The Pink Suit
If you’ve ever wondered about what it takes to create haute couture, The Pink Suit offers a behind-the-scenes look. It is an atmospheric novel of an Irish immigrant’s quest to make the world a more beautiful place through her creation of beautiful clothing. The pink suit in the book’s title refers to the iconic suit worn by Jacqueline Kennedy the day that her husband was assassinated.
The book’s narrator is Kate, an Irish immigrant working in a New York boutique called Chez Ninon. Kate, in her late 20s, is exceptionally skilled at her craft, working for two elderly women who copy the latest fashion designs from Paris. Kate’s precision work makes her a hot commodity in the industry, though her personal and love life is up in the air.
Kate is as captivated by the First Lady (who is never named in the book, but only referred to as the Wife) as the rest of America. When she has the opportunity to help create the pink suit and to meet the Wife in person, Kate makes a move so bold that it almost costs her her job.
The story, which flows smoothly, intertwines the emblematic pink suit with the politics of the day. Getting a behind the scenes glimpse inside the fashion industry of the 1960s was a treat. But the real charm of the book is the protagonist herself, portrayed as a strong, independent and courageous woman who defies conventional expectations.