Sixteen-year-old Mary Hampton harbours a terrible secret. Driven to protect herself from the danger constantly lurking in her own home, she runs away, leaving behind her first love and her adored mother. Armed only with determination and the contents of a stolen letter, she travels to Paris in search of answers. As she learns to navigate her new life, which takes her from her first job as a humble seamstress to the heady heights of dancing in the Moulin Rouge, she not only gains confidence and a friend, but also an illicit wealthy admirer. But it's her obsession with couture that she's always drawn back to, and as she rises through the ranks of the bitchy world of designer fashion, she discovers new friendships, talents and determination - if she can survive jealousy and betrayal, and reconcile the demons from her past.