South Island city Dunedin will be transformed into a high fashion boutique, when a collection of vintage couture clothing is showcased during iD Dunedin Fashion Week.
Charlotte Smith - owner and curator of the largest private vintage clothing collection in Australia - will be arriving in Dunedin in April with treasures from her precious Darnell Collection to showcase on the catwalk of the iD Dunedin Fashion Show (8 & 9.04.2011).
The Darnell Collection The Darnell Collection is Australia’s largest private collection of international vintage couture clothing and accessories.
Charlotte Smith inherited the collection of over 3000 priceless pieces including Chanel, Dior and Versace, from her American godmother Doris Darnell, in 2004 - and it has since grown to 5000 items.
Smith realised the value of the collection when she discovered her godmother’s book of stories, including stories of the women who wore these treasures for the first time.
Smith says "This wasn′t a mere collection of beautiful things, it was a collection of life. Women′s lives. Tiny snapshots of our joys and disappointments, our entrances and exits, triumphant and tragic."
The collection became known as the Darnell Collection and is the basis for two books by Smith: Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel.
The show Fifteen stunning pieces including original items designed by Chanel and Dior in the 1960s will be shown on the catwalk during iD Dunedin, providing an unforgettable glimpse into a magic wardrobe every woman would love to own.
Charlotte Smith will also give a guest lecture on the history of the Darnell Collection.
"I love working with students and anyone fascinated by and passionate about fashion and recognise the importance of vintage clothing as educational and inspiring," says Smith.
"The collection has brought my family full circle back to New Zealand, following in the footsteps of my great-great-grandfather, Sir Edward Stafford who was elected Prime Minister of New Zealand in the mid 1800s and helped establish the wool industry in New Zealand," says Smith.
Chair of iD Fashion Committee Susie Staley, says the city is extremely fortunate that Smith is sharing her knowledge and insights about this priceless collection.
"The iD Fashion Show audiences will see and experience firsthand exclusive vintage fashion on the catwalk," says Staley.
iD Dunedin Fashion Week iD Dunedin is a fashion show designed to launch fashion careers, with a global line up of inspiring designers, creative talent and intimate fashion and retail events open to everyone.
The fashion show runs over two nights in front of an audience of 1500 each evening, and on the longest catwalk in the southern hemisphere in the city's heritage railway station.
The next rising star of fashion design will be discovered at the iD International Emerging Designer Awards on 7 April - with a reputation for launching fashion careers, it's the only fashion competition of its kind in New Zealand.
For the third time, Pacific Blue Airlines is a major sponsor and official airline for the 2011 iD Dunedin Fashion Week and will be giving away four travel prizes, including return flights for two people from Dunedin to Brisbane.
Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and was the largest city by territorial land area until 2010 when it was superseded by the creation of the Auckland super-city.
The Dunedin urban area lies on the central-eastern coast of Otago, surrounding the head of Otago Harbour and the harbour and hills around Dunedin are the remnants of an extinct volcano.
It is the doorway to the Otago Peninsula and the Southern Scenic Route along the south eastern coast.
One of New Zealand’s oldest and most important settler cities, Dunedin has a strong Scottish heritage.
Dunedin is home to the University of Otago, New Zealand's first university (1869), which accounts for about 21 percent of the city's population.