Flora and Fauna

The Nature of Fashion
12 September – 1 November 2015

Flora and Fauna: The Nature of Fashion is an exhibition of fashion and accessories drawn from the Darnell Collection, a world-renowned, private collection of international couture and Ready-to-Wear spanning three centuries.

Fashion, accessory and textile designers, milliners, jewellers, weavers and dyers are among the many artists who continue to be influenced by the shapes, colours and texture of the natural world.

Representing six categories: Lace; Embroidery; Embellishment; Printed; Textured Textiles and Natural Dyeing the exhibition showcases an international line-up of fashion’s elite, including designers such as Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci and Christian Lacroix along with Australia’s own Beril Jents, Jenny Kee and Easton Pearson.

A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exhibition curated by Charlotte Smith, Darnell Collection

Image: Evening dress made by Mary Katrantzou (detail) 2011, England, digitally printed on silk satin. Photograph by Brigitte Grant Photography.


The Cultural Centre is delighted to share a special program series around Flora & Fauna: The Nature of Fashion. Join us for a range of talks, panel discussions and film screenings as we celebrate the Darnell Collection.


Floor Talk
Saturday 12 September, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Join Charlotte Smith, Owner and Curator of The Darnell Collection for a free floor talk of the exhibition. Free with Gallery ticket.

Lunchtime Talk – Dior’s Muse
Saturday 10 October, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Charlotte Smith presents a timeline of Dior’s influence on and legacy within the House of Dior since it was founded in 1946. The stunning gardens surrounding Dior’s family home in Granville played an important role in defining the Dior aesthetic. Charlotte will explore how each Head of Design at Dior reinterprets this profound floral inspiration.


From Museum to Media to Muse: Australia’s Fashion Story
Saturday 26 September, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Charlotte Smith hosts a panel of fashion heavyweights in a discussion on how Australian fashion, Australian fashion designers, and Australia’s fashion ethos is presented and perceived around the world.

Australian Hilary Davidson, former Curator of Fashion at the Museum of London, now an international fashion historian; Roger Leong, former Curator of Fashion at the NGV, now Senior Curator at the Powerhouse; Kirstie Clements, former Editor in Chief, Vogue Australia, now fashion consultant and author; and Jenny Kee, one of Australia’s most respected fashion designers reflect on how important Australian fashion is to museums and how it is presented in exhibitions; how Australian fashion is showcased for international reader appreciation; and how a designer has successfully woven her passion of Australia’s flora and fauna into her internationally respected collections.

Fashion’s Sway on the Arts
Saturday 17 October, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Whether painting a famous Australian, blending elements of Australian flora and fauna into wearable art, capturing nature and fashion through the lens, or curating exhibitions reflecting the uniqueness of Australia’s artistic community, three prominent Blue Mountains artists and the Exhibitions Manager at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre discuss their personal and professional work ethos in the context of fashion with host, Charlotte Smith, Owner and Curator of The Darnell Collection.

Join Brigitte Grant, Medlow Bath based photographer who specialises in portraiture, fashion and landscapes; Mathew Lyn, renowned portrait painter from Blackheath; Christine Thompson, milliner whose hats are a sought-after accessory for the well-dressed; and Sabrina Roesner, Exhibitions Manager at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, for an insightful discussion.


Film screening of The Women (1939) and introduction by film critic David Stratton.
Saturday 19 September, 1:00pm – 3:15pm

Join us with film critic David Stratton as he introduces the screening of the 1939 Hollywood film The Women featuring a stunning array of costumes by one of Hollywood’s greatest costume designers Adrian Greenberg.

Director’s Talk  by Gillian Armstrong and screening of excerpts from WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED (2015).
Saturday 17 October, 1:30pm

Join us with film critic David Stratton as he introduces acclaimed filmmaker Gillian Armstrong who will discuss and show excerpts of her revealing documentary of Golden Age Hollywood’s most celebrated designer Orry-Kelly in WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED.

Orry-Kelly, born in Kiama NSW is the winner of three Academy Awards and responsible for the costumes of Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses in films as iconic as Some Like It Hot, Casablanca and An American in Paris. Orry-Kelly was head of Warner Brothers costume department during the richest period of American film history.

Film screening of The Rear Window (1954) and introduction by Charlotte Smith.
Saturday 10 October, 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Join us with Charlotte Smith as she introduces the screening of the 1954 Hollywood film The Rear Window featuring Grace Kelly in costumes inspired by Dior’s New Look by one of the most prolific costume designers of the 20th century and winner of eight Academy Awards,  Edith Head.

Tickets per event: $20/$15 InSight Members – includes Gallery entry. Bookings essential at Reception or 4780 5410.

IMAGE: Reticule (detail), maker unknown 1890, France, metallic thread, silk and gilt metal. Photograph by Brigitte Grant.