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 friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
Before I begin, I want to preface that the reason I finally picked up this book was because of Sofii’s post about the books that will save you from your reading slump! I’m so glad I did! Thanks Sofii! ❤
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang is such a cute and heartwarming book that reading it feels like being wrapped in a comfy & cuddly blanket. I marathoned it in one sitting one Saturday morning and I had such a wonderful time. 💞 Graphic novels are usually a quick read for me, and as much as I lingered on the illustrations, the pages sped by (especially when I reached the fashion show, which was *chef’s kiss* SO GOOD).
In The Prince and the Dressmaker, Prince Sebastian hires the budding dressmaker and designer Frances to help him (or perhaps them) moonlight as the stylish Lady Crystallia and take the fashion world by storm. 💃 Frances, too, has her own dreams about becoming a great designer and hopes working with the prince will help her build the connections she needs.
Sebastian and Frances are for sure the cutest as a couple and I couldn’t stop beaming at their interactions but I wouldn’t have minded a *touch* more development because their chemistry felt more platonic than romantic. At the same time, though, I did definitely see them having crushes on each other and THE EVOLUTION OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP AHHH. (Make up your mind, Miri 😤).
Although the book uses he/him for Sebastian, there was also a scene in the book which strongly implied the prince is genderfluid and YES I was so happy to see the LGBTQ+ rep. I was also so pleased to see Sebastian wearing dresses because I am here for stomping on the sexist idea that wearing dresses or doing traditionally feminine activities is shameful.
The best part of the book was for sure the illustrations and the designs of the dresses 😍. Each panel was lovingly made and incredibly adorable. I appreciated the way Jen Wang changed perspectives from through Sebastian’s eyes or over their shoulder. And the dresses!! THEY WERE SO GOOD OMG. My favorite design was the swishy citrus one. I could almost ~feel~ the smoothness of the fabric just looking at it.
Anyway my overall thoughts are that this is going to become one of my favorite graphic novels and that Hollywood should make this a movie for the express reason that we get to see all of Frances’ fabulous red carpet dress designs!
What did you think of The Prince and the Dressmaker? What would your ideal gown look like?