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The Fortuny Gown

By Rosalind Laker

As the Great War looms, two apparently doomed lovers are separated. But is it forever?

In the last opulent, extravagant years in Paris before the First World War, Juliette Cladel, a young French woman working in haute couture, and Nikolai Karasvin, a Russian diplomat, are brought together through their shared interest in Spanish designer Mariano Fortuny.

The chance discovery by Juliette of one of Fortuny’s uniquely pleated, figure-hugging gowns, revolutionary at a time when women wore corsets and petticoats, provides a further bond between her and Nikolai when she wears it to their first dinner and creates a scandal.

But their turbulent love affair is short lived, and Nikolai returns to Russia. Juliette moves to Italy and marries another man.

As the clouds of 1914 gather, Nikolai finds a photo of Juliette in her Fortuny gown and traces her to Venice. But fate keeps them apart, and each faces war alone. Only when the devastation is over does Juliette return to the world of fashion, and a chance encounter in a Paris art gallery suggests that she and Nikolai may have a second chance …

In The Fortuny Gown, Rosalind Laker deploys considerable skill to weave a compelling, romantic story set against an authentic and detailed background of a fascinating period. Her work is bound to appeal to readers of classic romance and those with an interest in history, particularly the history of fashion.

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