Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Review: The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


With World War II looming over Paris, an American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this "fascinating" (Hazel Gaynor) novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

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.

My Review: 

The Last Collection is the first book I have read by Jeanne Mackin. I thought it was an entertaining and fascinating read. It was great learning about fashion greats Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel. I loved the vivid details that made me feel as though I was transported back in time and living during their time. I loved the introduction of Lily, as well. She was a perfect addition to the story and getting entwined with the fashion world. I enjoyed getting to know her and admired her courage and bravery.

I am giving The Last Collection four and a half stars. I recommend it for readers who enjoy historical fiction that include historical figures from the past. I would love to read more by Jeanne Mackin in the future.

I received a print copy of The Last Collection from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

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