Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel” as Want to Read:
The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel

by
4.24  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  64 reviews
An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this vivid novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli ("Schiap") are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is al
...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 25th 2019 by Berkley
More Details... edit details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin
    The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel
    by
    Release date: Jun 25, 2019
    An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating nove ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 50 copies available, 1798 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Apr 12 - May 10, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about The Last Collection, please sign up.

    Be the first to ask a question about The Last Collection

    This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.24  · 
    Rating details
     ·  90 ratings  ·  64 reviews


    Filter
     | 
    Sort order
    Tammy
    Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Two iconic fashion designers who couldn’t be more different: one is French and one is Italian, one is from wealth and the other is from poverty. They possessed different aesthetics, different political views and very different personality types. Coco Chanel is famous for simple lines, natural shapes and the introduction of trousers while Elsa Schiaparelli is famous for idiosyncrasy, whimsy, and the introduction of culottes. Prior to WWII, both befriend a penniless American widow who becomes enme ...more
    Renee Rosen
    Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Fascinating look at two fashion icons as different as the clothes they designed. Review coming soon!
    Chanel Cleeton
    Exquisitely melding world politics and high fashion, The Last Collection is a smart, witty, heartfelt, and riveting look at the infamous rivalry between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli set against a gripping period in history. Mackin’s powerful novel brings these characters to life and transports the reader, juxtaposing both the gaiety and tension of Paris on the brink of war. As elegant and captivating as the designs depicted in the novel, The Last Collection is the perfect read for both hist ...more
    Cindy Burnett
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    4.5 stars

    The Last Collection chronicles the careers and rivalry between Coco Chanel and Else Schiaparelli beginning in Paris at the start of World War 2. Polar opposites in almost every way, the two women find themselves pitted against each other in their competition to rule the French fashion industry during the glamorous 1930s and 1940s. Chanel favored a more tailored and elegant look while Schiap (as she was known to many) chose to make statements with her designs and often experimented with
    ...more
    Erin
    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

    Before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to note that I tackled Jeanne Mackin’s The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel as a buddy read with one of my favorite fellow book bloggers. Magdalena reviews books at A Bookaholic Swede and if you haven’t done so already, I really recommend checking her site out. She’s a prolific reader and has a great catalog of honest reviews spanning a variety of genr
    ...more
    FMABookReviews
    WOW! Simply stunning! I would have never picked this book up on my own and am deeply grateful to Chanel Cleeton and Berkley Publishing. If I had not won your Instagram contest, I would never have known what I was missing!

    This story brings to life the fascinating lives of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. It begins in the late 1930s at the beginning of Hitler's reign and spans through the world's deadliest conflict, the second World War, and ends in 1954. Jeanne Mackin brilliantly portrays the
    ...more
    Kelley
    ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing

    I had no point of reference for this book and was a bit worried when I started that it would be difficult to read. I need not have worried, it is so well-researched and so well-written that I became immersed in the characters of this story.

    Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel were THE coutre fashion designers of the 30's. They were opposite in almost every way and became sworn enemies. Into the drama between these two powerhouse women came Lily Sutter. Lil
    ...more
    Michelle
    Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of this, and here are my thoughts:
    THE LAST COLLECTION brings to center stage the fascinating life of Elsa Schiaparelli in a story that is as elegantly constructed as the clothes she designed. The combination of Schiap’s fierce rivalry with Coco Chanel and the inevitable war makes for a palpable tension and Jeanne Mackin ultimately delivers an ending that is beautiful, heartbreaking, and perfect in every way.
    Jillian Doherty
    Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Not just a story about the fashion couture woman of Paris, Edna Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel in the 1940s. But that of Lily Cooper finding her new way in the world.

    She also consciously, and unknowingly, helps those around her as well during her unexpected life in France, and NY.

    The emotional adventure feels as familiar to many of our own exhilarations today ~ all accented with rich illustrated, WWII, and fashion rivalries.

    Galley borrowed from the publisher.

