The Time-Traveling Fashionista-Bianca Turetsky
Publication date: April 5, 2011
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Of note: YA Historical Fiction Challenge Book #8, Debut Author Challenge Book #3
When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.
After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!
Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?
I've always been interested in fashion, even if I'm a bit too fundamentally frugal to buy expensive clothes for myself. One of my favorite memoirs I've ever read was that of Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley. So, when I opened up The Time Traveling Fashionista and saw a quote from the great Diana Vreeland, I knew I was in good hands!
Louise is a mature twelve year old who knows her fashion and lives to buy vintage pieces. Her family and best friend Brooke don't get the appeal, and sadly this is the case with a lot of people. There isn't handiwork in clothes the way there used to be. I'm guilty of buying 'disposable' clothes at Old Navy and other stores that are good for a few seasons and then they either fall apart or fall out of style. I appreciated Louise's sense of style and that she doesn't drop her interest just because it's not 'cool'.
When Louise tries on a beautiful pink dress at an exclusive vintage sale, she doesn't expect to be transported back in time, least of all to the Titanic! I've been a Titanic buff since I was a kid, long before the movie, and I felt that the details added to the atmosphere, without being too overwhelming for a young reader. Louise has a bit of a time adjusting to life one hundred years in the past, but she doesn't let it get her down. I really enjoyed her spirit.
If the fashion and history elements weren't enough to lure me in, this book has several beautiful illustrations. The level of detail was exquisite, and I enjoyed looking at all of them. The Time-Traveling Fashionista is a rare treat, and I look forward to reading the next book in this delightful series!