Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe

Fancy Party Gowns The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe A beautiful picture book about Ann Cole Lowe a little known African American fashion designer who battled personal and social adversity in order to pursue her passion of making beautiful gowns and we

  • Title: Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe
  • Author: Deborah Blumenthal Laura Freeman
  • ISBN: 9781499802399
  • Page: 322
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A beautiful picture book about Ann Cole Lowe, a little known African American fashion designer who battled personal and social adversity in order to pursue her passion of making beautiful gowns and went on to become one of society s top designers.Wisps of cloth would fall from their worktables like confetti,and Ann would scoop them up and turn them into flowersas bright asA beautiful picture book about Ann Cole Lowe, a little known African American fashion designer who battled personal and social adversity in order to pursue her passion of making beautiful gowns and went on to become one of society s top designers.Wisps of cloth would fall from their worktables like confetti,and Ann would scoop them up and turn them into flowersas bright as roses in the garden.Ann s family came from Alabama.Her great grandma had been a slave,so her family knew about working hardjust to get by.As soon as Ann Cole Lowe could walk, her momma and grandma taught her to sew She worked near her momma in their Alabama family shop in the early 1900s, making glorious dresses for women who went to fancy parties When Ann was 16, her momma died, and Ann continued sewing dresses It wasn t easy, especially when she went to design school and had to learn alone, segregated from the rest of the class But the work she did set her spirit soaring, as evidenced in the clothes she made, including Jackie Kennedy s wedding dress and Olivia de Havilland s dress at the Oscars when she won for Best Actress in To Each His Own Rarely credited, Ann Cole Lowe became society s best kept secret This beautiful picture book shines the spotlight on a little known visionary who persevered in times of hardship, always doing what she was passionate about making elegant gowns for the women who loved to wear them.

    One thought on “Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe”

    1. "When Ann saw obstacles, she thought about what she could do, not what she couldn't change."This was such a lovely little children's biography about Ann Cole Lowe. She was a talented couturiere made famous by elegant gowns she made for high society ladies between the 1920s and 1960s, most notably Jacqueline Bouvier's wedding gown when she married JFK in 1953. It's so sad that she didn't get recognition for her work until 1961 because she was a black woman.I though it was ironic that when she del [...]

    2. Ann C. Lowe's life is fascinating. As someone who studies Black women seamstresses, I am so pleased a picture book about Lowe's life exists. Freeman's illustrations are vibrant, specifically Lowe's aesthetic shines.My main issue with the text is that Blumenthal repeats the phrase "life wasn't fair" to describe the systemic racism Lowe faced. Yes, this is a children's picture book. However, there are more honest, nuanced, and radical ways to describe racism to a child that does not pacify, dismis [...]

    3. A picture book biography of Ann Cole Lowe, the first African American woman to design couture clothing. She is best known for the gown she designed for Jackie Kennedy's wedding to John F. Kennedy as well as the gown Olivia de Havilland wore to the 1947 Academy Awards where she won the Best Actress award.Here readers see that despite her eventual success Lowe's life was hard and it remained a struggle even after she found success. I really liked the way the refrain "Ann thought about what she cou [...]

    4. It's actually criminal to me that most history buffs, Kennedy fans, & people who love fashion know every detail of Jackie O's stunner of a wedding gown, but not that its amazingly talented designer was an African American woman who wouldn't have been welcome at most of the events her dresses were worn to. This book is inspiring & thought-provoking - oh, & its illustrations are glorious.

    5. Fancy Party Gowns is a bright and colorful beautifully illustrated biographical children's picture book on the life of African American fashion designer Ann Cole Lowe. The great-grandaughter of a slave, Lowe was taught to sew by her mother and her grandmother. At the age of sixteen her mother suddenly died, and Lowe picked right up where her mother had left off sewing. She eventually went to design school in New York, but had to study and work alone because of segregation. She eventually opened [...]

    6. zackbarnes1.wordpress/201Fancy Party Gowns tells the inspiring story of Ann Cole Lowe, a “little known visionary designer” who had to fight against racism to do what she did best: create beautiful gowns.Ann Cole Lowe learned her craft from her mother, but when her mother died when she was 16, Lowe took over the family business. But taking over the family business was harder than it looked.As she got better at her new skill, a client sent Lowe to New York to attend design school in 1917. Lowe [...]

