Charlotte in Conversation with Richard Fidler on ABC AU

Broadcast date: Friday 22 June 2012

Charlotte Smith was taken by surprise when she inherited the priceless collection of classic clothes her American godmother had collected over many years.

Charlotte Smith's godmother Doris was an elegant and also flamboyant and charming woman, who would throw on a feather boa to go and buy a bottle of milk.

Doris collected thousands of exquisite designer dresses, suits, hats and gloves over the years - all given to her by friends and others who had heard about Doris' collection and wanted to add to it.

She sent Charlotte not only the clothes themselves but all her careful notes of the stories that go with them.

Wearing a cotton lace pantsuit by American (Philadelphian) designer, Ann Pakradooni. As you do!

The Darnell Collection is currently on display at the Roma Gallery in Queensland, until 1 July.

Dreaming of Dior published Harper Collins 2009
Dreaming of Chanel published Harper Collins 2010.

Original broadcast March 2011