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.
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!
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” 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!
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!