Remembering a friend and great supporter of The Darnell Collection

Alan and I (I'm wearing a 1950s Dorothy O'Hara cocktail dress) at my book launch, Dreaming of Chanel, at Vampt Vintage Design in Sydney in 2010.

Alan Saunders, presenter of Radio National's 'By Design', was a loyal and passionate supporter of The Darnell Collection. As a guest on his programme four times, he actively encouraged his listeners to support the collection and secure a permanent home for it in Australia.

My first interview with him, almost 6 years ago, kick started our friendship. Our mutual interest in social history and the unique way in which my collection (and fashion) records social history, ensured we had plenty to talk about each time we met.

Alan passed away on Saturday. I will miss his support, interviews and friendship. RIP.
Dreaming of Chanel is another trip round the wardrobe of Charlotte Smith, and what a wardrobe! It encompasses the huge collection of vintage clothes -- some as old as two hundred years -- that she inherited from her godmother and which is still growing: having started at 3,500 pieces, it has now, thanks to many donations, reached 6,000.   
Charlotte's first book was called Dreaming of Dior. Now that she's Dreaming of Chanel, we talk to her about how she sees the difference between these two major figures in the history of design. 
We also discuss the uncertain future of the collection. It needs a
home in which the items can be properly conserved and properly
displayed not just to the public but to designers who can benefit
from studying them.