We sat down with Daphne, who has been called a “fashion fantasy” and “the most stylish women living” (by Tom Ford no less) in Valerie’s office to hear about five fantastic pieces of clothing from the exhibit and the stories behind them:

One day he saw me walking across the street in his kimono and he ran up to me and said, “ I’m the person you don’t want to meet!” We went to a pub and hit it off. Of course after that I was so irritated not to have known him before!”

Valerie asked me to come to one of the lunches hosted by the Couture Council and we started chatting. I’d never met someone so clever and so interesting and fascinating and this is how this whole thing happened. Then she proposed this exhibition of my clothes and I said sure. I then got really nervous at the thought of the whole thing but I feel totally comfortable in her hands. And you never know how something’s going to turn out until you put it on!”

Gareth’s designs are quite simple yet so complex. Quite intellectual too.”

Daphne Guinness” is on view at The Museum at FIT in New York City, September 16, 2011 – January 7, 2012.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a book, also titled Daphne Guinness, written by Valerie Steele and Daphne Guinness, and published by Yale University Press. All royalties from sales of the book will benefit the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Click here to read September's "The Empress's New Clothes."

Photos: Pugh (gray) and Chanel: The Museum at FIT. McQueen: Getty Images. Time Out London: Gareth Pugh. Balmain: PMC.