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The Female Lead at the V&A: Daphne Guinness

At the end of 2022, The Female Lead hosted an intimate conversation at the V&A with icon Daphne Guinness and fashion curator NJ Stevenson.

Daphne Guinness is a fashion designer, musician, actress, and producer - to name but a few. She is known for her love of couture and flamboyant personal style, Guinness became a muse to Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld and also developed close friendships with Isabella Blow and David Bowie.

Photographer: David La Chapelle, published in FLAUNT

Speaking on the 'Greatest Music Of All Time' podcast, Guinness revealed how she met Bowie in New York, noting that "he had a great sense of humour". In fact, it was Bowie who introduced Guinness to Tony Visconti - the producer of 14 Bowie albums, across seven decades.

In an interview with PAPER, Guinness explained how she received an email from Tony saying Bowie wants a copy of every take; l thought, Oh wow, who wouldn't want David Bowie, essentially, co-producing? He called himself the "Godfather" of the album.' (PAPER, 2018).

Tony Visconti and Daphne Guinness have since worked on several projects together. Visconti produced Daphne Guinness' 2016 album 'Optimist in Black', featuring the single 'Evening In Space'.

Evening In Space: Daphne Guinness / David LaChapelle / Tony Visconti

Guinness also had a close personal relationship with magazine editor and muse of Phillip Treacy, Isabella Blow. Guinness describes Blow as her 'sort of new family... she took me under her wing as it were'.

Photographer: Etienne Gilfillan, published in The London Journal

The pair first met "officially" in 1998. "God knows what I was wearing, but she made a joke of it. She said I looked like a grasshopper. I liked her immediately; she made me roar with laughter." (AnOther, 2013).

The V&A event covered a range of topics, navigating through Daphne Guinness' career and personal life.

The Female Lead and the V&A hope to partner again in June 2023 for the event: 'DIVA'.

DIVA will celebrate the power and creativity of iconic performers, exploring and redefining the role of 'diva' and how this has been subverted or embraced over time across opera, stage, popular music, and film.



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