Transworld have acquired debut novel The Perfect Dress by V&A researcher Louisa Leaman, billed as “a warm, romantic read” about a wedding dress shop owner and her quest to find happiness for herself and her customers.
Editor at Transworld Molly Crawford acquired world English language rights from Sarah Such of Sarah Such Literary Agency. Transworld are publishing the e-book in June 2019, to be followed by the paperback at a later date.
Leaman currently writes for the V&A, researching and writing about the museum’s archives, including their vintage wedding dresses.
The “warm, romantic read” centres on Fran and her eye for fashion which she uses to match her brides with their ideal wedding dress, Transworld said. “Rather than being ‘off the rack’ their gown is selected from her own collection of bespoke vintage dresses, the pre-loved frocks range from a 1920s flapper dress to a scarlet evening gown, but each dress gives its bride exactly what she needs to shine on her big day. But Fran’s magical life is disrupted the day she finds a beautiful 1950s couture gown. In her desperation to know the dress’s history she becomes entangled with the original owner’s son, the beautiful but standoffish Rafael Colt,” the publisher said.
Crawford said of the novel: “Like the brides in Louisa’s novel, I instantly fell in love with The Perfect Dress. Louisa has done a splendid job of capturing the fascinating and inexplicable magic of dress buying with a central character you just can’t resist rooting for. There’s a real charm and wisdom woven into the story and each moment spent in Fran’s store feels like a treat. There’s a lightness of touch and wonder that I know readers will respond to. It’s beautifully written and the perfect story for romantics and fashion enthusiasts alike.”
Leaman said: “I’m thrilled to be published by Transworld - to have my book taken on by such a renowned publisher is a dream come true. It’s also a pleasure to work with Molly Crawford, an editor who understands my passion for vintage wedding dresses.”
Such added: “I’m delighted that Transworld has acquired Louisa Leaman’s debut novel in a two-book deal. It’s a match made in heaven, and like the best wedding dress, a perfect fit. Anyone who reads Louisa’s wonderful debut can’t help but fall for its charms. German (Goldmann), Spanish (Suma, PRH) and Italian (Newton Compton) translation rights have been snapped up, with many more deals anticipated.”