Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s are bold, experimental, and surreal.
When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he wants to buy her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs, too, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps.
Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved in the designers’ personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and World War II bear down on Paris.
ABOUT JEANNE MACKIN
Jeanne Mackin is the author of several historical novels, including The Beautiful American. She taught creative writing at Goddard College and has given numerous workshops. She lives with her husband in upstate New York.