    Heather Webb
    Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Chanel is all pearls and clean lines; Schiaparelli is bold color and invention. And then there’s Lily, a nuanced and sympathetic protagonist whose fate becomes entwined with the feuding designers as she begins to make designs of her own. Soon, Lily finds herself on a journey of self-discovery she never expected—a call to find her own courage. By turns fascinating and tense, THE LAST COLLECTION is a colorful and evocative novel about the price of loyalty.
    Tina
    Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Goodreads First Reads Review - Free Book from Berkeley Publishing

    Coco Chanel is a name most people recognize even if they don’t give a hoot about fashion. Elsa Schiaparelli is not a name most people would recognize unless they really knew the history of couture fashion. I had no clue who Elsa Schiaparelli was until I read The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin. Suddenly, I found myself Googling anything I could find on Elsa. What I found was that Elsa’s legacy to fashion was great and that little
    ...more
    Deanna Sletten
    Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A young artist and widow, Lily Sutter, finds herself in the center of a great rivalry between designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in Paris, France in 1938. As she befriends both women, she learns more about them and their past as war looms around them.

    I absolutely loved this book. The feud between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli is described to perfection while Lily sits on the sidelines, being a neutral bystander. Amidst their rivalry, the threat of World War II brings tension to the
    ...more
    Beth Loflin
    Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: giveaway-shelf
    Beautifully written. I just loved this book. The fashion, the characters, war and love. It was such a great book. Thank you Berkeley Publishers for the early release. It’s amazing
    Tara Weiss
    Color theory provides context for an artist who experiences the loss of her husband and begins to restart her life and World War II threatens to destroy her rebirth. All this with the petty battle of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, two fashion icons of the era. While the use of the word frock dominates the first section of the book, clothes become less important and finding place and purpose. Slow to start, but allow the allure of Paris to bring you back to the spark of life that can restart ...more
    Jena Henry
    Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Is there such a thing as literary fanfiction? There may be now! In The Last Collection, readers get to meet and become friends with two fashion icons, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. The protagonist of this evocative story is Lily and she tells us the events of the Paris of 1938 to 1939 in the first person which gives us a feeling of immediacy and connection with all of the characters in the book, real and fictional.

    As the author tells us in her interesting and informative notes at the end o
    ...more
    Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.


    An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this vivid novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

    Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli ("Schiap") are fighting for recognition as the
    ...more
    Claire
    Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I received The Last Collection as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

    With international tensions rising, young widow Lily travels to Paris at the behest of her beloved brother, where she is introduced to the world of high fashion, specifically the rivalry between Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel. She finds an affinity for "Schiap's" outlandish, boundary-pushing clothing and warm nature, and soon begins working as the designer's studio painting backdrops and later acts as a companion to Schiap's young
    ...more
    Diane
    Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I won this from Goodreads give away.

    I love a good historical/ history and I found it in this book. Could not wait to read it.

    The author did a great job in her research about this time era. She brought the characters to
    life and pulled you into the story. The story takes place in pre-war Paris. Paris in on the brink of
    WW2. This is a great time for Paris and the fashion industry. We meet Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, two great fashion designer and great competitors. They are two great opposite
    ...more
    Barbara
    Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    I received an advance copy of this from BookBrowse in return for a fair review.
    “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 a
    ...more
    Pamela
    Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I received an ARC of this novel and asked for a review. What more could one ask for? Jealousy, greed, betrayal, drama, love affairs, heartbreak, triumph all dressed in the most spectacular clothing of the time by the two most famous of designers. Elsa Schiaparelli, known as Schiap considered her designs her "art" in every aspect of the world. She designed for women to have fun, to be bold and adventuresome, in clothing designs that were bold, experimental, and surreal. Her use of color was extra ...more
    RumBelle
    Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    ARC received through Goodreads Giveaways, from Berkley Books. Thank you to Goodreads and Berkley Books.

    This novel was fascinating to me, I had never heard of Elsa Schiaparelli before so I got to learn a lot about her, even though this was a fictionalized account of her life. Coco Chanel was always such an enigmatic figure, and this novel brought her spectacularly to life.

