Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Rose’s Dress of Dreams - Katherine Woodfine - Mini Blog Tour & Review


Today we are delighted to welcome Katherine Woodfine to SOTB as part of her Mini Blog Tour ahead of the publication of the beautiful 'Rose's Dress of Dreams'.




Rose’s Dress of Dreams is inspired by the real life of Rose Bertin, who was born in 1747 in France. She moved to Paris at a young age, where she found work as an apprentice dressmaker.



Portrait of Rose Bertin 


Rose was ambitious and excelled at her work. She was soon promoted, and her designs became popular with the ladies of the French court. But her biggest success came when she became the favourite dressmaker of the new Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.



Portait of Marie Antoinette by Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun [https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/MA-Lebrun.jpg


Rose’s imaginative designs helped the young queen to make a sensation. She was responsible for many of Marie Antoinette’s most iconic outfits (which continue to inspire designers to this day).



Kirsten Dunst in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette [https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/29695678778008167/



Rose even helped design Marie Antoinette’s towering hairstyles, which were often decorated with objects relating to current events - such as a ship to represent a naval battle in which the French had triumphed!



Marie Antoinette’s famous coiffure


Rose became an important figure at the Royal Court, known as the queen’s ‘Minister of Fashion’. The outfits she created set trends not only in France, but all around Europe: dolls like this one, dressed in miniature versions of her designs were sent to foreign courts to help them keep up with the latest styles.



18th century fashion doll from the V&A Collection [https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/25543922861356802/]



Rose opened her own shop on Rue St Honoré, which was always full of ladies of fashion who wanted to emulate the queen’s style. Today, her shop is long gone - but I couldn’t resist visiting where it had once stood on my most recent trip to Paris.



Visiting the Rue St Honoré, Paris 



Nearby was a lovely shop with a window full of pink-and-green macarons which seemed perfectly in keeping with Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe!


Delicious macarons!


Of course, the French Revolution changed everything for Rose. The glittering splendour of life at the French Court came to an end - and she soon had to leave Paris for a new life in England.


Today, she is often remembered as ‘the world’s first fashion designer’. I hope my story about how Rose’s amazing career got started will be enjoyed by young readers - who will find her passion, creativity and determination as inspiring as I do!



Dress by Rose Bertin worn by Marie Antoinette, from the Royal Ontario Museum collection [https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/29695678773638845/


For lots more pictures of Rose Bertin’s incredible creations, check out my Rose’s Dress of Dreams Pinterest board [https://www.pinterest.co.uk/followtheyellow/roses-dress-of-dreams/]


We have endeavoured to cite all photographic sources  -  Many images via Pinterest - click on the link for the source

Review - Rose’s Dress of Dream  - Katherine Woodfine & Kate Pankhurst



Rose’s Dress of Dreams, is beautiful book which celebrates those extraordinary people with imaginative minds that dare to dream different by telling the tale of Rose Bertin. Katherine Woodfine tells us the tale from Rose’s perspective as she dares to dream about frocks and gowns, drawing her designs and wishing to make fine attire for fine ladies. Young Rose undeterred by people mocking her dreams and designs both, leaves her little town for Paris where she becomes an apprentice dressmaker, where a mistaken encounter with The Princesse de Conti, gives her just the break she needs as the Princesse commissions her to make her a gown. The gown, Rose’s Dream Dress, is such a hit, she soon the most in-demand dressmaker in Paris.



With Rose’s Dress of Dreams, Katherine, has both told an engaging and delightful account of Rose’s true life achievements; her rise from humble beginning to the become histories first Fashion Designer, but also woven in a message to children, to dare to dream and to work hard and be determined to see your dreams realised. The story is enhanced with Kate Pankhurst’s beautiful illustrations. The pictures and text are a perfect pairing, given that Kate is best known for her Fantastically Great Women Who Made History and Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, both books about other inspiring and history changing woman just like Rose Bertin.

Rose’s Dress of Dreams is a delight, a feast for the eyes and inspiration for the mind.


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