Daphne Guinness prepared for The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala by presenting a staged display in the windows of Barneys New York while donning a pale-gray duck and ostrich feather gown designed by Alexander McQueen, who was celebrated at the event later that evening. The experiential moment served as the launch of Barneys New York collaboration with Daphne Guinness, who curated a selection of pieces from her private collection as well as from the collection of Isabella Blow, to be featured in the Madison Avenue windows. This is the first time Blow’s collection has been seen in public since Guinness acquired it in the summer of 2010.
The windows feature twenty-six complete looks from Guinness’s extensive archives, ten of which were created by Alexander McQueen. Also included are ensembles from Haider Ackermann, Balmain, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Hauliuetrige, David Koma, Hogan McLaughlin, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, L’Wren Scott, and Three As Four. Vintage and self-designed pieces are also showcased.
Clothing from the Isabella Blow archive is being seen publicly for the first time since Guinness acquired her friend’s collection in its entirety to ensure it would not be broken apart and sold at auction. Several of Blow’s signature hats – created for her by Philip Treacy, a great friend and collaborator – are featured along with sixteen ensembles from Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Viktor & Rolf. Also featured is a Yoshiki Hishinuma voluminous parachute dress.
Guinness’s appearance in the windows was projected on the facade of the Madison Avenue store while simultaneously being live-streamed on Barneys New York’s luxury content site, The Window and will continue to replay throughout the week.
Over the course of the six-week installation, Ms. Guinness will return to the Barneys Madison Avenue flagship window several times to dress and each appearance will again be live-streamed on thewindow.barneys.com. A short film providing a glimpse into Daphne Guinness’ life, using the Barneys installation as a backdrop, is also in production and will be released following the collaboration.