One Enchanted Evening: Book number three to be published on 1st November 2017

I am very excited to announce my third book, One Enchanted Evening (Affirm Press, Melbourne) will be published on 
November 1st 2017. 

This book continues the series and adventures
Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel 
began and will again feature fabulous outfits from the collection and retell the wonderful stories of the women who wore them.

One hundred and twenty seven special occasion dresses will be included - each one meticulously illustrated in full colour by my friend and 
fashion illustrator/artist, Grant Cowan.

I'll be posting a schedule of book launches around the country later on this year. 

Looking forward to sharing these stores and signing my book. 
My next book's cover. Starring Oscar de la Renta from 2012

A silk organza ball gown by Belleville Sassoon from the 50s

A 1950s silk ball gown by Joseph Whitehead 

An unlabelled 80s silk organza ball gown


Pucci 1960s worn by Sheila Shay

Grant Cowan at work creating one of 127 illustrative masterpieces

The Fabulous Fifties - Ballarat Heritage weekend 2017

The 1950s - the decade of the New Perfection in fashion

With a striking new silhouette introduced by Christian Dion in 1947, the full skirt and nipped in waist has become iconic to the 50s. Also in the 1950s, the long, lean look - the hourglass silhouette- was also introduced. 

By 1952 everywomen dreamed of owning a Dior (hence the name of my first book, Dreaming of Dior). 

The 'perfect' housewife greeted her husband looking immaculate from head to toe, the children were snuggly in bed and dinner was on the table. 

Fifties fashion was from one extreme to the other: from haute couture ball gowns to novelty print rockabilly skirts and twinsets. Fashion catered to every social group who wanted to dress for every occasion.

Ballarat Heritage Weekend is an annual event. Every year, the theme changes and The Darnell Collection parades brings to life the era. Over twenty garments were accessories to perfection and models walked the catwalk while I narrated social and fashion history to give integrity to each outfit.
Crowds were enormous this year - all turning dressed in the best and in the best vintage to walk my special guests Tara Moss, Jacinta Tynan and Emma Birdsall model with local and out of state models including the Mayor of Ballarat, Samantha McIntosh. 
It was an extraordinary weekend. 

Thank you Ballarat Council for supporting such a unique and classy weekend 
in your magnificent city.

A crowd of over 500 watched the Saturday parade held inside the beautiful Mining Institute

Promotion at its best 

Line-up of Saturday's bevy of beautiful models
(Photo by Kate Healy)
Sunday's parades showcased a diverse range of womenswear in the 50s
(Grace, Eliza and Olivia)
Sunday's parades went from evening wear to day suits - all accessorised to perfection
(Molly, Fabienne and Jemima)

Tara Moss, author and feminist, and Jacinta Tynan, author and news presenter join me on stage for 'In Conversation'
Olivia channelling Audrey Hepburn in a silk crepe Dorothy O'Hara hourglass dress
(Photo by Kate Healy, The Courier)

Jacinta looking like a princess in a ball gown by Limelight
(This photo and following photos by Kate Healy, The Courier)
Tara looking soigné in a lace Elizabeth Arden hostess gown
Eva wears a silk chiffon summer dress
Eliza looking elegant in a dress patterned to imitate shagreen
Fabienne wearing a silk crepe and grosgrain cocktail dress


Ballarat Heritage Weekend - 27th and 28th May

An incredible weekend of fashion and fabulousness in Ballarat this weekend
27th and 28th May
Twenty stunning and decadently feminine outfits and perfect accessories 
are packed and ready for the trip to Victoria

SATURDAY 
'In Conversation': Charlotte Smith talks fashion and fabulousness with Jacinta Tynan and Tara Moss
at 11:30am
Fabulous Fifties Fashion Parade starring 10 models including Jacinta Tynan and Tara Moss
at 2pm
Fabulous Fifties Cocktail and Best Dressed Party
at 6pm - 9pm

SUNDAY
Fabulous Fifties Fashion Parade starring 10 models including Emma Birdsall 
at 12pm and 2pm

Tickets and information
www.heritageweekend.com.au


The Darnell Collection at the Sydney Royal Easter Show 2017

42 parades in 14 days!!
Cotton, Wool, Alpaca, Mohair, Linen and Silk 
were brought to life on the catwalk at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the Fashion & Style Pavilion.

