Get ready to be wooed by the most beautifully tailored yet casual clothing this side of Europe. Denmark is the home to this incredible designer who seems to have the same obsession with Kelly Green that I have. You will always see a piece popping up in each collection and lately a dash of fuchsia/Magenta and a gold belt or cuff or maybe two. I discovered this brand perusing a UK ELLE magazine. It was the Black & Cloth linen clutch bag I fell in love with only to find out down the line that there was a whole range of fashion pieces as well. Needless to say its times like this that I love the World Wide Web… No need to jet set around the world to find these fashion treasures. ♣
If you are looking to shop online, the best thing to do is head to shopbop.com
they carry the new collections and ship internationally.
My business is called The Darnell Collection Pty Ltd which is now permanently on display at The Fashion and Textile Gallery (FT Gallery).
I have two blogs: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
My first book published by HarperCollins Australia, is called Dreaming of Dior. My second book, also published by HarperCollins Australia, will be called Dreaming of Chanel.
The Darnell Collection came into being in February 2004 when it arrived from America. The FT Gallery opened in February 2010. Dreaming of Dior was published in November 2009 and Dreaming of Chanel will be available from 1 November 2010.
I renamed my vintage clothing collection after my American godmother, Doris Darnell, in recognition of her seventy years of passionate collecting and preserving stories about the clothes and the donors.
The title Dreaming of Dior was inspired by text I had written for an LBD on exhibition. I read in one of my fashion history books that every woman in the 1950s dreamed of owning a Dior. My publisher saw that and … we finally had a title for the book.
I am Curator of The Darnell Collection and The Fashion and Textile Gallery. I am also a fashion writer and have written my own book(s) and articles for magazines.
I was a custodian of my collection first and now, after 6 years, I have graduated to Curator.
The favourite part of what I do is my unofficial role (one that I have created!) as ambassador of vintage fashion and fashion history. I am working towards making this role official and would love to promote wool (a luxurious fibre so important to Australia’s history), fashion as a career (in all its guises from designer to educator to researcher) and Sydney as a fashion destination (working with Tourism NSW). I have the opportunity to travel around Australia and the world researching the history of fashion and promoting The Darnell Collection. I meet fascinating people and work with passionate fashion design students.
I went to a liberal arts college in America, Hollins College (600 women, no men, and all from the south. I was considered a serious Yankee as I lived in Pennsylvania at the time) and graduated with a B.A. in Art History. I spent my ‘junior’ year in Paris where I studied French architecture, art, politics, literature and history. At Hollins my studies included French, Latin, art and art history and creative writing. I also worked as a college intern for Christie’s Auction House in Philadelphia.
When I graduated I went straight to NYC and worked for an Impressionist art dealer. For the next 6 years, I worked for art dealers in NYC, London, Monte Carlo and Paris.
In 1989, I moved to France and ran my own company making and selling decorative lampshades. The business grew so big I had distributors around the world attending gift fairs where orders were taken for my lampshades.
I sold the business when I moved to Australia in 1998. I opened an antiques shop in the Blue Mountains where I lived (and still do) and sold French and English country antiques, lighting and textiles. I sold the shop in 2006 to concentrate on the Darnell Collection.
I live in the Blue Mountains and work in Surry Hills, Sydney. My collection and the Gallery are based in 8 Hill Street, Level 1, Surry Hills.
As I LOVE what I do I work all the time. There is always something exciting to do, person to speak with, project to establish or book to write. I work at the Gallery in Sydney 3 days a week and from home the rest of the time if I am not travelling. My laptop is in the kitchen so as soon as I get up and while I have a cup of tea, I check my emails. I have a young daughter so I try to do as much with her when she is home, but work when she is at school and then get back to work when she goes to bed. At the moment what I do is all consuming, but I love it.
The most rewarding thing in my career so far was knowing that my godmother, Doris, knew her beloved collection was as important to me as it had been for her when she passed away. Her dream had been to establish a permanent home for her collection in the US. This didn’t happen, but three years after receiving her bequest and by the time she passed away, I had established the collection in Australia as an important educational resource and had found it a permanent home. Doris passed away knowing the collection was in good hands. Doris also knew I was as passionate about preserving the collection as she was. When the collection was packed up and shipped off to Australia (all 1200 kilos of it), Doris had written me a letter saying how bereft she felt without the collection, but that she could enjoy knowing I had been happy to take it on.
