Fashion Curator Inherits 3,000 Couture Dresses, Some From 18th Century

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dating from 1790 to 1995, the clothes -- originals by Dior, Ungaro, Lucile and Chanel, wedding dresses from centuries ago, handbags and plummed hats -- were given to Darnell over the years by friends and acquaintances who knew of her love of dressing up.

But it was only when Smith unearthed her godmother's book of stories about the dresses and the women who wore them that she discovered the true significance of what she had inherited.

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