As host, stylist and Fashion Anthropologist, I presented three parades each day, which added to the agricultural vibe at the Show. Trivia, facts and figures for each of the natural fibres showcased layered another element to the stylish ambience and the professionalism of the models. 

Hundreds of outfits and accessories from The Darnell Collection were worn 
by students modelling in front of thousands of spectators. 

Hair and makeup was expertly provided by TAFE Ultimo and Gymea, Cameron Jane, Sydney, Chris Wolf Hair, Katoomba and several independent professionals.

Music, from Santana to Goldfrapp, kept things lively - thanks to the brilliant sound and lighting team of students from TAFE Quakers Hill.

Models came from schools across the Greater Metropolitan Sydney, Canberra and Blue Mountains as well as Cameron Jane and D Surace Media Productions. 

All in all 150 people were involved to make these shows happen. What a fortnight!
Thank you to everyone involved.
Channelling David Bowie in a pair of 20s wool tweed plus-fours, a 30s wool dinner jacket and a cricket scarf!
Perfect Easter colours!
Wool: From the fleece from one sheep's back you can produce 3 suits, 6 dresses and 70 pairs of sock!
Wool crepe wedding dress by Adrian Makepiece. 1990s channelling 1860s! 
Alpaca cape - Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas 6000 years ago. It was called 'the fibre of the Gods'.
Australian designer Bianca Spender silk evening dress. If you unravelled the filament of a silk cocoon it would stretch for 1 kilometre. To weave a silk kimono, you will require 2000-3000 cocoons worth of silk filament.

Easter Monday line-up!
Linen from the 60s - the finest linen thread is the Ferguson's Double Damask which is so fine that if you weighed 40 kilometres of it, it would only weight 1 kilo!
Back Stage - Just before our parade began
A fun cotton fact - natural shades of cotton varieties in South America come in shades of red, yellow, beige, chocolate, pink, purple, green and one patterned like a leopard!
Linen
@Goldheist wearing wool looking WW11 ready!
Sydney menswear designer Joe Banana cotton velveteen coat from the 70s
Suave and tailored wool ensemble

Parading out and about at the Show
Wool and cotton - just before the parade!
Mohair - fleece from the Angora Goat produces the Mohair fibre
Some awesome and eclectic ensembles!

Mohair, Silk, Cotton, Silk, Linen!!

All simles - the parade is over for the day!
Another day - another parade!


The Perfect Afternoon Tea at Blue Mountains Grammar


There is no better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon 
than to watch beautiful young women (all students at Grammar) model 
one hundred years of fashions worn by ladies to 'take tea'. 

We began with the 1900s and ended with 2016. 
A packed house helped us celebrate this wonderful tradition that raised $3000 for the
Blue Mountains Grammar Parents & Friends Organisation.

All the dresses and accessories were sourced from The Darnell Collection.
(Photos couresty of Brigitte Grant Photography and Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)

Cakes and tea sandwiches graced every table
A delicate lawn and hand embroidered lace tea gown from 1900 worn by Claudia
 
A stunning linen and cotton crocheted lace skirt and jacket from 1910 worn by Alex
(Photo credit: Anne Crana, Blue Mountains Grammar)
An unusual linen and cotton crocheted lace day dress from 1920 worn by Eleni
A cotton embroidered party dress from 1920 worn by Nikki
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
A beautiful cotton organdie tea gown from Holland from 1938 worn by Kate
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
 
A silk ribbon dress and sheared mouton cape from 1942 worn by Olivia
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)

A lovely polished cotton printed day dress by L'Aignon from 1955 worn by Anetta
A summery cotton party dress by Horrockses of London from 1955 worn by Emma
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
A rayon jumpsuit from the 1960s worn by Olivia
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
A silk knit long Pucci hostess gown (and Mary Quant sunglasses) from 1964 worn by Alex
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
An ethereal Mexican cotton party dress from the mid 1970s worn by Eleni
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)

A silk 'Buckingham Palace' tea party dress by Andrea Odicini from the 1980s worn by Olivia
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
A polyester and silk silk-screened mini dress by Joseph Ribkoff from the mid 1990s worn by Emma
A boucle wool Burberry dress from the late 1990s worn by Anetta
(Photo credit: Anne Cranna, Blue Mountains Grammar)
A pretty silk dress by TATA-NAKA from 2015 worn by Kate