Daphne Guinness has been captivating audiences with her dramatic, inimitable wardrobe long before there was such a thing a “doing it for the ‘gram.” A street style icon, producer, musician, and muse of Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld, Guinness developed a cult following for that iconic black-and-white hair and surreal wardrobe, which is full of rare couture and Alexander McQueen pieces in particular. Recently, she’s taken her dark, glamorous aesthetic to a new platform: TikTok.
Having joined the app in October last year, Guinness documents her otherworldly fashion for 83,000 fans. On her page, you won’t find crop tops or chokers favored by e-girls: instead, Guinness showcases structural capes, shapely bouffants, and death-defying footwear. She often offers her followers a behind-the-scenes look at fittings or the various photo shoots she is doing, infusing the app with a dash of over-the-top glamour in the process. “You get to see a side of me on TikTok you won’t see anywhere else,” Guinness tells Vogue of these more-candid moments.
But since this is TikTok, the land of viral challenges, Guinness also puts her high-fashion twist on the app’s trending songs or videos. She’s partaken in the Euphoria challenge, the “Wipe It Down” challenge, and many others, showcasing that playing into an Internet-y moment can still be super chic. (Her Gen-Z followers often compare her style to Schitt’s Creek’s Moira Rose, a comparison that Guinness has acknowledged and embraced.) Below, Guinness discusses how TikTok inspires her creativity, what her favorite TikTok of all time is, and if—and how—her style changed during lockdown.
1. What made you want to start creating on TikTok?
I signed up because, in the beginning, no one was on TikTok and it was fun to have a secret account. My first TikTok was a picture of a penguin I took in Antarctica.
2. What’s your process for creating your TikToks?
I’m very inspired by the people on the app. Some of the most brilliant, talented creators are on TikTok. I also love using the “reply in video” feature. It’s a genius way to stay engaged.
3. There’s a big appreciation and fascination around your wardrobe. Did your style change at all during lockdown?
During lockdown, I wore my uniform and switched out my platforms for trainers. But I miss dressing up, that’s why making “Heaven” [her new music video and single, which she teased on TikTok] was so fun.
4. What’s the most special piece in your closet?
I have a few pieces I love. The Alexander McQueen x Givenchy kimono is a standout.
5. TikTok is obsessed with your shoes. Where did your love of sky-high platforms begin? What’s your favorite pair?
I like being able to stand really tall. My go-to pairs at the moment are the Noritakas, in the black and white jewels.
6. Many of your videos feature your own music. Do you create TikToks around your songs, or does this happen organically?
The platform is a great marriage of visuals and sound and I love seeing how creators interpret music differently. Once in a while I create TikToks around my songs, but it happens organically.
7. How does fashion and something like TikTok make you exercise creativity differently?
You get to see a side of me on TikTok you won’t see anywhere else. I share a lot of “behind the scenes” and it’s a great space that allows one to be creative, engaging, vulnerable, and sometimes silly.
8. What is your favorite TikTok you’ve ever made?
“My heart went oops” video was really fun to make. It has over 1.5 million views.