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The Designer by Marius Gabriel
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The Designer

by Marius Gabriel

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Historical fiction account of American woman in Paris at the end of WWII and later. Moved to Paris to accompany her husband who was a news reporter. His job gave them the opportunity to mix with the rich and eclectic. She made friends with Christian Dior and other designers at the same time she divorced her cheating husband. In the end, she finds herself happily married and a mother. It is a chick lit book without a lot of drama or plot. I found I could skim over some pages and not miss anything key that was happening. The aspect of Paris in that era and the designers who were establishing themselves again after the war was the most interesting to me. ( )
  bogopea | Jan 28, 2018 |
Excellent story about fashion after wwii. ( )
  shazjhb | Jan 21, 2018 |
A Historial Fiction read is an opportunity to explore a period of history. Paris during the beginnings of many legendary designer houses would interest any reader who has been a lover of fashion. I chose The Designer from a monthly selection of Kindle Free monthly read believing the novel would center around a famous designer; instead, the great Christian Dior is the protagonist's best friend.

Copper is an American wife who follows her wealthy, handsome and vain husband to wartime Paris while he writes of his first-hand experiences during the war. Unfortunately, her husband is not as talented or intelligent journalist as his wife. His jealousy of his wife makes him a serial cheater and womanizer. Copper decides to divorce him and becoming a freelance journalist.

Copper has the unrealistic luck of meeting many of the famous artist, writers, and fashion designers of the era. The story is so contrived mixed with some important issues such as being gay in a society that is homophobic. The novel jumps around from one issue to another and the romance of Copper and Count is too fake as well as Copper attachment to Suzy.

I always finish a book but his one was torrid to read to the end. ( )
  Gingersnap000 | Jan 15, 2018 |
Having arrived in Paris with her husband Amory shortly following the city's liberation during World War II, Copper finds herself aghast at the horrors still raging in the city while simultaneously captivated by the people she's become acquainted with, geniuses and eccentrics alike, while sampling its art and fashion circles. Despite her marriage beginning to disintegrate, Copper snatches a gift opportunity to begin work as a journalist, reporting to American readers on the present state of affairs in Paris and the ways in which the population is beginning to reclaim its pride. One of her new friends is a talented fashion visionary who lacks the confidence and temerity to strike out on his own: Christian Dior.

I picked up this title solely because of the author. I've never read anything as unforgettable as Gabriel's The Original Sin, and relish the rare opportunity to read another of his works. Although I usually shy away from the topic of WWII when reading for pleasure, I found The Designer sweetly charming, and the subplot involving Dior touching and illuminating. ( )
  ryner | Dec 29, 2017 |
It was the mentioning of Christian Dior that made me curious to read the book. Well, not only that, but I was intrigued by the fact that the main character, Copper, strikes up a friendship with the well-known fashion designer. A man I know next to nothing about.

The book took me by surprise, at first I thought this would be the usual woman finds herself and has to choose between two men. But, yeah Copper does leave her husband after he has one affair too many, but after that, her life takes a pretty drastic turn as she tries to fulfill her dream as a journalist. Her friendship with Dior is a strong point in her life and I loved how to book introduced all the bohemian artist, painters writers, etc. that are living in Paris at the time. A lot of name dropping (in a good way) and I love how Copper embraces the bohemian world. And, there is love waiting around the corner, two very different people enter her life and both stir feeling inside her. But, who will win her heart? Or rather, will she sacrifice her new-won freedom she gained after her divorce? I was engrossed in the story and I really enjoyed reading about Copper's life in Paris.

The Designer is a fabulous book. I loved reading about Paris after the liberation, how the city slowly tries to return to normal after the occupations. But, there is unrest in the city and collaborators are frowned and often roughly treated.And, the war is yet over. This part of the book, everything going on that concerns the war added a deeper layer to the story. The Germans may have left the city, but the memory of their occupations is a deep wound.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
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In 1940s Paris, she finds a genius, new love - and her self. In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she's stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation. Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure, middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior. Realising his genius, Copper urges Dior to strike out on his own, helping to pull him away from his insecurities and towards stardom. With just a camera and a typewriter, she takes her own advice and ventures into the wild and colourful world of fashion journalism. Soon Copper finds herself torn between two very different suitors, questioning who she is and what she truly wants. As the city rebuilds and opulence returns, can Copper make a new, love-filled life for herself? -- back cover.… (more)

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