28 November 2011

Exotic Taste Today: MCQUEEN

Exotic Taste Today-
that phrase might just be embodied by
none other than Daphne Guinness

Daphne Guinness photograph by Bryan Adams

I think of Kabuki when I see photographs of Daphne Guinness. I have said I believe she is the is a  modern day performance artist. As with Kabuki- what Guinness does is highly stylized. The classical Japanese dance-drama of Kabuki involves a synthesis of theatre -elaborate make-up and costume.  

kabuki ,kabuku, meaning "to lean" or "to be out of the ordinary" "avant-garde" or "bizarre" theatre.

wearing Givenchy, from Alexander McQueen’s tenure there in 2004.

Who work more than Guiness's favored designer the late Alexander McQueen & now his champion Sarah Burton evokes the Exotic.

McQueen, Guinness, and Sir John Lavery,  at far right, his painting of HAZEL IN ROSE AND GOLD

Alexander McQueen's Feather Dress, from the Met's Savage Beauty Exhibition

Often wearing McQueen, still Exotic, in the most refined way is actress Cate Blanchett

China Machado in McQueen,photographed by Bruce Weber for W

Michelle Obama wearing McQueen to a State Dinner, at left & r, shoe designer & fashion editor for Vogue- Tabitha Simmons is often photographed wearing McQueen

Bjork wearing McQueen for her 1997 album cover

This scant post touches on one designer that continues to reach for the Exotic. This  & the original post here- along with some others to come- is inspired by the book Exotic Taste by Emmanuelle Gaillard.

On a more scholarly note, Emile de Bruijn at the National Trust is looking at examples of Chinoiserie at the houses and in the collections of the National Trust on his site TREASURE HUNT-
 Here is a list of these posts-

Chinese Wallpaper: a living tradition here
Pagodas Please here
The East India Company at home here
The allure of the strange here
& this one-just for the pure delight, Cultural cross-dressing here



  1. Exotic Taste--or Sumptuous taste. I've been following Emile's blog for quite a while--he examines the details that no one else does--he's fantastic. Thanks. Mary

  2. I swoon each time I see that feather dress!

  3. Gaye, thank you for mentioning me so generously. I have now started to plan a book on chinoiserie in the houses and gardens of the National Trust. I hope it will be a book with a dash of scholarship and lots of glamour, as the subject deserves both :)

  4. The topic deserves your brilliant voice, Can not wait for it. I am continuing with this idea for several more postings so be sure to check back. I love the Fromental paper and the piece they did in your latest post. PGT

  5. I have the Met's Savage Beauty Exhibition "Catalogue" (a lovely book)and I could look at it for days and days. It's a fairly reasonable price. Could make a great gift for a McQueen fan. It has over 200 pictures. I pore over it.


  6. Is that her bedroom? Not what I expected.

  7. Jill, yes it is, this in London and her Mayfair apt, from Harpers Bazaar and her NY digs published in AD sometime this spring. The HB photos are on there website. Interestingly the Mayfair is very British and the NY more avantgarde -artwise, but really both sound design, albeit the bedding is a bit boring.pgt

  8. MJH Arts, it is the best place to go of its kind out there.
    Emily- it is something!

    Sommar-I agree. A great recommendation. Few of the Met's books disappoint. Thanks for adding that. pgt



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