A vivid, romantic story of Sydney in the 1930s Depression—the heartbreak, the glamour, the dark underbelly, the struggle towards a better day—and one young woman's dream of designing her way from rags to riches.
1930. Seventeen-year-old Iris Mitchell dreams of designing clothes, but there's little spare cash for fashion in their shanty-town home. The gift of a single purple ribbon from her would-be boyfriend John Tucker, however, creates an unexpected opportunity...and when Iris's brother joins the Sydney Harbour Bridge construction, the Mitchell family move to the city. Iris is torn away from John, but he's Protestant and she's Catholic, so perhaps it wasn't meant to be....
1932. By day, Iris scrubs the floors at Caron's, an upmarket department store. By night, she designs and sews in her family's tiny crowded house. Friendship with one of Caron's models allows Iris to show her skills, but will her talent be acknowledged...or exploited?
When John reappears, passions are reignited, and Iris must face not only their religious divide, but the apparent impossibility of having both marriage and a career. Meanwhile, the Mitchells must navigate life in a city riven by corruption, dirty politics and gambling. Will their faith, determination and deep family bond save them when tragedy and adversity strike?