Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Darnell Collection

3 piece suit - Christian Dior 1950

Remember I promised some exciting developments regarding this year's Tessuti Awards? Well, the great news is that *selected historic black gowns from The Darnell Collection will be exhibited on the awards night.

The Darnell Collection comprises some 3000 pieces of antique and vintage couture clothing.

Collector and curator Charlotte Smith has amassed an extraordinary collection from Europe, Australia and the USA, encompassing women's, men's and children's clothing and accessories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Underwear and corsetry, evening gowns, swimwear, handbags,shoes, hats, gloves, jewellery and suiting are just some of the beautiful historic pieces which showcase the glamour and upheaval of fashion over the past two hundred years.

Exquisite design details of lavish beading, embroidery, lacework, boning and draping are an inspiring aspect of the items in The Darnell Collection. Superb fashion garments from influential designers, such as Christian Dior, Madeleine Vionnet and Gianni Versace, are also represented in the collection, as well as lovingly handcrafted garments, including a trousseau prepared by a C19th bride-to-be.

Pieces from this wonderful collection have been in exhibitions around the country, including at the Bendigo Regional Gallery in Victoria and the Queen Victoria Building, and featured in the media, such as ABC’s The Collectors program.

Christian Dior - 1950

Charlotte will be joining us at our awards night next Wednesday 29th October. Thank you Charlotte for allowing us to view this wonderful collection. It's an added bonus and inspiration for all of those attending this year's Tessuti Awards to view some of these beautiful pieces and gain an insight into the enduring allure of black in fashion through the ages.

*pieces dating from 1880 to 2000.


  1. beautiful dresses! wish i could be there--need to post pictures of the event. have fun!

  2. I just can't wait to see this amazing collection. What an inspiration!

  3. Oh Collette... It's times like this that I wish I still had my 'big city passport'. Pleeeeese post some fab photos for your absent friends. Have fun on your big night.


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