne Guinness, Undressed” »

Happy Hour With Guinness


Last night at Jefferson Hack’s Another Magazine dinner, the table conversation, for the most part, circled around the past several days of runway shows. Plenty of people, however, were buzzing about Daphne Guinness’ FIT exhibit opening this Friday.

“I’m so excited for her show,” Hack, who first met Guinness through Alexander McQueen, told “I think it’s a real moment for people to discover her genius and reevaluate what she brings to fashion, which she has been doing very quietly in the background and now bringing it to the foreground with FIT.”

Guinness, who was on hand at the dinner, admitted she’s anxious about the exhibit, which will show off more than 100 pieces from her enviable wardrobe. “I’m feeling nervous—I’m putting everything on the line here with this exhibit and I just want to get it right,” Guinness said. “I want people to understand the impact it can have—it’s sad because fashion isn’t a political statement anymore, but it used to be.”

Photo: Neil Rasumus /