    7. "Okay, Fancy Party Gowns is the story of an African American woman who was sought out by wealthy white women who wanted her to design and make their clothes for important events at a time when people of her race weren't accepted just anywhere. Like design school, for instance. She got in, but had to study separate from white students. So what we have here is a tale of an outsider who makes the insiders come to her. She had something they wanted. They wanted it bad enough to let her in the front [...]

    8. FANCY PARTY GOWNS: THE STORY OF FASHION DESIGNER ANN COLE LOWE by Deborah Blumenthal is a picture book bibliography.This beautifully illustrated children’s book tells that story of the first African American women to become a high-end fashion designer. As a child, Ann learned to sew from her mother and grandmother. After the death of her mother, Ann took over her mother’s commissions and later went to design school. Ultimately, she designed dresses for people like Jacqueline Kennedy.Libraria [...]

    9. Review from an advance F&G copy.Gr. 2-4. A glimpse into the life of Ann Cole Lowe may inspire future fashionistas with the inspirational theme of thinking about what you can do, not what you cannot change. Oddly though, Blumenthal only offers a glance of Lowe's life. Biographical information - including Lowe's date of death are missing - which may leave readers confused. A timeline included with the Author's note would have greatly enhanced this title. Freeman's illustrations - possibly a co [...]

    10. I liked this picture book biography about African-American dress designer, Ann Cole Lowe. The unusual collage illustration style lent to the theme. The book finally gives credit to a woman whose work has been admired for decades. Though the author note admits there are gaps in the subject's history, she rightly asserts that should not be an obstacle to telling her story of determination and perseverance. Should be of interest to young readers. Inspiring. Enlightening.

    11. This book was on display in the library for Black History month. It was a very good and interesting book. I knew that an African American had designed Jacqueline Kennedy dress but not much about the designer. I am glad I read this book and I feel with the illustrations it can relate better to children and youth. Very good read for all ages

    12. Gorgeously illustrated, completely enraging that this very talented woman who worked her butt off to create masterpieces for some very famous people (Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress!) still struggled financially most of her life.

    13. A good place to start on the life of Ann Cole Lowe. It would have been nice to see more examples of the gowns that she was known for.

    14. There were a lot of holes in here, which the author touches on at the end. I just wish I knew more, and that more was said about Ann Cole Lowe rather than her business. It seems impersonal?

    15. I really would have liked to see actual pictures of the women wearing her dresses at the end with the Author's Note.

    16. Loved looking at the illustrated designs - would have poured over those as a young reader!Interesting biography about someone I was unfamiliar with.

    17. The beautifully illustrated story of Ann Cole Lowe who designed gowns for many rich and famous women, including Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding gown. Her gowns were gorgeous!!

    18. This book tells the little-known story of Ann Cole Lowe, born in 1898, an African-American fashion designer who overcame a great deal of hardship and prejudice to become a leading star in the fashion world, even designing the wedding dress for Jacqueline Bouvier when she married John F. Kennedy.Ann grew up in Alabama sewing alongside her mother, who, however, died when Ann was just 16. But Ann kept up with her mother's orders, and even attended design school in New York in 1917. But, as the auth [...]

    19. Loved the topic - the biography of this ground-breaking African American woman fashion designer and the illustrations. The text really missed something when it came to putting words to the racial injustice imposed upon this family. I didn't like the sentence about her family learning how to work hard to get by thanks to great-grandparents being slavesat came off wrong. And as another reviewer pointed out, a couple of times the text basically equates racism as "life wasn't fair" - that's quite an [...]

    20. I would liked to have given this book 4 stars but only gave 3 stars for several reasons: 1. The illustrations are very well done. BUT - in the author's note or at the end, a few photographs could have been added of both Ann Cole Lowe and her designs.2. This is good way to introduce young readers to Ann Cole Lowe. BUT more could have been written about her struggles as an African American in the fashion and business world and in our country. More information and emotion could have been included i [...]

    21. The story of this little known dress designer is a gem. Depicting less well known but influential women in history, we can share more stories with children to show them what is possible. Aimed at a young audience, it feels like the racism that Ann Cole Lowe faced was glossed over too much, but as a starting point for the conversation, this book highlights the story of a real African American woman breaking barriers and achieving success.

    22. Fancy Party Gowns tells the unknown story of dress designer Ann Cole Lowe. Ann operated a dress making business with her mother until the age of 16 when her mother died. Ann made wedding dress and bridesmaid dress for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It's a story of tenacity in the face of discrimination on multiple fronts. This book would be a good addition to a unit on entrepreneurship, women in business, and civil rights. It's a very quick read and could easily be added to a lesson plan.

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