Friday 6 May 2011

Daphne Guinness dressing for McQueen

Style icon, and performance artist Daphne Guinness blurred the line between fashion, art, and pre-party primping when she dressed for the Costume Institute Gala Benefit in Barneys’ Manhattan flagship window, emerging in a pale-gray duck and ostrich feathery McQueen gown.

Donning an Alexander McQueen creation in a live art performance, her intention was to

‘both honor his memory and bring his unparalleled artistic vision to life once again.’

“I went for a meeting with Dennis Freedman, the creative director of Barneys, and to my considerable astonishment found myself agreeing to his exciting but giddying proposition to hand over the windows of Barneys for a six-week run starting May 2 to showcase pieces from my own collection that have special resonance for me,” she told US Vogue. “What was I thinking? As the crowning moment of the installation, I will be getting dressed and readied for the Costume Institute Gala in the windows — me as performance art! I am hoping that my costume (McQueen, of course), will fit.”

Donning a design by Alexander McQueen, she will both honor his memory and bring his unparalleled artistic vision to life once again.

Rather than get ‘frocked-up’ in the comfort of her own boudoir for the coveted event,

Ms Guinness chose to get ready in front of the crowds who gathered in front of the iconic Barneys window,

where they watched her ‘dressing’ performance silhouetted in a sheer pane,

captured here by the New York Post, and the exit here.

Starting with a revealing gold bodysuit, Guinness eerily slithered across the window display with her face and head wrapped in sheer scarves before slinking into a cubicle of frosted glass. ‘To be covered expresses part of her grief,’ said Dennis Freedman, Barneys’ creative director.

And true to her word, the dramatic spectacle culminated with the gown which Guinness wore to the Met Ball that evening – a lilac feathered creation with exaggerated hips designed by Sarah Burton and first paraded onAlexander McQueen’s S/S ‘11 catwalk last October. As for the finishing touch, the scarves were unravelled to reveal that signature lightning bolt of silver in her jet black hair, before she was whisked off to the festitivies in an open top car.


If you are lucky enough to be in New York, you may catch a glimpse of Daphne during the six-week installation as she will return to the Barneys flagship windows several times. Each appearance will be streamed live on

{Images 1. Daphne Guinness: The Real Daphne Guinness – Bazaar March 2011 by David Bailey;  2-7 via Grazia Dailydaphne guinness}


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    5 Responses to “Daphne Guinness dressing for McQueen”

    1. Liz says:

      When is the next appearance by Daphne? I tried Barneys website, there’s no info :(

    2. Cate says:

      I searched to no avail……

    3. Liz says:

      :/ I’m kinda sad I missed it on May 2nd… I saw Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Met yesterday, it was so mind blowing, breathtaking with a hint of sadness, I recommend to see this exhibition!

    4. Liz says:

      P.S. love your website! but for some reason I can’t join your e-mail list…

    5. Cate says:

      You are so lucky – Brisbane is a bit too far away! I will appreciate it vicariously.


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