The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best f...

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Title:The Prince and the Dressmaker
Author:Jen Wang
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Prince and the Dressmaker Reviews

  • Korrina  (OwlCrate)

    This was exceptional! So heartwarming, and the characters were so lovable. This is definitely a story I’ll read again and again, and recommend to friends.

  • Mackenzi

    This book is the anachronistic 19th century French fairytale meets Project Runway but with cross dressing and deconstruction of gender norms of my dreams.

  • Claudia Ramírez

    THIS WAS SO PRECIOUS. All of the stars for it!!!

  • Lola

    This is the graphic novel I had no idea I was waiting for these past twenty years of my life. I have always loved stories about princes and princesses and kings and queens and lavish dresses—no wonder I couldn’t put this down.

    I don’t want to speak too soon… Oh hell, I can already see this one winning Best Graphic Novel in December 2018 when the Goodreads Choice Awards makes its appearance once again. And if that doesn’t happen, I will consider protesting. Unless, of course, something better gets

    This is the graphic novel I had no idea I was waiting for these past twenty years of my life. I have always loved stories about princes and princesses and kings and queens and lavish dresses—no wonder I couldn’t put this down.

    I don’t want to speak too soon… Oh hell, I can already see this one winning Best Graphic Novel in December 2018 when the Goodreads Choice Awards makes its appearance once again. And if that doesn’t happen, I will consider protesting. Unless, of course, something better gets published—as if. Well look at that, mama bear has come out to protect her babies.

    Prince Sebastian has a scandalous secret: By day, he is the son of the King of Belgium who must act accordingly and, unfortunately, find a princess to marry in order to form a fortunate alliance. But by night, he becomes Lady Crystallia, a fashionable woman who creates trends and is the light of any event.

    All thanks to Frances, Sebastian’s new dressmaker who can transform a boring fabric into a magic dress. Frances knows the prince’s secret, but she is the only one, and that is how it shall remain, or else he might lose this side of him forever. After all, who wants a prince who wears dresses? (I do.)

    I wasn’t that fan of Jen Wang’s IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel about gaming, but this is a completely different creature. Everything about it is perfect and that is not something I get to say very often. But it’s true, from my point of view. I loved the characters, the story, the themes, the drawings, and even the ending (regardless of the fact that it’s not one hundred perfect realistic).

    Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I even breathed as I read this. I was in a state of full absorption.

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  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    I was so excited to read this graphic novel, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. This is honestly my favorite graphic novel I have read all year—probably in the last

    years, even—and I know it is one I would reread again and again in the future. The artwork is

    the story is so sweet, and I just loved every single bit of it from start to finish.

    I know a lot of reviewers have said they're hesitant to call this a queer story, because Sebastian never specifically calls himself

    I was so excited to read this graphic novel, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. This is honestly my favorite graphic novel I have read all year—probably in the last

    years, even—and I know it is one I would reread again and again in the future. The artwork is

    the story is so sweet, and I just loved every single bit of it from start to finish.

    I know a lot of reviewers have said they're hesitant to call this a queer story, because Sebastian never specifically calls himself trans, nonbinary, gender-fluid, etc. I understand the hesitation with how open-ended it feels, but at one point in the story, Sebastian specifically says that some days, he feels like a prince, and some days, he feels like a princess. When I showed this panel to a loved one of mine who is nonbinary, he immediately said that it resonated very strongly with him, and frankly, that's good enough for me to recommend this as a must-read, beautiful queer story. ♥ I know not every experience is the same, but I would just like to ask my fellow cisgender reviewers to take cautions before implying that this story "isn't queer enough".

    That tangent aside, seriously, this book is gorgeous, Jen Wang is ridiculously talented, and I truly hope there is more on the way in the veins of

    because this warmed my heart and gave me all of the fuzzy feelings. Even if you don't like graphic novels typically (but especially if you do!), I

    recommend picking up a copy of this one and giving it a try, if for nothing other than how much Sebastian and Frances will snuggle their way into your heart.

    Please be aware that there is a scene of

    in this book, which is challenged and not presented as a healthy situation for Sebastian to be in, but I know could still be very hurtful to many individuals on the trans spectrum if they were unaware of it in advance. Please practice self-care and know that you are beautiful, loved, and valid. ♥

  • Victoria Schwab

    Absolutely charming.

  • Sarah Andersen

    The art in this! Just stunning! The colors, composition, the flowing linework...

    Meanwhile the story is modern while retaining the old-school sweetness and charm of a fairy tale (with a happy ending). Just incredible overall. Worthy of study by all illustrators and writers.

  • Emily May

    I'm not exaggerating when I say books like this really do restore a little of my faith in humanity. It's a really cute story but, as a person who generally prefers "tense" and "gritty" over "cute" reads, it's not too saccharine as to be unbearable. This is a good graphic novel for readers who enjoy the occasional fun read like

    or

    .

