Thursday, July 7, 2022

A Dress Of Violet Taffeta: A Novel by Tessa Arlen


(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

A sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, who shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and enchantingly unique designs.

Lucy Duff Gordon knows she is talented. She sees color, light, and texture in ways few people can begin to imagine. But is the male dominated world of haute couture, who would use her art for their own gain, ready for her?
When she is deserted by her wealthy husband, Lucy is left penniless with an aging mother and her five-year-old daughter to support. Desperate to survive, Lucy turns to her one true talent to make a living. As a little girl, the dresses she made for her dolls were the envy of her group of playmates. Now, she uses her creative designs and her remarkable eye for color to take her place in the fashion world—failure is not an option. 
Then, on a frigid night in 1912, Lucy’s life changes once more, when she becomes one of 706 people to survive the sinking of the Titanic. She could never have imagined the effects the disaster would have on her fashion label Lucile, her marriage to her second husband, and her legacy. But no matter what life throws at her, Lucy will live on as a trailblazing and innovative fashion icon, never letting go of what she worked so hard to earn.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a fabulous story! I LOVED A Dress Of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen - it was such a fascinating story about a determined, strong, and talented woman. Talk about chic fashion at its very best!

Lucy is talented. She has an eye for color and texture. Fashion is her game and she is damn good at it. And, she has to be. Why? Well, her first husband left her penniless and she has a mom and daughter to take care. Failure is most definitely not an option for Lucy. So, she throws herself into the fashion world, ready to make a name for herself. Hard work and talent wind up being the recipe for Lucy's success. Yep, her name becomes popular in the fashion world, she has stores opening up all over, and she meets a partner that becomes her husband. Unfortunately, a voyage on the Titanic upends her life, and Lucy is once again struggling to figure out what to do next.

Arlen has written a terrific story that will reel you right in and keep you reading all through the night. I know I stayed up late devouring this delicious story. I loved getting to know Lucy and her family and reading all about her ups and downs in a world that wanted to keep women down. A Dress Of Violet Taffeta is a must-read for anyone and everyone - it is fantastic! Superb writing, interesting characters, and an unputdownable story. What more could you want? I know I LOVED it to bits! So, check it out - ASAP!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


  1. I’m encouraged by your enthusiasm for this book, Nadia! I like stories of women who overcome adversity even more than fashion. (That’s never been a strong point of mine; I’d rather invest in beautiful journals and books, if you know what I mean.😉) Anyway, you have intrigued me to pick up my copy as well. Just now I am reading for Paris in July, are you?

  2. Ah, it’s me, Meredith, not Anonymous. ☺️

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nadia. I enjoyed reading your detailed review. Lucy was such a trailblazer for fashion and women entrepreneurs. Arlen did a fabulous job with the era, fashions, and characters. I am looking forward to her next novel.