LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Daphne Guinness' Couture Clearout for The Isabella Blow Foundation


The heiress Daphne Guinness is heading back to Christie's London on June 27 to raise funds to nurture and support the next generation of British fashion talent in the name of her close friend the late fashion editor Isabella Blow.

When Daphne Guinness intervened in a planned 2010 Christie’s auction of the personal wardrobe of her friend Isabella Blow by purchasing the entirety of the lots, the muse, designer and heiress did not know what she would do with the collection. “Isabella was a friend when she was alive, and that fact is unchanged by her death, and as her friend I did not want anybody misappropriating her vision, her life and her particular genius,” she wrote in the Financial Times at the time. “I would like this unique collection… to allow people (whether students, lovers of fashion, historians) to remember her and benefit from her legacy.”

Fast forward two years and Guinness is back at Christie’s again in the name of the stylist and fashion editor Blow. But this time it is Guinness’ wardrobe – 102 pieces of couture, ready to wear and shoes – that will go under the hammer in London on June 27 to raise funds for The Isabella Blow Foundation. This newly established foundation has been created by Guinness not only to exhibit Blow’s collection of avant-garde fashion (including her famous hats) but also to continue Blow’s work in supporting young British fashion designers through bursary and scholarship funds.

A shared love of nurturing cutting edge fashion talent was just one of the reasons that made Guinness and Blow kindred spirits. While Blow was said to have discovered Alexander McQueen (she famously bought his entire 1994 graduate collection), Guinness was cited as his muse (he often created unique pieces with Guinness in mind, some of which are available at Christie’s).

Elsewhere in the Guinness sale – amongst the Chanel couture jackets and Christian Lacroix cocktail dresses – her fondness for breakthrough names can be found in early pieces by Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane, Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière and the still little known Japanese shoe designer Noritaka Tatehana. By purchasing the work of these designers early in their careers, Guinness not only helped to finance them but can also be credited with providing some of the publicity that made them the successes they are today. And now – by selling their work in a sale that is expected to realise in excess of £100,000 – she can more formally continue her mission to nurture new fashion talent and all in the name and spirit of her friend Isabella Blow.

The Daphne Guinness Collection at Christie’s, London
June 27

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