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Posts Tagged ‘Fashion Spinx Books’

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It’s not often that one comes across a novel about the fashion industry, so when I received an email from Smith Publicity pitching Wildchilds, I was excited to dive right in.

Wildchilds by Eugenia Melian (Fashion Sphinx Books) combines two of my faves – suspense and fashion. It tells the story of Iris de Valade, a former 1990s Paris fashion model. Having given up her modeling career years ago, Iris is now a sculptor and lives in rural Northern California with Lou, her teenage daughter. Lou is greatly puzzled as to why her mother would walk away from the glamorous Parisian life of a model.

Why would she?

The book opens with the arrival of a “thick envelope” containing news that will disrupt Iris’s quiet way of life. Gus de Santos, renowned fashion photographer, Iris’s ex-lover and the father of her daughter has died. As if that wasn’t unsettling enough, his estate has been left to Lou and Iris must travel to Paris to recover some of his lost photos that are valuable to the overall collection.

So begins our journey to modern day Paris and into Iris’s long gone modeling days. Flashbacks slowly reveal what life was really like for Iris and it wasn’t all fun and glamour. There were a lot of drugs, pressure, and raunchy men. A former model herself Melian doesn’t step too deeply into the industry, instead she stays focused just on the experiences of models. There is also a minor story-line, which I found particularly interesting, about the relevance of fashion magazines in our tech dominated world.

… the traditional fashion-magazine format looks dated. How can you be on the pulse three months ahead anymore? So much can change in that time. What is relevant then is ‘over’ a month later … in my time, magazines were where we got our information, where we found out about new art shows. new fashion, new restaurants … can you imagine? 

I enjoyed the Paris references, which flow nicely as does the writing. There is plenty of modern detail such as text messages, the use of slang, like ‘K, and hip teenage girls who are way too cool for fashion. The story itself  is without any surprises but it kept my attention till the end.

Like a good Lifetime movie, Wildchilds is an entertaining escape just right for a cold winter night.

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