One Enchanted Evening And Those 8000 Outfits from Dior To Chanel

One Enchanted Evening by Charlotte Smith

Treat yourself to the charming book “One Enchanted Evening”. It’s full of the most iconic fashion designers and embodies all things fashion, female empowerment, love and loss. 

Not only will these stories inspire and fascinate you but the author Charlotte Smith’s own story of inheriting the Darnell Collection and how she built it up is equally enthralling.

What we love about the book is the incredible imagery and painstaking research.

Charlotte Smith pays incredible attention to detail to the tiny slices of social history and stories of how fashion has empowered and enriched the lives of women over time.


One Enchanted Evening

From the Loris Azzaro evening gown that Veronique wore on the red carpet at a Shirley Bassey concert, to the Valentino dress that Edith Carmichael chose for her eighteenth birthday on a surprise trip to Rome; to the Leonard of Paris Op Art jumpsuit that Claudine wore to a Paris house party hosted by Count Guillaume, One Enchanted Evening takes us inside the magical wardrobe that every woman would love to own.

Each page tells a different story – including our favourite one about the two gowns owned by Lady Lucille Gorton, who survived the sinking of the titanic, and a Bill Blass gown that appeared in the iconic film American Hustle, to name just a couple.

Charlotte’s collection has been recognised as ‘one of ten most significant private fashion collections in the world’.


One Enchanted Evening 1

Lucky Charlotte owns literally thousands of beautiful garments.

Having lived in London, Paris and New York, when she finally settled in Australia in 2004, she inherited a vintage clothing collection of more than 3000 priceless pieces from her beloved Quaker godmother, Doris Darnell. Since then Charlotte has built the Darnell Collection into an incomparable wardrobe of more than 8000 originals, from Dior to Chanel, Prada to Pucci, and Easton Pearson to Akira.

enchanted evening

Along with these fashion masterpieces, Charlotte, who lives in the Blue Mountains in NSW, also inherited something even more precious: her godmother’s book of stories
of the women behind the dresses. Her inheritance was not just a collection of beautiful treasures, but a glimpse into the lives of the women who wore them – their stories of love, loss and everything in between.

One Enchanted evening book

And then there is the exquisite illustration by Grant Cowan, who has worked as an illustrator on magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Red Magazine and teaches fashion illustration. He also illustrated Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel.

One enchanted evening - book

For anyone who loves fashion, this book is the perfect read or equally the ideal present for under the Christmas tree.

One Enchanted Evening by Charlotte Smith, RRP: $35 hardback
One Enchanted Evening by Charlotte Smith, RRP: $35 hardback

About the Author
Charlotte Smith is the Curator of the
Darnell Collection and the author of
Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of
Chanel. She showcases the collection
at events throughout Australia and

About the Illustrator
Grant Cowan has worked as an illustrator on magazines like
Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Red Magazine and teaches
fashion illustration. He also illustrated Dreaming of Dior and
Dreaming of Chanel.

Written by Robyn Foyster

With over 30 years experience as a journalist and TV producer, Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites, and

Robyn was voted one of the 30 most powerful women in media at the 2015 B&T Women In Media Awards.

Previously, Robyn was the Publisher and Editor of Australia's three biggest flagship magazine brands - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea.

Robyn won Editor of the Year at the 2007 Magazine of the Year Award and under her helm The Australian Women's Weekly won the inaugural 2008 Australian Magazine Award for Australia's best mass market magazine and New Idea won the MPA's coveted Magazine of the Year award.

She can be contacted on [email protected]

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