Author: Tessa Arlen
Published by: Berkley on July 5, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Austenprose PR
Book Rating: 9/10
A sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, who shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and enchantingly unique designs.
Lucy Duff Gordon knows she is talented. She sees color, light, and texture in ways few people can begin to imagine. But is the male dominated world of haute couture, who would use her art for their own gain, ready for her?
When she is deserted by her wealthy husband, Lucy is left penniless with an aging mother and her five-year-old daughter to support. Desperate to survive, Lucy turns to her one true talent to make a living. As a little girl, the dresses she made for her dolls were the envy of her group of playmates. Now, she uses her creative designs and her remarkable eye for color to take her place in the fashion world—failure is not an option.
Then, on a frigid night in 1912, Lucy’s life changes once more, when she becomes one of 706 people to survive the sinking of the Titanic. She could never have imagined the effects the disaster would have on her fashion label Lucile, her marriage to her second husband, and her legacy. But no matter what life throws at her, Lucy will live on as a trailblazing and innovative fashion icon, never letting go of what she worked so hard to earn.
Fascinating, rich, and insightful!
A Dress of Violet Taffeta is an enchanting, beautifully written interpretation that sweeps you away to England between 1893 and 1912 and into the life of Lucy Christiana Sutherland from her disastrous first marriage and subsequent divorce to James Stuart Wallace, her rise and fame as an international fashion designer, her courtship and second marriage to Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, and her survival of one of the most famous, tragic accidents of the twentieth century, the sinking of the Titanic.
The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are hardworking, innovative, and independent. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, love, friendship, family, determination, passion, courage, survival, and the ins and outs of dressmaking in the early 1900s.
Overall, A Dress of Violet Taffeta is a vivid, immersive, intriguing novel by Arlen that does an exceptional job of highlighting her impressive knowledge and considerable research into this renowned iconic figure whose ingenuity, life, and hard work had a tremendous impact on the world of fashion.
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Thank you to Berkley Publishing and Austenprose PR for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.