Daphne Guinness On Why She Bought Isabella Blow’s Clothes

Kerry Pieri

If you ever stop and think about Daphne Guinness, it’s really incredibly sad that she lost two of her closest friends so close in time to each other it’s actually quite heart breaking. The heiress spoke about both Lee Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow at a talk at the Royal Academy and it kind of makes me want to hug her.

First, she opens up about why she purchased that entire wardrobe of high fashion that once belonged to Isabella Blow at auction to Vogue UK. “What happened to her was so awful – I just wanted to preserve who she really was. I had to make sure it was safe. It’s difficult for me to look at it though – it smells of her. Her wardrobe was a narrative of her life,” she explains.

And lest you think Guinness doesn’t support Sarah Burton’s new role at McQueen, you’d be wrong. “Sarah’s brilliant – I loved her last collection,”Guinness tells us. “She worked withLee for so long so she knows what to do. She’s not Lee but I think he’d be happy with her doing it. She learnt from him. Other than McQueen, I don’t love this resurrection of redundant labels. There are so many talented young designers and so many of them end up working under other people’s labels. They should be doing their own thing.”

Hmm, like for McQueen it’s OK but not all the others? I’m just glad the McQueen label is carrying on, and Daphne explains its namesake beautifully:

“There’s clothing then there’s art and he was an artist. If he’d have wanted to be a painter then he would have been one of the best in the world. He had that magical touch. He just got it. His shows were like pieces of theatre – they were mindblowing. He could make anyone do anything.” Sigh.