Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

Fancy Party Gowns

line Fancy Party Gowns

by Deborah Blumenthal (Author), Laura Freeman (Illustrator)

The Story of Fashion designed Ann Cole Lowe

No one knew this designer of Jacqueline Bouvier’s (President John F Kennedy’s wife) wedding gown. Who designed Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland’s gown in 1947?  And who was designing those lovely one-of-a-kind designer dresses for society women such as the DuPont’s, Posts and the Lodges in the 1960’s?

Ann Cole Lowe grew up helping her mother sew dresses for the elite in the town of Alabama. But when her grandmother died when Ann was 16, she was forced to step in and take over the sewing business. Later, Ann had the opportunity to go to New York to study design.  But she found herself alone in a segregated classroom. This didn’t stop Ann.

When Ann saw obstacles, she thought about what she COULD do, not what she couldn’t change.

Fancy Party Gowns segregated classroom

Ann was able to save enough money to start her own salon in Manhattan. She didn’t always have enough to cover her bills, but she kept on sewing!

One day a special order came from Washington. Ann had a opportunity to design and create dresses for a special bride and her wedding party. The bride was none other than Jacqueline Bouvier, who was to become Jacqueline Kennedy. But just 10 days before the wedding, her salon got flooded and ruined all her dresses. But,

Ann though what she could do, not what she couldn’t change!

Fancy Party Gowns kennedy wedding Fancy Party Gowns kennedy wedding gown

Finally she delivered her dresses although no one knew who the designer was. Why?

Because Ann Cole Lowe was an African American and life wasn’t fair!

Ann went on to make many more fancy party gowns. One day she was awarded “Official Couturier” for designing 33 Cinderella gowns for a fancy ball. Finally, Ann had gotten the much deserved recognition for a lifetime of work.

Fancy Party Gowns ann-cole-lowe

“Fancy Party Gowns” is a wonderful picture book biography of a Ann Cole Lowe, filled with fun filled facts and told simply but drawing inspiration. The untold story is beautifully illustrated bringing to life Ann’s colorful designs and gowns. The inside back and front covers have card layouts of Ann’s lovely gowns to ogle at. This is a perfect book for any young reader and teaches the never give up spirit, inspiring the readers to challenge yourself to look beyond what can’t be done.

“Fancy Party gowns” is a perfect book of an untold heroine, a un-celebrated but inspiring tale of a person who followed her life’s calling!


Find it here: LibraryAmazon

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


  1. What a great story! I need to check this out becuase it sounds like it would be a great read.

  2. This sounds like a really great book telling an interesting life. It sounds like she overcame a lot and was very talented.

  3. Cynthia @craftoflaughter

    This looks like such an interesting story to read. I will have to check it out

  4. terristeffes

    I read this too and loved it. Your review is spot on. I’m such a book nerd.

  5. What an awesome story! I think untold autobiographies are some of my favorite books!

  6. This is really cool. I love seeing the first lady gowns in the Smithsonian exhibit. So cool!

  7. Wow I need to check this out. This sounds like a beautiful story and I’m so interested in something great to read! I’m adding this to my book list! Thanks!

  8. Tereza

    I love books like this one – and the story about Ann sounds magical! Would definitely love to read it all x

  9. Ooooo now this looks like one neat story!!! Definitely something I would love to read since reading is my favorite past time!

  10. This sounds like such a good and inspiring story! I have never heard of it until now.

  11. annettepimentel

    Thanks for this suggestion. Our public library has been very open to acquiring a wider range of picture book biographies, so I’ve suggested they buy this one.

  12. I heard of her before. She is definitely iconic and it is horrible that she didnt get recognition for her work in the beginning because she was black. I would love to buy this book.


Leave a Reply