Welcome to my stop on the blog tour celebrating the release of The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin! Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the invitation! Stay tuned for information on how to win a copy at the bottom of this post!

About the Book:

An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential 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 bold, experimental, and surreal.

When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress–a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps.

Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.

My Thoughts:

The focus of The Last Collection is the rivalry between fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Oh my! What a rivalry it was! Fierce! 

In 1938 Paris, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are each trying to be the most well-known designer in France. Everyone knows they are rivals. Because of this, they choose to be polar opposites in every way. Where Chanel is classic and understated, Schiaparelli is bold and edgy. 

Lily Sutter is a young American teacher visiting her brother, Charlie, in Paris who offers to buy her a Chanel dress. The problem? Lily would rather have a Schiaparelli. Then Charlie’s influential girlfriend decides she wants more clothes from Schiaparelli, too. 

Lily is offered a job in Schiaparelli’s store, and more and more, Lily is in the middle of the fight between Chanel and Schiaparelli. The threat of World War II only heightens the intensity of their rivalry. 

The Last Collection is smoothly written, and the rivalry between Schiaparelli and Chanel hooked me in from the start. I was struck by how the two designers differed on most everything. Sometimes rivalries develop when there is overlap, but here, fashion, art, and creativity seemed to be the only general overlaps. 

I also enjoyed Lily’s characters and how she shared her art and healed from the loss of her husband. The time period and historical backdrop were written beautifully, and the characters were well-drawn as the complex and dynamic women they were. Every ounce of this was perfect storytelling, and I adored my time spent with this book reading about these three strong women. Historical fiction fans and fans of strong female characters will be pleased. 

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. 

About the Author:

Jeanne Mackin is the author of The Beautiful American and A Lady of Good Family. In addition to several other novels as well as short fiction and creative nonfiction, she is the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers and co-editor of The Norton Book of Love. She lives with her husband in upstate New York.

***Book Giveaway***

For a chance to win a finished copy of The Last Collection, please visit my instagram page!  Giveaway generously sponsored by the publisher. 

Have you read The Last Collection, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR