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The Dress Thief

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,689 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Alix Gower has a dream: to join the ranks of Coco Chanel to become a designer in the high-stakes world of Parisian haute couture. But Alix also has a secret: she supports her family by stealing designs to create bootlegs for the foreign market. A hidden sketchbook and two minutes inside Hermès is all she needs to create a perfect replica, to be whisked off to production in ...more
Paperback, 564 pages
Published June 2014 by Quercus Books (first published May 29th 2014)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,689 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: two-star
In theory, this book should be everything I love about historical fiction but sadly the author author failed to capture my attention for the duration of this read. Although it begins rather promisingly, the book is much too long at six hundred plus pages (it could have been chopped by at least a hundred and fifty if the author hadn't included so much irrelevant detail) and as such, I found myself skim reading the last few chapters.

Although I loved the setting of the story, none of the character
May 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-english
Concept was good.
Elegant haute coutures' salons in Paris from one side and Facism's ferocity in Spain from the other side.. A groomed talented in fashion young lady and a handsome but wounded -in many ways-war reporter....
BUT... something was always missing to me as chapters were getting along.
Dialogues were fading and seemed weak where they should be tense and passionate...Alix and Verrian didn't convince me about their feelings nor their choices...
Whole story, layed down, looked predictable an
Renita D'Silva
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absolute treat of a book. A multi-layered, carefully constructed, beautifully written book, each layer peeled delicately and evocatively to reveal the treasure within. The sense of time and place is spot on. I did not want it to end even as I kept turning the pages, enjoying every stunning word. A masterpiece. Loved it.
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]Twitteresque reviews are for books where I don’t feel like writing a full review but I want to give you a flavour of how I felt during the book.  All in 140 characters or less!





The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans


Refreshingly different, full of Parisienne haute couture, fashion spies and a heroine that is perfectly imperfect.

Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
It seems I'm going to have to be in the minority here, but this book seemed like a missed chance. The set up was interesting, as was the story background, again I gave the stars for excellent research, but the characters fell flat. I wanted to relate to them but I could not.

I don't know what it was, maybe it was a bad translation of the book, maybe there was too much detail to clutter the plot or a rambling on about backstory when it was unnecessary, but it just all got in the way.

Jennifer Moville
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book as part of Good Reads First Reads

This story is set in Paris ion the 1930s - a decade of fancy couture

The author sets the scene of exquisite dresses and dangerous secrets - all in the life of Alix

She dreams of becoming a designer in the fashion house of Coco Chanel - but the cost is high. She has to provide for her family by stealing designs - will she get caught - or won't she ?

A novel to get to embraced in the Parisian life and drown yourself in the ambiance of the settings
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the story and the characters. I just wish we heard more about the future before the story ended. Glad to know it is a series and I can move on to book 2. Only issue I have is some of the language but can't help that if you are reading a foreign novel. The reader must learn the language! So not the authors problem. Loved this and can't wait to read " The Milliner's Secret".
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing


IT so packed with twists and turns the characters seem so real I loved them all
Alik the main character I loved her I could see all the dresses that were being described I l
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I actually learned a lot about the fashion industry as well. However, this book was not only about the fashion industry. There were so many other things going on. Hitler was up and coming, war was being raged in Spain and most of Europe was on the brink of turmoil. There was also mystery, blackmail, secrets, lies, counterfeiting, love, vulnerability, friendship, backstabbing, poverty and all along the greedy get greedier.

This was an absolute lovely story which I thoroug
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Received this as a giveaway from Goodreads First Reads.

This book is a real gem! The story is set in 1930s Paris and centres around the character of Alix Gower and her attempts to make her way in the world of haute couture. From the first few pages, I was gripped. The plot is never predictable, there are mysteries to be unravelled and the descriptions of fabrics, styles and colours are breathtaking. The historical setting really comes alive, with the feel of excitement and hedonism among the rich
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Because I like historical fiction, and sewing, and the fashion industry of the 1920's and 1930's, I very much enjoyed this book. Evans obviously did her research, so it was educational as well as entertaining.
I felt it dragged on far too long. I liked the idea of it overall. I just think it could have been extremely trimmed down.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!!!
Kobby Gyampoh
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Also on

The Dress Thief review
Imagine This: It’s 1930s, Germany is waging war over Spain and Paris is still the heart of haute couture on the globe. Think Chanel, Think Hermes. And think you, with dreams of establishing your own successful fashion brand.
You might not have the income, or a lover as in Coco Chanel’s case, but you sure do have talent. And you are looking for that one little break to shoot through the ranks of fashion’s elite. But dreams and talents do
Brianne Moore
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. It seemed so in my wheelhouse: I love the era, and fashion, and the premise was intriguing. Unfortunately, that interesting premise was buried underneath a lot of nonsense: the main character's tiresome and fanciful love life, a cliched blackmail plot, and a 30-year-old murder mystery so uninteresting even she didn't really care about it. The characters are nothing new--the rebellious aristocrat, the kindly mentor, the high-society bitch, the jealous prima-donn ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Who would have thought a book about couture would also inform me about the Spanish civil war that was raging before the start of World War II? Not this reader and so as much as I was looking forward to learning about the world of fashion I’m pleased to report there was far more on offer in The Dress Thief.

As the title suggests the book looks at the business of copying designer fashion and our heroine is caught up in this dubious business. Designers were alert to the problem and employed differen
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Dress Thief sweeps readers into the heart of Paris during the rise of the fashion industry - from the fashion designers to the manufacturing to the runway. From the very beginning, one cannot feel anything but sympathy for the plight of Alix who lives in poverty with her ailing grandmother, Meme, but who possesses powerful dreams to one day become a fashion designer. She is befriended by a young man named Paul, also poor who cares for his younger sisters. It is Paul who entices her into beco ...more
Mary Ann
This is not great literature, but if you are interested in fashion and couture, Paris, the 1930s with its rumblings of politics and war, it's vastly entertaining. It's well-written, and the author's afterwords on women and fashion are thought-provoking.
Renee Thompson

At the beginning I was waiting for the story to get going. Halfway through still nothing . At 80 percent through I just saw topped reading. Not much of a story .the character's were not interesting and lacking depth.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Great cover, great idea for a book.....but a really disappointing read.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WE devoured the audio version in a trip down to Cornwall. Good yarn with interesting diversions to reflect the times - 1935-1938 ish. Looking forward to the next book
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Takes place war time (WW2) Paris. Young girl who copies dress designs at high fashion house. Character overlap with The Millener's Secret.
Marc Mordey
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable and entertaining novel and revealing - to me at least as someone who does not know the topic - about the world of the great fashion houses, albeit in a historical context.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
There was a lot to like in this page-turner of an historical novel---and, also a lot not to like. But, it was a bold soap opera of a book filled with jealousy and intrigue set in the world of haute couture in Paris of the 1920's.

This would make a glorious, colorful tv mini-series and I am confident I would be riveted to it---the book, not so much. While I eagerly read it, I can't say I particularly enjoyed it: I just wanted to know how the "dress thief" resolved her personal and professional pro
Dora Okeyo
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this book off the bookshelf last week because let’s face it, the title is catchy and the cover draws you in!
I’m not a fashion buff but reading this book brought to light the struggles and tenacity of a very bold heroine named Alix. Life handed her cards and she played them so well, you cannot help but envy her for a second.
Most reviews term this book as delicious, I beg to differ, it’s not delicious it is tantalizing and depending on the character that draws you in, you might enjoy a tr
Nancy Hartill
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alix has been raised by her grandmother in a state of poverty, but educated due to the financing of a mysterious benefactor and friend. She knows fabrics, threads and styles, and can draw a dress with just a few strokes. Her friendships with all the wrong people puts her in many dangerous positions at work, on the social scene, and with her family. She works her self into the high Paris fashion world with the best in the business, opening doors to her bright future. I really loved reading this b ...more
Halle Edwards
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I started it after finishing one of Evans' other books: The Secret Vow. I'm giving this one only four stars because the characters in this were not as compelling as they could have been. I would have appreciated more exposition on Verrian. As for the main character, I have seen some reviewers say she was unlikable as a character. I can see how some of her choices may make her unlikable in some reader's views, but I thought she was a very well written character who w ...more
Ellen Ansok
Everything I Love in One Book

A little romance, a lost love and reunited. Historical based ideas, places and locations. 1930's Paris Fashion! And a mystery all rolled up into one, I can't put it down, book.

I would also like to thank the author for taking the time to tell me what history was real and what was her fabulous imagination. I am so glad I found this author. Now on to read another one.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finally finished reading this book. It took me almost three weeks to finish it but that was not because of the book, the book was AMAZING it was because of the stupid reading slump. Am glad am finally out of the slump.
I enjoyed reading The Dress Thief..i would recommend it to anyone especially if you love designing dresses.
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Being a published writer has been Natalie Meg Evans’ goal from an early age. Having achieved her dream, she extracts maximum fun from it by writing the kind of books she has always loved reading. Plotty and immersive, her novels go behind-the-scenes of glamorous worlds, be that haute couture, millinery or the theatre. Her professional experience includes public relations, freelance copywriting and ...more
“No boyfriend, just misery. Well, misery is good for the figure. And only misery can teach you what happiness is.” 5 likes
“A gentleman should always wear grey, you know, because then he will never upstage the lady he is with.” 3 likes
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