From Jen Wang, a Graphic Novel About a Prince and a Dressmaker [Book Review]
THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER
In Jen Wang’s latest graphic novel, a dressmaker and a Prince are brought together in the most unlikely way.
The tale begins with Frances, a talented young seamstress, who is working in a dressmakers shop in Paris when she is requested to work privately for Sebastian, the 16-year-old Crown Prince of Belgium. We quickly discover that Sebastian is not like most fairytale Princes. In fact, his desire to not to find a bride has his parents perplexed. His biggest passion is creating dresses, and living a secret double life as the hottest fashion icon of Paris -at the expense of Frances. His desire to remain anonymous and Frances’ desire to become a world famous designer put both of them in a situation that tests the boundaries of personal integrity.
It’s a story I personally understand all too well. Having been a fashion designer for over a decade, I know how much goes on behind the scenes that people never see, nor recognize. I also understand how easy it can be to get lost in some one else’s dream, and never find the personal satisfaction or creative freedom you’re looking for. This book comes to me in a time when I needed it most. It had a personal message that I think will resonate with a lot of young readers.
Not to mention the illustrations and dress designs are fabulous!
This classic “fairytale” theme takes on a unique, modern day twist of self-awareness, friendship, love and acceptance with an overarching theme that’s good for anyone who finds herself living in the shadows. The ending really had me delightfully surprised, too!
Jen Wang is an author, cartoonist, illustrator and co-founder of Comic Arts LA. festival. Her work has appeared in the Adventure Time comics and LA Magazine. Her previously published books include: In Real Life and Koko Be Good.