By Leah Ornstein – Radar Style & Beauty Editor
Skinny British socialite and style icon Daphne Guinness gets up close and personal in her new book, which accompanies her exhibition at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
The 43-year-old, who is famous for making controversial statements like “I’ll eat when I’m dead” offers her fans insight into her obsession with fashion, her bourgeoisie upbringing and why she is grateful to be thin in the photo-filled coffee table book – and RadarOnline.com has picked out her 10 most interesting quips from the book, which will be available in the United States later this month.
On ‘sneaking around’ on her ex-husband Spyros Niarchos: “My husband was quite conservative, which I respected. He didn’t like me to dress up. I’d buy Manolos and hide them. I’d take off my stilettos and wear flats. He didn’t like me to wear hats – an English peculiarity which is almost inexplicable.”
On reinventing herself after her divorce: “I had to go back to my maiden name, and I had to construct something new. It was not a conscious decision [to change] – I reverted to type! Being oneself means being on one’s own, and I was completely on my own. It was pretty frightening. I started trying to disguise myself, but I discovered that the disguise was making me more visible.”
On her love of expensive couture: “Thank God I’m a sample size!”
On her trademark black and white hair: “I didn’t just decide one day, “I want black and white hair.” It happened in stages. I began as a blonde. I combined the lightest blonde and the darkest brown. People started saying I look like Cruella de Vil, but I’ve never seen 101 Dalmations.”
On her crazy platform shoes without heels: “If these were not comfortable, I would not be wearing them.”
On her hatred of being dubbed “eccentric”: “I’m not eccentric! I’m very level-headed. Not eccentric, imaginative! When people say you are eccentric, they are trying to do you down or say you’re crazy.”
On her reasoning behind wearing expensive jewelry every day: “I hate to keep things in the bank. When are you going to wear your jewelry if not now? When you are dead? Best is for every day!”
On why sportswear is the worst thing that ever happened to fashion: “When men drink beer and wear sweatpants, it’s the beginning of the end.”
On cross-dressing: “It’s nice to be different people. I’d like to be able to change gender.”
On how fashion is becoming too boring: “Fashion today is becoming more beige. By that I mean that everyone and everything is starting to look the same – almost like a Mao uniform. We should be flying the flag for individuality.”
On her personal style: “I don’t do event dressing, because every day is an event.”
For more information on Daphne Guinness by Valerie Steele and Daphne Guinness, visit Yale University Press website.