A vintage inheritance

on July 25 | in Alumnae Connections | by

Vintage designer dressAcquiring a 3,000-piece collection of vintage designer dresses and accessories from her godmother was something Charlotte Smith ’83 never thought would change her life. Two books and more than 5,000 collection pieces later (including items from Dior, Ungar, Lucile, and Chanel), that has very much become the case. “I’d never even considered vintage clothing before,” she told a Reuters reporter (ABC Online, 12/7/10). “Vintage clothing was used clothing, it was other people’s clothing. That was my initial impression and it remained that way until [my inheritance] arrived and I started pulling out the collection.” Through Dreaming of Chanel (HarperCollins, 2011), the second of her two literary endeavors, Smith continues the pairing of illustration and prose to reveal stories about outfits that are as whimsical and enchanting as the fabric from which they are made. As custodian and curator of the colllection, she recognizes the importance of preserving its rich history and educating others about the role that fashion has played throughout history. She does this through lectures and touring exhibitions throughout Australia, where she now lives.

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