Former model-turned-author Louise De Teliga begins her writing care with her debut novel, Fashion Slaves, a behind-the-scenes look at the exclusive fashion district of Manhattan. In this rarefied world, you are only as hot as your last layout and things like real friends, breasts, and hair color are hard to come by. Basically, the Manhattan fashion district is a cutthroat scene consisting of designer divas, models, and groupies.
Australian Josie Vaughn used to be a model and was part of the inner circle of the world of fashion. Now Josie is thirty-six years old, ancient for a model. With her modeling career over, Josie is trying to get back into that inner circle to be a fashion stylist. Josie was recently fired after cursing in front of a child while on location at a commercial filming set. This dumb move on Josie’s part has left her not only pennilessbut unemployed. Now is the time for her to make her move and get back into the fashion world.
Fortunately, Josie still has some connections. She convinces Hamish Kent, her former lover and a renowned fashion photographer, to let her style a shoot. This is a tenuous situation as Hamish’s ex-wife, Antonia, is his agent. She’s at the top of the fashion world, tough as nails, and she does not like Josie. Thrown into the mix is Hamish’s assistant, Marcus, who is drop-dead gorgeous and straight - often hard to come by in this line of business. Both Antonia and Josie are ready and willing to sink their nails into Marcus, but Marcus has eyes for Josie, not Antonia.
The time comes when Josie finally makes her big break back into the world of fashion, which is great news. However, the bad comes with the good; once she is back at the top, people are there ready and willing to cause her demise. Josie has been around the block more than once in the fashion district, though, and she is not to be underestimated, as she is one strong fashionista.
I found Fashion Slaves to be a disappointment, although I always keep an open mind when I review a book, and that is especially the case with a debut novel. Unfortunately, Fashion Slaves falls short and does not measure up to the majority of books in the chick lit genre. The characters seem flat, the writing often stiff and forced. The graphic sex scenes, which I found to be distasteful, are frankly out of place in a chick lit book. The blurb on the back of the book describes the novel as “witty”; in fact, it iss rather dark most of the time and lacking the wit of most other titles in the genre. While any new author should be applauded for publishing their first novel, I regretfully did not enjoy Fashion Slaves and would not recommend it to fellow readers.