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Some Like It Haute


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Dam whisks the reader into a melee of runway drama, intrigue and snarkiness in her breathless, satiric debut, an air kiss to the fashion world. Alex Simons, former big-haired Texan, parlays her acquired fashion apercu into articles for a respected London weekly, jetting to Paris each year to report on fashion week fabulousness. She's even made an Excel spreadsheet to organize her outfits by day-fantasy ensembles relayed in label-heavy detail. But she gets off on the wrong Louboutin-shod foot in a catwalk collision, landing front-and-center in the fashion media's hall of shame. But then she meets Nick Snow, the laid-back, khaki-clad American who thumbs his nose at the fashion world. Plus, her publicist friend has led her to the week's hottest scoop: a brilliant new designer, so shadowy he's vanished altogether. Will Alex surmount obstacles (some painfully contrived) to get the guy, the story and the shoes? Dam's swipes at the fashion world's myopia and absurdity (hors d'oeuvres laid out on reclining naked men) amuse when they don't feel shopworn. The plot hangs together by a thread, and the coquetry is forced ("I'm smart and shallow," Alex confides to Nick), but Dam has stitched a gossamer-light read with sumptuous material and gentle ribbing. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Thirty-year-old Alexandra Simons, the shallow but clever heroine of People magazine senior editor Dam's debut novel, is having a fashion emergency. She didn't pack her new Manolo slingbacks, and it's Fashion Week in Paris! Alex is a fashion reporter covering the runway shows who unintentionally becomes part of the show herself when, to her utter humiliation, she trips a model and ends up in the tabloids. Luckily, the next day attention shifts to a new victim as the gorgeous and mysterious Nick Snow has a runway disaster of his own. When Alex and Nick meet, sparks inevitably fly. Throw in a long-lost high school French teacher, couture shopping with Alex's mom, a missing fashion designer, and a reality TV show, and you've got the makings of a light and mildly entertaining read. The strength of this novel is not the wandering plot but the detailed description of every outfit, shoe, and handbag in Alex's wardrobe. As frilly as a designer's spring line, this work will grab readers' attention with its flashy cover and catchy title. Recommended for large popular fiction collections where this genre is popular.-Anika Fajardo, Coll. of St. Catherine Lib., St. Paul, MN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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