    The illustrations are simple and cartoonish, but still good. It suits the tone of the story,

    I'm not exaggerating when I say books like this really do restore a little of my faith in humanity. It's a really cute story but, as a person who generally prefers "tense" and "gritty" over "cute" reads, it's not too saccharine as to be unbearable. This is a good graphic novel for readers who enjoy the occasional fun read like

    or

    .

    The illustrations are simple and cartoonish, but still good. It suits the tone of the story, to be honest.

    is about Frances, a Parisian dressmaker who suddenly receives an amazing opportunity to make dresses for royalty-- Prince Sebastian, to be precise!

    Together the pair dazzle around Paris at night, with Sebastian - or Lady Crystallia - wearing Frances's gorgeous creations. But by day he must go back to being the prince and Frances must keep his secret. Friendship grows between them, and then something else, but when Sebastian's secret threatens an amazing opportunity for Frances, things get complicated.

    Both characters are wonderful and lovable and, as readers shall soon see, they are surrounded by some pretty amazing secondary characters, too. The whole

    near the end might just be one of the best things I've ever seen XD

    I can't stop smiling.

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  • David Schaafsma

    Original 4/1/18 review, slightly updated): Okay, even though it is only the beginning of March 1, I'm calling it: This is one of the top ten graphic novels for kids--probably tweens is right, given my tween household--any kids, of 2018. I have now seen teen reading it, too. Now, don't get too excited, Alan Moore fans; this is for younger readers, but for this audience it is great work. I've read Koko Be Good by Wang and thought it was good, okay, but this is really a huge leap forward for Wang,

    Original 4/1/18 review, slightly updated): Okay, even though it is only the beginning of March 1, I'm calling it: This is one of the top ten graphic novels for kids--probably tweens is right, given my tween household--any kids, of 2018. I have now seen teen reading it, too. Now, don't get too excited, Alan Moore fans; this is for younger readers, but for this audience it is great work. I've read Koko Be Good by Wang and thought it was good, okay, but this is really a huge leap forward for Wang, in my opinion.

    The Prince and the Dressmaker is a kind of revival of a long used concept, the idea of (sort of) swapping identities and/or class positions. It has the feel of fantasy and adventure about it, of aspirations, of dreams. It's the story of a "lowly" dressmaker who is hired to secretly design dresses for . . . (oh, it can't be a spoiler for long, and it's the catch of the book, initially, so get over it) the prince. She doesn't want to be poor, she wants to design for the rich and famous; he doesn't want to be chosen to marry the pretty princess, he wants to wear lovely designer dresses (though it is more complicated than just that, actually)!

    Sound already cliched, in this time of the explosion of trans (cross-dressing is already a passé term) books? Well, there are earnest glbtq books that are necessary for serious contemplation of a myriad of issues about identity and coming out. This isn't one of those, really, because it just introduces issues of gender identity to a younger audience. And it's really really fun and refreshing and funny and sweet and at times silly, and totally confirming of everyone involved! I might call the prince gender-fluid, or gender queer, but that may not be quite right. He may just be someone who likes to wear dresses. Can desire emerge, in struggle? Sure, I think so. But lest you think this is too much sexual identity work for kids to read about, it's really not graphic or detailed in any way.

    So this is a kind of fantasy story, where more things work out happily than generally works out in real life, but who cares? Sometimes books can just be feel-good, can't they English majors? Everything does have to go all Ethan Frome all the time, does it?! The pattern for role swapping maybe started much earlier than Shakespearean comedies such as Twelfth Night, but the obvious reference here is Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, that I seem to recall reading with my sister when I was ten. Or maybe it was some Disney version, that we read and/or saw. It's a story of class envy, and satire (mainly of the upper class), but is also an exciting adventure that spawned hundreds of spinoffs. Dressmaker is a bit like that, a sort of shift into a bit of an upper class life for our dressmaker.

    And here's another link for you, of which I was reminded: The deep friendship of Audrey Hepburn and designer Hubert de Givenchy (he said it was "like a marriage"), which itself inspired several books. A picture book I read and liked depicts a friendship between a man with taste and style, a fashion designer, and a girl just too lovely not to dress in the latest fashion, a match made in heaven:

    #

    (Givenchy went on to design the black dress Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. To die for, yes!).

    If you think this is a sweet but a little tired as an idea, that you have already read this book somewhere, and know what it is all about, I urge you to think again and read this book. If you think you are so smart as to predict everything that will happen in it--you sophisticate, you!--I will tell you the book has at least three surprises I did not anticipate in the end. I forced it immediately into the hands of the Next Person in the house, insisting she read it, and now: Here, read it, now, you, and get happy!

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