Ella is a prisoner at the Birkenau-Auschwitz concentration camp a place that is all about survival. She seeks refuge from this reality, and from haunting memories, in her work and in the world of fashion and fabrics. She is faced with painful decisions about how far she is prepared to go to survive. One item weaves through the colours of couture gowns and camp mud – a red ribbon – given to Ella as a symbol of hope.
When she begins her first day working at Birchwood (Birkenau), she steps into a world of silks, seams, scissors, pins, hems and trimmings. She is a dressmaker, but this is no ordinary sewing workshop. Every dress she makes could mean the difference between life and death . . .