Art, opera, literature, writing, history of dress, interiors, travel, Paris . . . and more. By Susie Ralph.

Category: Works in progress

paris-1900

Behind the Bright Façade

Behind the Bright Façade: a novel of Belle Époque Paris, written under the pen name Édita Elphick.

I am currently working on a historical novel: Behind the Bright Façade. It draws on research undertaken for an MA which investigates the Paris couturier Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix, 1867-1930.

Lily is a ‘woman with a past’ – a past that contains a secret which she decides to reveal as she nears the end of her life.

Set against a background of the French couture industry it tells her story: the bright, beautiful but rebellious younger daughter of successful publisher Charles Marchant, she forms the ambition of becoming a couturier like the great Madame Paquin. Lily has been raised by her mother Adeline to regard marriage as the pinnacle of a girl’s achievement, but Adeline despairs of ever making a ‘young lady’ out of her high-spirited daughter,

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Tanagréenne back drape

Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix

Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix: revolutionary designer who changed the line of fashion.


A monograph on the influential early twentieth century designer Margaine-Lacroix. This work draws upon a body of research collected during the course of an MA: Investigating Fashion Design, 2009 – 2010, and added to over the past four years.

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