I picked up this sampler copy of the book some time ago when I was doing the Beading & Embellishment classes at ESMOD.
Click on image to read Doris' letter to Charlotte
I read it and loved it and thought I should tell everyone about it (I think it makes a great Christmas present for gal pals who love fashion!) but it got stuck under the pile of books and magazines beside my bed and got forgotten about...until last night when I knocked the pile over.
And just as I was about to write this post earlier, Ms Carpet sent me an email with a link to a news story about Charlotte Smith, the author, and her priceless collection (3000 pieces dating from 1790 to 1995, from Dior to Chanel originals to a dainty pioneer dress!!!!) of vintage clothing that she had inherited from her godmother, Doris Darnell. A sign?
In her book Dreaming of Dior, Charlotte Smith re-tells the stories of some of these pieces from the book of tales that her godmother left her together with the collection. And with illustrations by Grant Cowan.
The book is out now and I'll be checking the bookstores for it soon because I'm dying to read the rest of the stories.
As for the real dresses, I've seen some of the pieces from a distance when I was attending my classes at ESMOD and they are amazing!
Twenty-eight select pieces featured in her book, along with letters and photographs, will be on display at the fashion school until 18 December if you want to have a look at them up-close.
If you're left gagging for more, you might want to enrol in Charlotte Smith's 6-week evening course "Fashion in the 20th Century: Haute Couture & the Origins of Ready-to-Wear Fashion", in which she will feature more pieces from the collection.
If, like me, you loved perving at all the beautiful things in the irreverent Iris Apfel's Rare Bird of Fashion, I think you might like both the book and the exhibition.
2 Short Street
Phone: (02) 9380 2960
Edit-to-add: ESMOD is closed due to the sudden collaspe of the Meridian Group that runs the school. See full-story here.