    We see these two women through the eyes, and life, of Lily. A woman who loves Schiaparelli designs, and ends up working for
    ...more
    Danelle The Librarian
    I love when I read a book and it makes me stop and google what I’m reading about. This historical fiction novel about the rivalry between Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli set against the backdrop of 1930’s Paris leading into World War II is one of those books.
    Jeanne Mackin uses character Lily Cooper as her vehicle to tell the story. Lily is a young recently widowed American whose brother Charlie invites her to Paris to visit him. Through Charlie’s starcrossed lover Ania, she gains entry into high cl
    ...more
    Sarah Wagner
    *I received this book through a GoodReads Giveaway.*

    A novel of high fashion set in Paris on the brink of war - this book had too many of my favorite things for me not to love it. Lily Sutter, a quiet American schoolteacher, gets caught up almost too easily in the epic rivalry between the fashion designers Elsa Schiaparelli (artistic & whimsical) and Coco Chanel (classy & elegant). Through Lily's eyes, the reader receives an up-close-and-personal view of the Parisian fashion industry, fro
    ...more
    Kim McGee
    Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Coco Chanel and her rival Elsa Schiaparelli are at war as their beloved Paris steels itself for war and German occupation. They will do just about anything to capture the couture crown as well as survive in this deadly game. With the war on their doorstep, they, as well as their friends, clients, and employees, must choose sides and that choice may determine their survival. This is an intimate look at pre-war Paris and all the glitter and the reality for some. The clothes, the parties and of cou ...more
    Deirdre Metcalf
    Set in the fashion capital of 1938 Paris, we follow the rivalry between 2 fashion icons, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, as they each strive to be recognized as the most influential designer. This book is filled with elegance, whimsy, and extravagance, juxtaposed with a world that is at war as the Nazis march closer to this glittering city. Additionally, this story is about Lily Cooper who is a young widow striving to find herself in this new city. Lily is an artist and finds herself within t ...more
    Katherine
    Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: reviewed
    Sometimes There is Too Much Color
    At one point the author in discussing a painting mentions that a thin wash of gray can make the background recede more from the foreground. It was as though a thin wash of gray lay between the story and the reader. It felt as though everything was being told through the heavy grief of this guilt ridden widow. Yet, though unable to paint because of it, she sees vibrant color everywhere and mentions it endlessly, as though to show the reader just how many colors sh
    ...more
    Becky
    Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    THE LAST COLLECTION by Jeanne Mackin
    I was fascinated by the personalities of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli and the intricacies of Haute Couture and politics in Paris just before and during WWII. But I was also intrigued by the daily life of various classes of people (upper class, middle class, merchants, professionals, wage workers, spies, artists, military, etc.) during that same period. Even the Ritz Hotel and the various cafes became a part of the story.
    I was so curious about the gowns be
    ...more
    Stephanie Crowe
    Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    Fashion and art are always fascinating topics but the rivalry between Paris designers, Schiaparelli and Chanel, makes for an exhilarating read! Mackin makes the fashion world come alive as she weaves a riveting tale of competition between these two powerful women during the backdrop of the 1930’s and WWII through the eyes of Lily Sutter, an American widow who is also an aspiring artist. Artfully researched, the characters come alive and although Elsa and Coco are primary, the other characters; C
    ...more
    Kathy Moberg
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: first-reads
    I received an advanced readers copy through Goodreads giveaways and am giving the novel my honest review.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and found it quite a page-turner. The comparison between Chanel and Schiaparelli is interesting and well-drawn, as is the lead-up to WWII in Paris. Simply reading about Paris, the parties, cocktails at the Ritz, art, and couture was delightful and knowing about the dreadful war looking on the horizon made it all the more compelling.

    Lily's part of the story was
    ...more
    « previous 1 3 next »
    There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
    • Meet Me in Monaco
    • The Good Life Elsewhere
    • Park Avenue Summer
    • The Summer Country
    • The Beautiful Strangers
    • American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt
    • American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt
    • The Scatter Here Is Too Great
    • Mormonism, the Matrix, and Me
    • Call Your Daughter Home
    • The Extra
    • 104 Horses: A Memoir of Farm and Family, Africa and Exile
    • Heart of Gold (Hearts of the West #1)
    • Bethlehem
    • The Colors of the Rain
    • Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush
    • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
    • The Lemon Sisters (Wildstone, #3)
    207 followers
    Jeanne Mackin is the author of The Beautiful American and A Lady of Good Family. In addition to several other novels as well as short fiction and creative nonfiction, she is the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers and co-editor of The Norton Book of Love. She lives with her husband in upstate New York.