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Reader reviews and comments on The Last Collection, plus links to write your own review.

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The Last Collection

A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel

by Jeanne Mackin

The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin X
The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2019, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 11, 2020, 368 pages

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There are currently 42 reader reviews for The Last Collection
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Larri V. (Pittston, PA)

Paris Before the War
I really liked this book both fact and fiction were mixed. I always enjoy descriptions of Paris – landmarks and the neighborhoods alike. The dynamics and jealousies of the different personalities were very lifelike. The Last Collection was both educational and entertaining.
Laurie F. (Brookline, MA)

Fashion Rivalry at its Best
Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli were so much alike - strong, creative, forward thinking, politically active, business women. Since opposites attract, their relationship on the high-end streets of Paris was tumultuous. The competition wasn't only as the top fashion designers of their time, but also included their relationships with the Parisian elite as well as their personal love lives yet they have one common bond with the American - Lily Sutter. An absorbing read as you watch the war between them rage on while at the same time a world war is brewing. How are they both involved? You need to read this book for the answer.
Wanda T. (The Villages, FL)

The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin
With war looming over Paris, a young widow visiting her brother finds herself in the middle of the infamous rivalry between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. The author does a wonderful job of weaving this rivalry with 2 love stories, and the role these two fashion icons played in WWII. I have read the story of Coco Chanel but knew little of Elsa Schiaparelli. This book led me to read more about Elsa and her clothing designs. If you are a fan of historical fiction and fashion, this is a must read book!
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Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)

Fashion At All Cost
This book tells the rivalry between two top designers - Schiaparelli and Chanel during World War II and how each survived in her own way. Blended into the story is the horror of war. Very good book.
Diane T. (Slingerlands, NY)

Pearls and Sequins
Jeanne Macklin's "The Last Collection" realistically gives the reader a glimpse at not only one of the most cut-throat businesses, that of the fashion industry, but also a decisive moment in history, Hitler's invasion of France and specifically the fashion capital of the world, Paris. With the current resurgence of books dealing with WW II "The Last Collection" gives the reader a chance to experience the emotional upheaval of the impending capture of Paris by the Nazis and the frantic lives the Parisians ascribed to during those dark days.
Having two of the giants of fashion at that time, Elsa Schiaparellu and Coco Chanel as part of the historical "part" of this book, we see how the upbringing of each influences their personal beliefs of the impending war. Their professional jealousy of each other, their justaposion of their use of color and style, Elsa - bold and playful and Coco - severe and classic, points to the impeccable research Macklin did on both. It gave me the feeling on more than one occasion that even the fiction part of the book could also have been true. This is a book I will enthusiastically recommend. Bravo Jeanne!!!
Barbara G. (Dallas, GA)

Colors of life
"If blue is the color of paradox, and red the color of life and death and the passion between the beginnings and endings, then yellow is the color of what is most precious…and is the color of fear"
This jewel of a story uses color to describe feelings and events during the time of fascination and fear in Paris prior to Hitler. But even more powerful is the story of two fashion icons of the time, Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel. Love, hate, fear, loyalty make this artfully written book a real page turner.
Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)

Beautifully Written!
It is rare for me to begin a book and find that the rich language keeps me intrigued from beginning to end but Jeanne Mackin has accomplished this in The Last Collection. Her beautiful use of language transported me Paris, introduced me to the world of Paris,and above all highlighted two women, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Also, I could feel how life was affected with the threat of war on the horizon. This book is a must read.
Gail L. (Dallas, TX)

Paris Goes to war
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautifully written book of historical fiction. Paris, immediately before the German invasion becomes one of the characters. Color and art and fashion are principle themes. The story is interesting and entertaining. The book deals with war and loss without describing battles and battlefields. It presents a new perspective on a much discussed time in history.

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