On the Shelf: Dreaming of Dior

I have a real love for vintage and at the top of that love list is vintage fashion. There is something about the frocks of yesteryear and the stories they hold, that I adore. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this wonderful book, Dreaming of Dior: Every Dress Tells a Story.

Charlotte Smith has graciously allowed us a peak into the vintage wardrobe her godmother Doris Darnell, the ultimate vintage garment lover, amassed over the years.

Mrs. Darnell passed along to her god daughter not only the loveliest of garments but a journal of their stories, who the dresses belonged to, where they had been and how they got to be in Mrs. Darnell's care.

As a tribute to her godmother and the trunks of garments (over 3000 pieces!) that would be known as the Darnell Collection, she put together this fabulous book, re-telling the recollections and anecdotes of the famous and not-so-famous original owners.
The stories that partner with the frocks (deliciously illustrated by Grant Cowan) are just as fascinating as the garments.

"Charlotte Smith had already had more than her fair share of fabulous dresses and adventures. She lived life to the fullest in London, Paris and New York before falling in love with Australia and making it her home.
Then she discovered that she had inherited a priceless vintage clothing collection from her American Quaker godmother, Doris Darnell.
When the boxes started arriving, they were filled with more than three thousand pieces dating from 1790 to 1995, from Dior and Chanel originals to a dainty pioneer dress.
But when she unearthed her godmother's book of stories, the true value of what she had been given hit home. This wasn't merely a collection of beautiful things; it was a collection of lives. Women's lives. Tiny snapshots of our joys and disappointments, our entrances and exits, triumphant and tragic.
This is a book for any woman who knows a dress can hold a lifetime of memories."
(Editorial Review-Amazon)
Click on the link above or in the sidebar for more information!

All images courtesy of Dreaming of Dior and Grant Cowan


  1. Oh we ARE in mid-century mania, are we not? You read http://www.unefemme.net/, right? So. Much. Fun!

  2. Oh my goodness how amazing is that! 3000 pieces! I shall have to get this book, thanks for sharing!

  3. wow .. I can only image having access to such history. Will have too check out the book...HHL

  4. These sketches are amazing! I just love them all. Makes me wish I lived in this era.

    xo Marcie