Ten years ago, style icon and Video Look Book subject extraordinaire Daphne Guinness went through a painful split from her husband, Spyros Niarchos, heir of shipping magnate Stavros. Apparently, the isolation she endured in marriage was not unlike that suffered by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, who made a fortune off the time she spent facedown on the floor of her Connecticut bathroom, talking to God through a pool of her own snot and tears about how much she didn’t want her life. While Gilbert turned to cheese, yoga, and the beach, Daphne turned her life around in a far different way. Her story is the Eat, Pray, Love we’ve always wanted to read! Chapters might go like this:
During her marriage, Daphne jetted all around the world, from Saint-Tropez and a fabulous yacht to New York and Paris. She always traveled with bodyguards and never kept in touch with friends or family (she claims she hadn’t seen them for fifteen years by the time she had separated). “Suddenly, I had to start all over again, and it was very frightening. It was like coming out of a time capsule,” she says. But rather than curl up with a box of See’s Candy and take Italian lessons, like many divorcées would, Daphne started working the fabulous designer clothes she had accumulated with Niarchos like never before. “I found, at that time, that fashion became an extension of self.”
In her new fabulous outfits, Daphne set about doing what Elizabeth Gilbert boasts she can do no matter what, anywhere in the world, in any emotional state: make friends. But Daphne didn’t just arrive in a foreign land with scraps of paper with phone numbers on them, fretting over a lost box of books and eating gelato for breakfast because she’s a woman traveling alone and it’s liberating, so back off. She put on her most fabulous clothes, went to parties, and started picking up people. They included the late Isabella Blow, whom she met at the 90th birthday party for her cousin, Maureen, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava. And Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Eventually, she befriended the rest of the world’s most fabulous people, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and the president of Comme des Garçons among them.
Comme president Adrian Joffe suggested that Daphne make a fragrance when they were having lunch one day. It smells like her — a mix of patchouli and burning churches. “I love the smell of churches and of clay and moss. I like earthy smells. I love amber and tuberose,” she says. Seems like a more prudent hobby than letting a local Balinese woman take advantage of her. But Daphne is anything but uncharitable: Last year, she auctioned off 1,000 pieces collected during her marriage, raising $158,000 for a charity that aids abused women. Daphne still hasn’t sailed into the sunset with a handsome foreign man (“There’s always something that’s not quite right about love, isn’t there?” she says, amid heartbreak she is unable to mask) or gone on Oprah or optioned her divorce story for a book or a movie. But by God, she should, and we would so ghost-write that shit.
Daphne Guinness, Golden Girl [Telegraph]
Related: In Which We Bump Into Daphne Guinness on the Street and Talk Fashion