[ Reading ] ➶ The Dress Thief Author Natalie Meg Evans – Tactical-player.co.uk
A very different storyline, interesting with an insight in to the competitive world of culture It s wartime setting added interest and depth to the characters and their lives It most definitely is a page turner and I was drawn in by the very different ,and believable, personalities of the characters I thought Alex illogicallly suspicious and being unsure of herself, pushed her lovers away for far too long The really nice one did go the extra mile and a half several times, bless him I m drawn to novels set in the 1930s and thought I d enjoy this book The setting is beautifully drawn, but what really hooked me was the engaging heroine and gripping plot it s a real page turner Fab appendix about 1930s fashion at the back I look forward to books by this author. Who would have thought a book about couture would also inform me about the Spanish civil war that was raging before the start of World War II Not this reader and so as much as I was looking forward to learning about the world of fashion I m pleased to report there was far on offer in The Dress Thief.As the title suggests the book looks at the business of copying designer fashion and our heroine is caught up in this dubious business Designers were alert to the problem and employed different methods to keep their finished articles under wraps to try and foil the counterfeiters but when people are desperate, they do desperate things.The setting is Paris in the 1930s and Alix Gower is recruited by a friend who lives on a barge supporting his two younger sisters to draw designs of a scarf He will then sell the design onto another woman who will have the designs made up and sold at a fraction of the cost with the profits being split between them After all Alix needs the money too as she supplements her wages as a telephone operator to support herself and her Grandmother, Meme.Alix s background is full of tragedy, both her parents are dead and the family have moved from England to France because of anti Semitism with the support of a wealthy Count who fought with her father in the war and an old artist friend of Meme but the underlying feeling is that the past is a shadowy country But with a dream to pursue Alix concentrates on getting accepted as a seamstress at a high fashion house despite the drop in wages she wants the role to fulfil her ambitions to be designer but she needs to be accepted to earn a decent amount of money through stealing some designs to sell through the counterfeiter s network.There is no doubt that men are attracted to Alix and she has one admirer in the form of Verrian Haviland, a war reporter who has recently returned from Spain but a nightclub owner also has his eye on her and he sees his chance when Verrian returns to Spain.Through the engaging story telling we learn about all the different parts that go into making a high couture outfit, from the cutting room to the final showing on the mannequins, or as we know them nowadays models The rush to get a collection finished, the choice of fabric, the ingenious ideas used to show the dresses off to their best advantage are all included And of course Alix has got caught up in a plot to steal the designs despite her ambitions to be a designer so we have a moral dilemma too This is a story of all those things that make for an involved read there are various mysteries including a death, family relationships, having a dream and a romance, all perfectly executed And no story about couture in Paris would be complete without the big names Channel, Herm s and Schiaparelli to underpin the glamorous angle of this delightful read but ultimately this is a story of contrasts, the wealth of the women who wear the designer outfits to the poverty which exists in the city where the clouds of war are gathering. This book took a while to get into Once there, the story began to unfurl The story is unusual, with many twists and turns I was quite spellbound by it I look forward to the next novel by this author Will recommend it The author s use of words is magical There s so much research gone into the writing of this story, and this is appreciated A very well written novel, which stands out from the crowd. I was so wrapped up in the detail, I couldn t wait to turn each page Natalie Meg Evans brings vividly to life, in Alix s story, the courage, tenacity and downright talent of the great women coutouriers who brought fashion to the forefront and eventually the store front of the world Can t wait to read her next offering In The Dress Thief, Natalie Meg Evans has created characters I cared about and an exciting story, part romance, part adventure, which kept me in suspense to the very end If you like your heroines to be independent and courageous, you ll love Alix Gower, the dress thief of the title Alix is surrounded by a kaleidoscope of memorable characters in the Paris of the 1930s which is vividly brought to life by the author Can t wait to read Natalie s next book Alix Gower Has A Dream To Join The Ranks Of Coco Chanel To Become A Designer In The High Stakes World Of Parisian Haute Couture But Alix Also Has A Secret She Supports Her Family By Stealing Designs To Create Bootlegs For The Foreign Market A Hidden Sketchbook And Two Minutes Inside Herm S Is All She Needs To Create A Perfect Replica, To Be Whisked Off To Production In New York Then Alix Is Given Her Big Break A Chance To Finally Realize Her Dream In One Of The Most Prominent Parisian Fashion Houses But At The Price Of Copying The Breakthrough Spring Collection Knowing This Could Be Her Only Opportunity, Alix Accepts The Arrangement But When A Mystery From Her Past Resurfaces And A Chance Meeting Has Her Falling Into The Arms Of A Handsome English War Reporter, Alix Learns That The Slightest Misstep Or Misplaced Trust Could Be All It Takes For Her Life To Begin Falling Apart At The Seams The Dress Thief was a joy to read Alice is a lovable, strong heroine, and I was rooting for her and Verrian all the way through The book made me wish I was a Parisian in high society during the thirties The storyline has enough layers and twists and turns to keep it interesting all the way through and I thoroughly recommend it Natalie Meg Evans has succeeded in writing a book which is well researched and written in a style which is not irritating in the way that so many women s fictions are.