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We all know true fashion eccentric’s are few and far between. But surely there can only be room for one woman in the world who wears her edgy Haute Couture with millions of pounds worth of diamonds, outrageous Philip Treacy hats and who is slim enough to slip down a drain when turned sideways? Last week this theory was turned on its head when I saw two of these women in a room at the SAME TIME. I was attending the Istancool arts festival in Istanbul when the seemingly impossible happened. “Daphne Guinness is over there, look!” whispered my neighbour at a lunch in Istanbul Modern art gallery. Everyone’s head swivelled towards a pencil slim woman wearing a giant black and white Philip Treacy hat which was obscuring her face.

Who's that veeeery skinny girl in the Philip Treacy hat?

 “That isn’t Daphne Guinness, THAT IS DAPHNE GUINNESS. We all looked towards the doorway as the in cantered the real Daphne on heel-less silver platform heels, an undulating Tracy concoction floating above her brow.

Daphne took off her Treacy hat to have a quick chat with Gore Vidal

So WHO was this pretender? Let me introduce you to Stacy Engman. Stacy, 32, is the chief curator of Contemporary Art at the National Arts Club in New York. Stacy was typically vague when it came to her family, except to say “my dad is in finance and insurance”. She was more forthcoming about her style, however. “I am wearing Philip Treacy, of course. My shoes are McQueen; my leggings by NY label “3 as 4” and my bag is Chanel. When our eye was drawn to a massively blinging diamond ring, what we were told next made our eyes water. “This is my personal mark,” she said, deadpan. “I was looking for a monogram for my clothes and luggage and I wasn’t happy with anything the graphic company created for me. So I looked for a symbol instead. This is inspired by the “Sheela na Gig” a pagan symbol of a female gargoyle who uses her vagina to scare away evil spirits.” That was me told, then. The ring totals 13 carats and took “my family jeweller ages to create.”

Stacy's "personal mark" inspired by the symbolic vagina of the gargoyle "Sheela na Gig"

Stacy also told us she wears “the world’s most expensive fragrance by Clive Christian.” I adore Daphne Guinness, but have also rather warmed to Stacy Engman. Anyone who is as dedicated to the cause of fashion and personal style as these two women are very welcome to the Fashion Editor at Large world. Let the rivalry commence!!

The feet of from left, Daphne Guinness (you should see Daphne when she flips down to flat position in those shoes; its so cute, and she says she does it to keep her calf muscles flexed and stretched) , Pablo Ganguli, Philip Treacy

Daphne chatting to Liberatum founder Pablo Ganguli, the 27 year old responsible for the Istancool festival.

Photos: Fashion Editor at Large
Daphne Guiness fashion shot was lifted from, no credit shown.