It would make me very sad to think Doris had passed away never realising how much of an impact her collection was making in the fashion world over here and how receiving the collection has changed my life for the better.
My favourite on-line sites are ones related to research and understanding the history of fashion.
I love the Powerhouse D*HUB online design resource centre. I can spend hours looking at the diverse and fascinating entries about fashion and textiles.
The London College of Fashion also has a great collection resource including 3000 wonderful images from Woolmark dating from the early 1950s to late 1970s.
Here is an on-line resource I discovered by chance. It lits an incredible number of sources including fashion designers, associations and organisations, auction houses, blogs, books and dvds, and much, much more.
Queen Rania of Jordan. She is the perfect ambassador for women: she is beautiful, dresses stunningly and appropriately, works tirelessly for charitable causes and because of her position as queen can make a difference in the world.
I love the idea that with something special (for me it is my collection) people’s lives can be bettered or even changed for the best. The possibility that something one has can inspire, inform and educate. A collection like The Darnell Collection can offer so much to so many people. I could never imagine keeping my collection private. The possibilities it offers to promote fashion, inspire and educate future designers and give insight into social history and the changing roles men and women have played in fashion history is priceless!
It was difficult to choose one person, but I will go with Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon. She was a designer whose most romantic and best (in my mind) styles happened between 1905 and 1912. Her collections always had romantic names like “Gowns of Emotions”. They were an extravaganza of sheer pastel organzas, bows and beads, ribbons and ruffles. She was also on board the Titanic when it sank and survived.
My question to her would be: “Your gowns were so feminine and soft, every young deb would dream of wearing one prior to 1912. Did the experience of being on board the Titanic and surviving alter the decadent styles you were so famous for? If so, how?”
This is a tough one. I don’t have one particular favourite colour. I love soft pastel pink, but don’t often wear it. Can I say I love pastel colours?
I love the 30s. It was a decade of such contradictions: the power of the silver screen and the seriously glamorous fashion that came out of that contrasted with depravity and war which meant mainstream fashion became structured and practical.
I also love all the important changes happening, the beginning of real social and workplace changes in the fashion industry. Like Madeline Vionnet offering her employees dental and medical help in house, paid maternity and sick leave and an in-house canteen so her employees ate properly. Like Chanel recognising a need to introduce an unstructured silhouette using soft, feminine and flattering wool jersey for day and evening wear for a more modern and independent woman. Like Hattie Carnegie, an American designer, whose drop dead gorgeous, slinky and lavish dresses were made with Hollywood in mind.
My favourite place to live (perhaps when I retire) is England. I really miss the architecture, the history, the glorious countryside and the traditional way of life.
My favourite place to visit on holiday is Florence. The whiff of Prada’s Infusion D’iris as you walk beside elegant ladies along the Via del Corso looking at dreamy dresses in the windows of shops like Roberto Cavalli on your way to dinner on the terrace of the Excelsior Hotel overlooking the Arno dressed in something new bought from Valentino……hmmm – very dreamy! This is my plan for my birthday trip this July!
My goal is to establish The Darnell Collection at The Fashion Gallery as THE destination in Australia for fashion exhibitions, lectures, research and just plain inspiration. My goal is to make it a place where people feel happy to meet, feel comfortable to explore and leave inspired and informed. My goal for The FT Gallery is for it to become a hub for people passionate about the history of fashion.
Another goal I have and one I have been working on for the past year with Prof. Adrian Franklin, a friend who is also a passionate collector, author and panelist on ABC TV’s Collectors, is to begin filming a television series on fashion filmed around the world.
My materialistic goal is to buy a vintage floaty, chiffon Valentino gown!!
This refers to Question 17. I would like to be a Valentino gown from the late 70s – a beautiful pastel flowery, chiffon long gown with real jewels around the neck and perhaps a jewelled clasp on the waist which is worn to an elegant ball at Valentino’s chateau in France. Of course, the evening will include Krystal champagne drunk out of Baccarat flutes, an exquisite meal served on Limoges dinner plates, a live orchestra, candles, chandeliers, enormous vases of scented lilies and most importantly, a very dashing dinner companion dressed in black tie – by Valentino, naturally!! And yes, I saw the Valentino movie!