The Collection

The Collection

A Novel

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
A tale based on the highly competitive world of Coco Chanel follows the experiences of 1920s orphan Isabelle Varlet, who in early adulthood recovers from the death of her fiancé by developing her seamstress talents and struggling through the cutthroat world of high fashion. By the author of I Am Madame X. 50,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Isabelle Varlet, charming and naive, comes from a long line of seamstresses in a small town in France. A series of unfortunate events and her prodigious sartorial talent carry her to Paris, which in the wake of World War I is electric with new life. When Isabelle takes a job in the atelier of Coco Chanel, the rising star of haute couture, she finds herself in the heart of a glamorous and ruthless world filled with arrogant designers, handsome men, beautiful women, and fashion thieves who prowl Paris hoping to steal designs before they hit the runway.
In Chanel's workshop, Isabelle thrives on the time-honored techniques of couture - the painstaking hand stitches, the perfect fall of fabric - and the sleek, pared-down lines of "Mademoiselle's" revolutionary style. As Isabelle brings an exquisite dress to life for the fall collection - from its embryonic origins in humble muslin to its finished form in the finest silk - she navigates the tempestuous moods of Chanel, the cutthroat antics of her fellow workers, and her own search for love.
Just as she did in her critically acclaimed novel I Am Madame X, Gioia Diliberto brings a rich historical moment to life through her vivid and compelling storytelling. Her penetrating research and imagination are gracefully woven together in this poignant story filled with larger-than-life characters embroiled in scandalous tales, passionate love affairs, and extraordinary careers. The Collection is an exuberantly entertaining read.

Baker
& Taylor

A tale based on the world of Coco Chanel follows the experiences of 1920s orphan Isabelle Varlet, who in early adulthood recovers from the death of her fiancâe by developing her seamstress talents and struggling through the cutthroat world of high fashion.

Simon and Schuster
Isabelle Varlet, charming and naïve, comes from a long line of seamstresses in a small town in France. A series of unfortunate events and her prodigious sartorial talent carry her to Paris, which in the wake of World War I is electric with new life. When Isabelle takes a job in the atelier of Coco Chanel, the rising star of haute couture, she finds herself in the heart of a glamorous and ruthless world filled with arrogant designers, handsome men, beautiful women, and fashion thieves who prowl Paris hoping to steal designs before they hit the runway.

In Chanel's workshop, Isabelle thrives on the time-honored techniques of couture -- the pains-taking hand stitches, the perfect fall of fabric -- and the sleek, pared-down lines of "Mademoiselle's" revolutionary style. As Isabelle brings an exquisite dress to life for the fall collection -- from its embryonic origins in humble muslin to its finished form in the finest silk -- she navigates the tempestuous moods of Chanel, the cutthroat antics of her fellow workers, and her own search for love.

Just as she did in her critically acclaimed novel I Am Madame X, Gioia Diliberto brings a rich historical moment to life through her vivid and compelling storytelling. Her penetrating research and imagination are gracefully woven together in this poignant story filled with larger-than-life characters embroiled in scandalous tales, passionate love affairs, and extraordinary careers. The Collection is an exuberantly entertaining read.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2007
ISBN: 9780743280655
0743280652
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 24 cm

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d21221
Jun 21, 2011

This story unravels the pitfalls and challenges of a seamstress in the couture houses in Paris. It is beautifully written and engages the reader early on. You don't have to be a fashion lover to enjoy this tale. Anyone interested in Coco Chanel will enjoy the descriptions and discipline that her fashion house thrived on but the story is really about the character Isabel surviving all the challenges in her life.

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