This one releases on my birthday! I’m probably giving it to myself as a gift!
Dresses, dressmaking, and courtiers, have all been the subject of recent novels. Today I’m reviewing some of the ones I’ve enjoyed.
The Other Wedding Dress Book
Jennifer Robson’s The Gown: A Novel is perfect for fans of Netflix’s The Crown. It tells the story of one of the “girls” (as they were back then) working on Princess Elizabeth’s spectacular wedding gown designed by Norman Hartnell. My full review is here.
The One From the Tragedy
As in The Gown, this book focuses on the “girl” who helped sew the suit Jackie Kennedy wore on that fateful day in Dallas. Here is my review:
The word “iconic” is woefully overused today. But it is the only word to describe the pink suit and pillbox hat that Jackie Kennedy wore on that fateful day in Dallas in November of 1963. This is the story of that dress–the fictionalized story–of how it came to be. In the final days of a world in which people “knew their place” based on their socio-economic level, the seamstress who works on the ensemble, a Chanel original copied legally so that Mrs. Kennedy can be said to be wearing a suit by an American Designer, comes to terms with who she is and where she belongs. The Pink Suit by Nicole Kelby [Review is from my old blog.]
The Name Everyone Knows
Coco Chanel emancipated women by giving them ready-to-wear clothes for a new era. There’s a whole lot more to her story than that, of course! She was the mistress of one of the richest men of her day, helped revolutionize merchandising, and …. well, my full review is here.
The One With the Other Tragic First Lady
She was nicknamed “The Hellcat” for a reason. Mrs. Lincoln desperately needed modern pharmaceuticals for her bi-polar rollercoaster of emotions. [Sadly, I did not review this one–I was between blogs.] Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker: A Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini
The One With the Funky Style
Vintage fashions are so fun! One of the few things I’ve liked in Prince Harry’s wife’s wardrobe was the vintage coat she wore. Very nice. Vintage: A Novel by Susan Gloss tells of a Vintage clothing shop in a college town–a perfect mix, right? My full review is here. If you like vintage fashion then read Still Me by Jojo Moyes. It’s the best storyline in the book.
The One With Evil
A stupid young woman? Brilliant, creative mind? Traitor? Seldom has a book with so many bad decisions by the main character been so enthralling. This one has all that and more. The Dressmaker’s War (aka The Dressmaker of Dachau). My full review is here.
The Ones I Have Not Read
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester
The Designer by Marius Gabriel
Dress in the Window by Sofia Gran
Do you have a favorite novel about a dress, a couturier, or other fashion-related topic? Leave me a comment–I’d love to hear about more such books!