On the Paris Fashion Scene, the Sabines Struggle to Build a Couture Empire in "The Collection"

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05 October 2017
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“The Collection”
Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Lookout Point for MASTERPIECE
“The Collection”
Premieres Sunday October 8 at 10 PM ET on PBS
Continuing Each Sunday through November 19

(Check your local listings)

           World War II is over and stylish clothes are back as Paris recovers from the horrors of the Nazi occupation. Richard Coyle (The Fall), Mamie Gummer (The Good Wife), and Tom Riley (Da Vinci's Demons) star as a family struggling to build a fashion empire at any cost, on The Collection, airing in seven gripping and gorgeous episodes on Sundays October 8 – November 19, 2017 at the special time of 10pm ET. The beautifully shot series won accolades during its UK debut in 2016, with The Telegraph (London) calling it “possibly the most glamorous series on TV,” The Guardian (London) finding it “captivating … glossy and murky at the same time.”
 

          Focusing on the Sabine family, composed of business-savvy Paul (Coyle), his wealthy American wife, Helen (Gummer), and his brilliant but dissipated designer brother, Claude (Riley), The Collection also stars Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter) as Paul and Claude’s overbearing mother, Yvette, who will stop at nothing to advance her boys’ careers—often to their dismay.
 
          The series also features Jenna Thiam (The Returned) as Nina, the seamstress with a secret and a future in modelling; Max Deacon (Hatfields & McCoys) as Billy, an American photojournalist on a mission to record the vitality of postwar Paris; Alix Poisson (Last Love) as Charlotte, the ambitious head saleswoman at the Sabine studio; and featuring Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War) as Paul’s mentor, Frederic Lemaire.
 
         Set in 1947, The Collection captures a turbulent era in French history, when
partisans hunted down Nazi collaborators and anyone with something to hide shunned the past and embraced the future. Fashion became the perfect expression of this impulse to look ahead. Wartime rationing, drabness, and erotic restraint gave way to alluring displays of color, form, and fabric in women’s clothes—for those who could afford them.
 
          In The Collection, the Sabine family firm is at the forefront of this exciting but ruthless pursuit, and Paul has been chosen by the French government to lead the battle to reclaim the nation’s preeminence in the couture world. Widely regarded as the genius behind his studio’s stunning designs, Paul is in fact purveying the work of his brother, Claude, an unbridled sensualist who can’t restrain his amorous impulses. In free moments, Claude works in a frenzy to sketch new gowns, often consigning them to the wastebasket, where they are retrieved and turned into the Sabine collection’s latest sensations
 
          Into this superficially elegant universe comes hard-boiled American reporter Stan Rossi (Stanley Townsend, The Tunnel) with suspicions about Paul’s past, but so far little to go on. Assigned to photograph a fashion story for Rossi, Billy soon parts company to become the Sabine studio’s official photographer. In the process, he elevates the worker Nina to be the signature model for the firm—much to the chagrin of the reigning top model, Dominique (Poppy Corby-Tuech, The Royals), who plots revenge.
 
          Adding to the turmoil, police Inspector Bompard (Allan Corduner, Homeland) enters the picture when Yvette’s scheme to get Claude under control goes horribly awry, leading to an investigation that threatens the entire Sabine enterprise. Who knew that couture could be so cutthroat?
 
 

 
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