I loved Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein so much that I couldn’t wait to read Rose Under Fire. The companion was just as inspiring as Code Name Verity was and I styled this outfit based on the enchanting main character and her time in Ravensbruck.
I wanted the result of this outfit to be wearable, so while Rose Justice probably didn’t have access to jewelry, or accessories, the story behind each piece of this outfit is what makes it important.
So, I started off with the Valentino Fluted Wool and Silk-blend Crepe Midi Dress. While a little more extravagant then the prisoners probably wore, this dress does have the A-line skirt style that would be favored in the 40s, and the luxurious wool/silk blend is something I would imagine Karolina, Rose, and Roza dreaming about at night. (Well, that and food!)
The color of the dress, is also meant to signify Rose’s ATA unit. The dark blue of the uniform she loved to wear.
Rose, in particular, had a green coat that had been altered with a dark blue sleeve from her ATA uniform, the work of her friend Elodie. I chose a J.Crew Pea Coat for this part of the ensemble. It is still fashionable to wear in the 21st Century and the color is really in for this fall/winter season.
Elodie also had a hand in embroidering a kerchief for Rose, so accessorized the dress with the Lola Rose Geotopian Flowers Wool Blend Scarf. This symbolizes both the kerchief and the roses embroidered on them.
For shoes, I chose the Asymmetrical D’orsay Pump from Fluevog! I don’t think these shoes would be practical for Ravensbruck, but I do think they fit the period and I could see Rose wearing something like them, perhaps to the Nuremberg Trials.
The tote bag is my attempt to include Chanel. This Chanel Tote is an homage to Karolina’s wish to go to the Venice Film Festival wearing a Chanel evening gown. I imagine that Rose would use something like it to hold papers for school while she studied medicine.
Like Maddie in Code Name Verity, Rose was also a pilot, and she meets a Russian pilot named Irina in Ravensbruck. I wanted to a few nods to flying in this outfit, starting Tory Burch Mirrored Rimless Aviator Sunglasses. A little anachronistic for the period, yes, but I love the shape of them and think they bring out the colors in both the dress and the coat.
The Allurez Diamond Accented Compass Fashion Ring in 14k Yellow Gold is a subtle nod to a piece of navigation equipment that I am sure Rose would have needed in her days as a pilot. The Paper Plane Earrings by Press Send are a nod to Irina and the airplanes she used to send over the fence.
How could I not honor Roza with a few pieces of her own. Since Roza introduces herself as a rabbit, I added the Origami Jewellery Rabbit Necklace and for the last scene that depicts both Rose and Roza flying a kite on the beach, I added the Alex and Ani Charity By Design Inspiration in Flight Bangle. As an added bonus, this bangle benefits the foundation Flying Kites, which helps children in Kenya get an education. I thought that was really symbolic given the way that the book ends.
The last accessory I picked for this was a VEIDE Russian Cigarette Case, circa 1910. Although Rose never smokes in the book, she talks about bribing a kolonka with cigarettes. So I imagine that she might carry something around in the future should she ever need to make friends with a smoker.
The Book That Inspired The Look
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.