Daphne Guinness resists definition. She holds the unique position of being at the forefront of the fashion industry as well as being a closely cherished insider. She is equally celebrated as an artist; working across many mediums including photography, art, literature, fashion and most recently, music. She is regarded as both an originator of ideas as well as a catalyst for progress, where boundaries are pushed and from which new ideas are born. Her support of new and undiscovered talent has been widely documented.
Daphne has designed a capsule collection of shirts and a perfume, named simply ‘DAPHNE’ for Comme de Garçons. In 2011, Daphne worked with her old friend, artisan jewellery designer Shaun Leane, to complete Contra Mundum or ‘Against the World’: a one-of-a-kind diamond and white gold glove. The handcrafted, intricately made objet d’art took five years to develop and create, and is perhaps one of the most technically advanced pieces in the world of artisan jewels. It was originally exhibited in partnership with Jay Jopling in London, and has since toured art exhibitions and jewellery fairs worldwide. In 2016, superstar musician Lady Gaga wore the glove for a cover shoot with Daphne for US publication, V Magazine.
Later in 2011, Daphne’s extraordinary style caught the eye of Valerie Steele, who persuaded her to do an exhibition at FIT in New York. The exhibition illustrated Daphne’s tailor aesthetics; after lending numerous clothes and accessories, she personally styled each mannequin. A book, (Daphne Guinness) which she co-wrote with Steele, was released in tandem with the show and sold out nationwide within two weeks.
Fusing the worlds of sound and vision, Daphne produced a series of striking videos to accompany various tracks from the album including films by Nick Knight for Fatal Flaw and David LaChapelle for Evening in Space. To promote the album, Daphne put together a permanent band lineup and embarked on a series of unique UK shows, among them the legendary London venue The Scotch of St. James, the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London and the Cardiff Millennium Hall in Wales with a full orchestra.
Daphne returns in early 2018 with her second album, ‘It’s a Riot’ now under the moniker ‘Daphne & the Golden Chord’.
Working this time with her regular group of musicians, it is much more of a ‘band’ album than the previous one. With Tony Visconti in the producer’s chair once again, this album is more of an energetic affair than Optimist in Black. The songs were recorded at Mark Knopfler’s British Grove studios in London where the band tracked the songs live to analogue multi-track tape, recording through vintage EMI consoles. Evoking the glam rock stomps of T.Rex and Glitter rock, Visconti’s signature string arrangements bringing a lush sense of authenticity to the songs. Lyrically, Daphne dazzles with her own brand of poetic imagery; think Nico singing Dylan lyrics with a T.Rex backing and you’re in the right area, although Visconti’s masterful production makes it feel simultaneously timeless and futuristic.