Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith is Curator of The Darnell Collection. She was born in Hong Kong to an English mother and an American father. She grew up with her brother and sister on the east coast of America and graduated with a degree in Art History from Hollins College in Virginia. Charlotte has worked for art dealers, ran her own business manufacturing decorative lampshades and was the proprietor of a French country antiques shop. Her interests include horse riding, interior decorating, writing and gardening. She has lived and worked in America, England, France and and now resides in Australia, in the Blue Mountains with her daughter. 

Charlotte's fascination with fashion began with a special vintage dress at the age of three. Since inheriting her godmother's vast vintage clothing collection, her passion for fashion has grown to include the history of fashion and its significant impact on society. Charlotte is involved with exhibitions of her collection around the country, gives lectures and talks, works with fashion and design students and is featured on television and radio. 

Grant Cowan has worked as an illustrator on magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Red magazine. He studied fashion design and lived in London before moving to Australia to teach fashion illustration. Grant is a freelance fashion illustrator and works  with fashion schools in Sydney.

Books by this Author

Dreaming of Chanel
Dreaming of Dior


Aren't you DREAMING OF DIOR? We are - and so is Charlotte Smith...

An illustrated book about a collection of vintage designer dresses the author inherited from her godmother, with stories of the women who wore them.

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Being passionate about life is fulfilling and invigorating. Let your passion take you on an adventure.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Being forced to swim in anything other than a clear blue swimming pool. I live in Oz remember so billabongs have crocs, oceans have sharks, rivers and ponds (dams) have tiger snakes and streams have large leeches! (I am being a bit dramatic I know.)

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. On the balcony of the Helvetia & Bristol Hotel in Florence sipping a chilled glass of Crystal '76 champagne.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Overcoming doubt, guilt and peer pressure to follow my heart and passion to make something of and gain respect for my vast vintage clothing collection.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. The Queen. She is dedicated, loyal, proud, tight-lipped about gossip and scandal and a true leader. I also love her dress sense. Her fashion styles have always reflective of her role as monarch, but elegant, perfect for her age and appropriate for the events she attends.