Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Charlotte Smith Fashion Collection Is Our New Name!

The Charlotte Smith Fashion Collection

(formerly The Darnell Collection) 

Has Moved to a New Website

click on this link to visit the new site

The Charlotte Smith Fashion Collection

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Fashions of Multicultural Australia Catwalk Parade

'Fashion is a common denominator among all cultures -and a catalyst for social cohesion'

Fashions of Multicultural Australia (FOMA) is a first-ever national initiative 
that will integrate cultures and foster social cohesion 
through the universally binding industry that is fashion.

A colourful, exuberant and visually stunning fashion parade will be held at Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary Gallery in Sydney on March 10th 2018.

The initiative will provide a platform for Indigenous, CALD ( Culturally and linguistically diverse) and refugee designers and trendsetters from across the globe. 

Additionally, FOMA will foster deeper cultural understanding within communities and promote cross-cultural artistry.

I have always believed fashion (and food) to be unifiers in our complicated and divisive world. 

Fashion is a visual form of storytelling
Fashion tells us about the designer, about the wearer, about the times in which a garment was worn, where and why. It opens a window to social, cultural, fashion, women and men's histories. 

Fashion is fabulous! 

 I am proud to join Anupam, Julie and Monika as an inaugural Ambassador 
of this incredible fashion and cultural initiative. 

 Designers included the 2018 Inaugural Fashion Parade

Inspiring stories of cultural identity from Turkey, Christmas & Cocos Keeling Islands, the Philippines,
Aboriginal Australia and Portugal
Designers from Lebanon, Pakistan, Peru, Brazil and Africa continue the global fashion story
For more information about this first-ever multicultural fashion event please go to

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Roaring Twenties Art Deco Fashion Parade

Sequins, glitter, flashes of red, silver and gold heralded the annual Blue Mountains Roaring Twenties Festival held this past weekend that featured the Charleston Charity Challenge, the Long Lunch and The Darnell Collection Twenties Fashion Parade

In it's fourth year, the Long Lunch celebrates regional produce. 
Five courses, each provided and prepared by local producers and restaurants, matched with local wines, set the scene and got the two hundred guests in the mood for 
the annual Twenties Fashion Parade, styled by Charlotte Smith with outfits and accessories from 
The Darnell Collection. 

Six models walked the catwalk, 
under the Art Deco vaulted ceiling of the Hydro Majestic Ballroom, 
showcasing six different Twenties' looks. 

Not a sequin, feather boa or spangly headband was seen in the parade. 
Instead, daywear, sportswear, beach pyjamas, and silk robes brought to life socialites and movies stars who might have frequented Maxine Elliot's Chateau de l'Horizon, 
during an era of glamour, excess and louche lifestyles of the rich and famous told 
in Mary Lovell's book, The Riviera Set.

Garments new to the collection were seen for the first time including a stunning embroidered beach pyjama set that highlighted the exotic and the Oriental in the Twenties, as well as a new, informal fashion style introduced by Paul Poiret in the early 1900s
 and then made all the rage by Coco Chanel in the early Twenties.

Two silk kimonos, recently gifted to The Darnell Collection along with 700 other pieces, 
also featured on the catwalk. 
A rare claret coloured silk day dress, accessories with a rare ermine stole and velvet hat from Paris, also appeared on stage, as did a gentleman's sporting outfit including a linen shooting jacket and natty American-made tweed plus fours.

My co-presenter was Roger Leong, a friend, colleague and academic who is currently the Senior Curator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Sydney. 
His knowledge of and passion for Art Deco made him my perfect guest. 

The exuberance, luxuriousness and beauty of the 1920s is still unsurpassed. 
The Darnell Collection boasts an extraordinary number of truly exquisite pieces from this decade. Fashion is so much more - 
it is story telling about social history too.

Thank you Brigitte Grant Photography for your beautiful photographs 
that capture the opulence of the Hydro Majestic Hotel and
 the decadence of the Roaring Twenties. 

With my co-presenter, Senior Curator at MAAS, Roger Leong
A rare robe with a pattern and colours so iconic of the 1920s
So perfect for a stroll down the boulevard in Cannes
A rare day dress with Bakelite buttons in an Art Deco pattern
A stunning embroidered Beach Pyjama set and a rare silk beach bag
Plus fours and a linen shooting jacket make for a sporting 1920s' day

A pretty silk day dress and Egyptian silk long vest, cotton parasol and Bakelite driving goggles suit a Poirot heroine
1920s accessorising
A rare and very delicate ermine stole and a beautiful hat with a brim made of golden lace

A pop of colour in the 1920s

Photographed in the opulent Cat's Alley at the Hydro Majestic Hotel
Lounging in silk