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Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli.

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

written by Kyo Maclear

illustrated by Julie Morstad

Tundra Books, 2018

978-1-101-91856-2 (hc) $21.00

978-1-101-91858-6 (eBook) $9.99

for Grades 2 and up

Picture Book | Fashion Design | Imagination | Resilience | Colour | Beauty | Individuality

Told as a young child that she was ugly, by her own mother, Elsa Schiaparelli spent her entire life searching for beauty and inspiration, be it in books, old dresses in a trunk, varying objects in the attic of her home, or in the flower markets of Rome. As her horizons expanded, so did her confidence as she cultivated her creativity and made her mark on the world. "I am an explorer, a circus performer and even the night sky. Dress up. Pretend. Make believe. The world feels brighter. I am growing into an artist." Surrounding herself with the leading avant-garde artists of the day, Schiaparelli emerged as one of the world's most original and audacious fashion designers. Through art and imagination, she created an array of uniquely designed clothing in brilliant colours which, consequentially, encouraged women to "dare to be different."

By narrating this fictionalized biography in the first-person present tense, Kyo Maclear's lyrical text surrounds readers with Schiaparelli's irrepressible musings and hunger for beauty. We feel as if the protagonist is sharing her innermost thoughts with us, beginning with her poignant childhood and concluding with her triumphant success.

Julie Morstad's elegant illustrations, rendered in liquid watercolour, gouache and pencil crayon, fill the pages with Roman and Parisian scenery from a century ago as well as samples of Schiaparelli's iconic fashions, ranging from a hat shaped like a shoe to a coat with many drawers. Most striking of all is the shocking pink that permeates this picture book, as it is the colour invented by Schiaparelli as she set the world on fire with her flamboyant spirit. Interestingly, her influence continues to endure long after her passing, as summarized in "A Note from the Author and the Illustrator" at the book's conclusion.

Senta Ross

COPYRIGHT 2018 Canadian Children's Book Centre
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Ross, Senta
Publication:Canadian Children's Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2018
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