The Honourable Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness (born 9 November 1967) is an artist of both British and Irish nationality. She is an heir by direct descent of Arthur Guinness, the 18th-century inventor of the beer that still bears his name.
Her paternal grandmother was Diana Mitford, one of the legendary Mitford sisters. Daphne is the youngest child in her family; she has an older brother, Sebastian, and three half-siblings (her father’s children with another woman). She grew up in stately homes in England and Ireland, and spent summers with her mother in an eighteenth-century former monastery in Cadaqués, Spain, where Salvador Dali was a `neighbor.
Since 1994, she has been on the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame, which seeks to identify the best-dressed women in the world. In 2010, she was named in Tatler’s top 10 best-dressed list. In 2011, she created a make-up line for MAC cosmetics. In January 2011, she was asked by Tom Ford to close his comeback womenswear show.
“That Daphne is a Guinness is important, because the Guinnesses are more than just a family. The are some vast international club. Whether they are enormously rich or penniless, old or young, famous or infamous, gay or straight, they have that special charisma quite unlike any other family. It has to do with their fundamental Irishness and all that involves: leprechauns, the gift of gab, not to mention the magic brew that the family still provides.’
~ personal friend and art historian John Richardson
“Fashion, actually… I don’t find that very interesting. The idea of being able to transform yourself because we can, because we are human beings, that’s interesting. But I don’t think fashion, because it has become so much of a business, is that interesting.”
In June 2010, Guinness purchased the entire lot of the wardrobe of Isabella Blow, her friend who committed suicide in 2007. The lot was purchased prior to an auction which was arranged at Christie’s. In reference to the purchase, Guinness was quoted as saying “Indeed, in many ways, the auction would not be merely a sale of clothes; it would be a sale of what was left of Issie, and the carrion crows would gather and take away her essence forever.” She later announced that she would be displaying the wardrobe at Central Saint Martins and online as well as starting a foundation to help with mental illness. Guinness also held an auction in 2012 where she raised $744,285 for the Isabella Blow Foundation. The official show, entitled “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore,” . In September 2011, more than half a million visitors attended the Alexander McQueen exhibition “Savage Beauty”, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Shortly thereafter, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology devoted one of its galleries to about a hundred of Daphne’s most important pieces.
Gloria Guinness was widely hailed as one of the most stylish women of her day, making the 1964 International Best Dressed List and defined as having – in her own words – “innate chic”.
But with four husbands and a rumoured past as a Second World War spy, Gloria Guinness maintained an air of mystery in her lifetime which fascinated followers of fashion.
She was dressed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, Marc Bohan at Christian Dior, Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and shoes by Roger Vivier. But she also favored the Spaniard Antonio Canovas del Castillo del Rey at Lanvin (clothing). She was one of the first persons to wear the capri pants by Emilio Pucci. She was photographed for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Woman’s Wear Daily by Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Slim Aarons and Henry Clarke. Artist like René Bouché, Kenneth Paul Block and Alejo Vidal-Quadras (1919-94) painted her.
She gave dozens of items to the Victoria & Albert Museum, including pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Christian Dior (1905-57), Antonio Canovas del Castillo del Rey (1908-1984) and Hubert de Givenchy (b.1927). Amongst these famous names were several lesser known labels, such as Marcelle Chaumont (b.1892; house closed in 1953). Some items by Balenciaga and Schiaparelli were donated to The Costume Institute in New York.
Guinness wrote frequently for Harper’s Bazaar, most famously asserting, in the magazine’s July 1963 issue: “Elegance is in the brain as well as the body and in the soul. Jesus Christ is the only example we have of any one human having possessed all three at the same time.” She also wrote an appreciation to the catalogue The World of Balenciaga held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1973.
Born Dolores Maria Agatha Wilhelmine Luise, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Herdringen on 31 July 1936 in Berlin-Charlottenburg. She is the second daughter of Franz-Egon Maria Meinhard Engelbert Pius Aloysius Kaspar Ferdinand Dietrich, 3rd Graf von Fürstenberg-Herdringen (1896–1975) and his second wife, Gloria Guinness (1912–1980). She also has a younger brother, Franz-Egon born 1939, and a half-sister, Betsy von Furstenberg, from her fathers previous marriage.
Dolores was often photographed by the likes of Richard Avedon, William Klein , Bert Stern, and Cecil Beaton, for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country wearing Givenchy, Dior, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga. In her heyday during the 50s and 60s, Guinness represented the crème de la crème of the international jet set and she often appeared on the International Best Dressed List during these years. In 1955, at age 19, she married her stepbrother, Patrick Guinness, son of her mother’s fourth husband. The couple’s youngest child, Victoria Christina, went on to marry a Niarchos (Philip), who in turn begat Stavros III and Eugenie, the former a bar-brawling ex of Paris Hilton’s, the latter a doe-eyed blonde frequently found front row at Fashion Weeks everywhere.