The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Published by First Second on February 13th, 2018
Genres: Graphic Novel, LGBTQIA
“My whole life is other people deciding what’s acceptable. When I put on a dress, I get to decide what’s silly.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a graphic novel and I didn’t realize how much I missed reading them!
This was the third book I read for #AsianReadathon in honor of Asian Heritage Month. The Prince and the Dressmaker satisfied Challenge #2: Read a graphic novel featuring an Asian character or written/drawn by an Asian author.
The Prince and the Dressmaker tells the story of Prince Sebastian caught between two worlds. He has royal duties to fulfill and he has to accept that his parents are looking for a bride for him. But Sebastian is busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night, he puts on dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia — the newest and hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion.
He only becomes an icon when he meets the brilliant dressmaker Frances — one of only two people who know the truth that sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of becoming the next big fashion designer and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret.
This was such a cute story! But don’t worry, it’s not too sweet that you’ll get a toothache from it. The art style was colourful, atmospheric, simple, and cartoonish. And it fit the story perfectly as it’s set in late 19th century France and helps give it a fairytale vibe.
Every character was lovable and really worked to make each other become the best versions of themselves. It was really heartwarming to see young and older people alike come together to protect one another.
To be perfectly honest, this book stole my heart! I love how respectfully this book treated gender identity. The only part I took issue was with the fact that Sebastian had to come out quite publicly and that was a bit painful to read. But the ending more than makes up for it. Let’s just say the fashion show at the end was quite possibly one of the best things to come out of the graphic novel genre!
I’d recommend this for anyone looking to dip their toes into graphic novels or for people who enjoy an occasional fun and lighthearted read.