Daphne Guinness talks about statement pieces, her incredible collection of couture and the tragic loss of McQueen and Isabella Blow

The Royal Academy of Art’s fashion workshops were such a great experience. The last one of their Magazine Salons, dedicated to biographical wardrobes was attended by Daphne Guinness, the fashion icon, well-known for her enviable couture wardrobe. Present were also Beatrice Behlen – curator of the Museum of London and the designer Tonya Bastyan. The discussion tackled issues such as the symbolic meaning of clothes in the passed, compared to modern day culture. Behlen emphasised on the importance of the connection between the wearer and the wardrobe. She explained that one of the main aims of the Museum of London is tracing social changes through fashion and clothes. The participants of the workshop then reflected on the issue of collecting pieces, especially vintage. Most of the guests agreed that there is in their closet a specific item of accessory or clothing that they favour and would like to keep. Daphne Guinness, as one of the greatests collectors of couture explained that for her clothes are like pieces of art, which carry their own personality and history. This is why, she admitted, she could not leave her friend – Isabella Blow’s collection to be auctioned and taken into pieces. Now that the collection is safe, Guinness admitted that she is not sure what to do with it. Nevertheless, she assured the audience that as soon as she overcomes the emotional barrier and manages to go through the pieces, Blow’s heritage would be either exhibited or put online. In that way, Guinness continued, Isabella Blow will remain alive through her clothes. The Salon talk came to an end with some thoughts on how the personal style evolves through time. The audience left the gallery thinking of one single item in their wardrobes that could describe them most accurately...I still have not picked out mine.

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