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Some Like It Haute Hardcover – February 22, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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 aperçu 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From AudioFile

On assignment in France, Alex Simons, a fashion writer for a British weekly who organizes her clothes so that she never wears different designers at the same time, ends up front-page news on the tabloids after a couturier runway collision. Then when cornered by paparazzi, she meets Nick Snow. Sparks fly as Alex and Nick make their way in the fashion world. Carrington MacDuffie performs this fluff smoothly. She gives characters solid accents and shifts from one to the other seamlessly. Listeners who love fashion, or who are amused by silliness, will enjoy traveling to France and following the exploits of Nick and Alex. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (February 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446533408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446533409
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,594,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Julie K.L. Dam grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she first experimented with hairspray and learned the subtle difference between a mule and a slide. While studying American history and literature at Harvard, she was drawn to journalism by the prospect of getting to see movies and listen to CDs before anyone else did. After graduating in 1993, she moved to New York City to work for TIME magazine as a reporter and writer. During a 2 1/2-year stint in TIME's London office, she covered fashion and entertainment for the magazine; highlights included reporting on the death of Princess Diana and conducting an exclusive interview with Donatella Versace on the eve of her first solo show after her brother's murder. In 1999, she returned to New York to write and edit showbiz and fashion stories for PEOPLE magazine. Now PEOPLE's music and weddings senior editor, she has come to the realization that her greatest contribution to society, at least in volume, has been her tireless chronicling of Jessica Simpson's love life for the magazine. Her interests outside of work sound a lot like her work: fashion and pop culture, plus basketball (watching, not playing) and yoga (practicing, not watching). She lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JJ Stark VINE VOICE on May 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It was a little early for "beach reads" when this book was originally released, but it should fit right in this summer. It's fun, light reading with characters who are mostly likable and a story that goes over the top just a little. Clearly not for the "fashion-illiterate", so if you don't know the difference between Chanel & Prada, or don't know who Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs are, you'll probably find this a little boring. But if you're a "fashionista" & enjoy a fashion-related "guilty pleasure" every now & then, this book is definitely for you!! Frequent name-drops of some of today's top designers & trendy celebrities can be found on nearly every page, which adds some fun (There's even a tongue in cheek reference to the "Hilton" sisters as our main character attends the same party as the "Sheraton Sisters"!). Designers from Prada to Chanel to YSL to Stella McCartney and so, so many more make such frequent appearances that it's almost like the designers & their clothes, shoes, handbags & accessories are supporting characters in the story! Definitely written with fashion-lovers in mind (what else would you expect from an editor from People mag?!) (WARNING! Do not attempt to read this book anywhere near the mall or while you have access to you computer & credit card!! Shopping is not recommended within 60 minutes of reading this book!!!)

If you need a break from deep, moving, emotional stories with characters you become emotionally invested in & attached to, you might want to give this one a try. It won't take you anytime to get through it & shouldn't give you much pause for thought!! It's a very light, fluffy, fun read that doesn't take much thought at all.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jan Jeannet on May 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
this book is a complete waste of time ... the protagonist is dumb and not very likeable, the plot is ludicrous (when ESPERANTO is a major plot point, someone's trying too hard), and the fashion "details" are about what you could pick up reading your local newspaper. How many times can the author make dumb 80s-hairspray references? You will honestly lose count. And repeatedly pointing out that the heroine has a "great education" which she's wasting by being a fashion journalist? That's fairly insulting to people who enjoy fashion and think it's important, as well as being overly-reductive about the value of education. (Not to psychoanalyze too much, but since the author went to Harvard and is now working at PEOPLE magazine, maybe someone is insecure about her own life choices?)

There are plenty of great, smart, enjoyable fashiony chick-lit reads out there. Too bad this isn't one of them.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Cirillo on May 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am all for an easy read now and again, something to take me away from the grind of the day to day, but "Some Like it Haute" was just lame. This commentary may seem harsh but I really did try to like to book and I made myself finish it. However, from Alex's whining about her mistakes in her predetermined outfit organization, to the fact that Paris is teeming with people from Texas, I overdosed in cheesiness. The plot thins more so when Alex hears of her love interests "big secret", bizarro at best.

All I can honestly say is that anyone who is interested in fashion and designers has the same amount of knowledge as Alex, who sadly has a career in writing about it. So many other good options out there for summer reads, bypass this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Alex Simons is in Paris on a plum assignment, covering fashion week for London's The Weekly. Her dreams have carried her far from her big-hair days in Texas, landing a career as a fashion correspondent on first-name basis with all top fashion houses' PR reps.

A sudden cat-walk collision with this season's "It girl" lands Alex in the midst of a media feeding frenzy that has her cowering in her hotel watching reruns of the debacle on Fashion TV. When she ventures out to a promising fashion debut she meets Nick Snow, a bad boy who spurns the fashion world but sends Alex's pulse into overdrive. Will this fashion insider get her bad boy and the scoop of the year?

This latest entry into the increasingly crowded genre of chick lit offers a breath of fresh air. Some Like it Haute has avoided many of the major minefields now infesting the genre: heroines stuck in their 20's, overly whiny main characters and paper-thin plots.

Julie Dam recognizes that the readers of chick lit have moved into their 30s and, while still concerned with fashion and romance, they also face serious worries about their careers. By moving her heroine into the next age category but leaving her single, the author has taken a courageous yet fresh approach.

Within the context of haute couture and Paris' fashion week, Alex's obsession with clothes and footwear makes sense. The insider's view of this closed society is enthralling and since Alex's clothes obsession isn't overblown, she shows readers an insider's view into this elite world.

One of Julie Dam's main strengths is her ability to pen intelligent, rapid-fire banter: words delivered so fast that your head is spinning in admiration.
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