Black silk dress with slit back & diamanté buttons
Charmian Smith taught herself to sew as a student because she couldn't afford to buy the sort of clothes she wanted to wear. She still continues to make her own clothes. After returning from her OE in 1980, she worked for a decade in television and theatre as a wardrobe mistress and costume designer, except for a brief period after being made redundant from TVNZ. In 1987 she opened Costume, a boutique featuring clothes by Dunedin designers. Charmian was nominated for a Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Award in 1987. She drew on her experience dressing people for particular roles when she designed and made this dress to wear to the event. Read more about the history of home sewing in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Home Sewn.