Friday, September 13, 2013

fa fa fa fa FASHION!

You know I love Newcastle Art Gallery, and you know I love Fashion {especially vintage fashion} so, hello, a combination of the two? Oh my! This week I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to meet the fabulous Charlotte Smith, curator of the fabulous Darnell Collection that's being showcased in After Five: Fashion from the Darnell Collection.

Hello swoonworthyness.

See that glorious detail above? It's Dior - New Look. Charlotte explained that is was made especially for a woman who was younger than the usual Dior customers, hence its playful details. Check it out in all its glory below. So magnificent.

The collection starts at the 1920s and moves through to almost the present day. There are major designers such as Dior, Mary Quant, Valentino, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Pucci, Ungaro and even Australia's own Christopher Essex {he who designed many a memorable Logies frock!}

The devil's in the details. I love how the exhibition works the space provided. There's a surprise around every corner and you can check out the frocks from every fabulous angle. Look at this one! It's Balmain Haute Couture sweetie!

The exhibition is highlighted by massive fashion images, breathtaking in their composition.




It's Tara Moss's wedding frock. See how amazing it looks in this pic? Times that by a million and that's how amazing it looks in real life.

Oh my.

It may seem like a strange concept for an Art Gallery to be hosting a fashion exhibition, but, as Charlotte says, it makes perfect sense. Fashions define an era, they show where we were at a specific moment in time. And, look at them - they're just glorious. I swooned VERY hard at this display of shoes. I need those red ones {I think they're Yves Saint Laurent}.

The fabrics, the fall, the flow - every frock tells a story. One you just want to sit before and listen to, utterly spellbound.

This is a detail from a Valentino frock from the 70s. As Charlotte says, even a designer of the calibre of his calibre nodded to the social mores of the times. In the 70s astrology was huge, hence the detail on this bodice. Isn't it extraordinary?

It's not just frocks and shoes on display - there are also hats, handbags and fabulous jewellery {including vintage Tiffany!}

Charlotte, the author of Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel, inherited a marvelous collection of fashion from her godmother - but can't help adding to it. After our interview she had to dash up Darby Street to pay for an 80s hat she'd found that morning that perfectly accessorised one of the frocks on display. A little bit of Newcastle for this fabulous international collection.

The collection's on show from September 14 - November 10, general admission is $8 with members or concession only paying $5. The Gallery's open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm - and there will be lots of special themed events happening out of hours. Check out Newcastle Art Gallery's site to find out more. This is an extraordinary opportunity to see a century's worth of fashion in one fabulous location. Don't miss out.

To see more of the collection, visit the Darnell Collection facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. I'm only a year late in reading this fantastic article! Thank you so much for your fabulous photographs and words. You bring the show to life. Thank you. Charlotte


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