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Fashionably Late

Fashionably Late

3.6 3
by Olivia Goldsmith

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All of designer Karen Kahn's dreams seem to be coming true. She's been honored with the fashion industry's most coveted award, her marriage is thriving, and some very impressive money is being dangled in front of her in a proposed buyout. The only thing missing is that which she craves most -- a baby. Then shereceives the heartbreaking news that she will never be


All of designer Karen Kahn's dreams seem to be coming true. She's been honored with the fashion industry's most coveted award, her marriage is thriving, and some very impressive money is being dangled in front of her in a proposed buyout. The only thing missing is that which she craves most -- a baby. Then shereceives the heartbreaking news that she will never be able to bear a child. it seems that although she has a designer label, she definitely doesn't have designer genes.

Karen becomes determined to find her own biological mother -- a woman she has never known. But as if the doctor's verdict has pulled a loose thread, Karen's carefully stitched Iife begins to unravel, and she suddenly finds herself on the brink of losing her company, her husband, and the only family she has ever known. Now Karen must decide which of her dreams she still wants...because keeping them alive is going to be the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Having assayed the problems of contemporary women in The First Wives Club (LJ 1/92) and Flavor of the Month (Poseidon Pr., 1993), Goldsmith turns to the heady world of international fashion, where her characters find power, money, and motherhood.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.82(h) x 1.51(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Reaping What You Sew

Fashionably late, Karen Kahn and her husband, Jeffrey, walked past the flash of photographers' lights and into the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue. Karen felt, for that moment, that she had it all. Tonight was the annual award party and benefit held by the Oakley Foundation, and Karen was about to be honored with their Thirty-Eighth Annual American Fashion Achievement Award. If she couldn't arrive fashionably late here, where could she?

Stepping through the lobby and into the deco brass elevator, alone together for the last moment before the crush began, Karen looked at Jeffrey and couldn't repress a grin. Soon, she'd be among the crème-de-la-crème of fashion designers, fashion press, and the wealthy society women who actually wore the fashions. Despite all of her hard work, despite dreaming that this could happen, Karen could hardly believe that she was the woman of the moment.

"It's taken me almost twenty years to become an overnight success," she wisecracked to Jeffrey, and he smiled down at her. Unlike Karen, who knew she was no more than ordinary-looking, Jeffrey was handsome. Karen was aware that tuxedos make even plain men good-looking, but she was still taken aback by how much they did for a looker like Jeffrey, who was both sexy and distinguished in his formal clothes. A lethal combo. The gleam of the black satin of his peaked lapels set off his thick pepper-and-salt hair. He was wearing the cabochon sapphire shirt studs and cuff links she had given him the night before.They perfectly matched the washed-denim blue of his eyes, as she knew they would.

"Not a moment too soon," he said. "It's important to schedule your Lifetime Achievement Award before your first face-lift."

She laughed. "I didn't know that. Lucky it turned out that way. Although if I had the lift first, I might still be considered a girl genius."

"You're still my girl genius," Jeffrey told her, and gave her arm a squeeze. "Just remember, I knew you when." The elevator reached their floor. "And now, see how it feels to really hit the big time," Jeffrey told her.

Before the stainless and brass art deco doors opened, he bent down and kissed her cheek, careful not to spoil her maquillage. How lucky she was to have the kind of man who understood when a kiss was welcome but smeared makeup was not! Yes, she was very lucky, and very happy, she thought. Everything in her life was as perfect as it could be, except for her condition. But maybe Dr. Goldman would have news that would...she stopped herself. No sense thinking about what Jeffrey called "her obsession" now. She'd promised herself and her husband that tonight was one night she'd enjoy to the utmost.

As the elevator doors rolled aside, Karen looked up to see Nan Kempner and Mrs. Gordon Getty, fashion machers and society fund-raisers, standing side by side, both of them in Yves Saint Laurent. "You'd think they could have put on one of my little numbers," Karen hissed to Jeffrey, while she kept the smile firmly planted on her face.

"Honey, you've never done glitz like Saint Laurent does," Jeffrey reminded her, and, comforted, she sailed out and air-kissed the two women. One was in an oyster white satin floor-length sheath with gold braid and a tasseled belt -- a lot like curtain trimming, Karen thought. Perhaps Scarlett O'Hara had been at the portieres again. The other was in black lace shot with what looked like silver, though since it was on Mrs. Getty, it must be platinum, Karen joked to herself. Both women took their fashion seriously: Nan Kempner had once admitted in an interview that as a girl she had "cried and cried" at Saint Laurent's when she saw a white mink-trimmed suit too expensive for her allowance. The legend was that Yves himself had come down to meet the girl who cried so hard.

The foyer was already crowded with the usual backdrop of men in exquisite black wool and women in every sort of fabric and color. Funny how men always clung to a uniform. Only the Duke of Windsor had the fashion nerve to wear colored formal wear; midnight blue rather than black. But if men didn't display much overt fashion, they certainly controlled this world. Despite her success, and the success of a few other women designers, Karen knew that the business was owned and controlled by men. And most of those in control were here tonight.

In addition, tonight there was a larger-than-usual gaggle of paparazzi. Fashion seems to have become the new entertainment, Karen thought, not for the first time, but it still surprised her. There was rarely a fashion event that didn't draw a wild mix of society, Hollywood, and the rock world. She controlled herself and didn't do a Brooklyn double take as she was pushed against Sly Stallone, who was there with his latest model. Paulina the Gorgeous stood beside her husband, Ric Ocasek. Clint Eastwood stood beside Frances Fisher, who looked great for a woman who'd just dropped a baby. The Elie Halle camera crew was also there, apparently busy trying to get a shot of Christie Brinkley. Billy Joel didn't seem to be with her, but David Bowie was there, with Iman. And that, Karen thought, was only in the foyer.

An enormous noise came from the ballroom itself, which was where Karen and Jeffrey were headed. In a matter of moments, Karen greeted Harold Koda from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, Enid Haupt, one of the wealthiest and most charitable of the New York doyennes, Georgina Von Etzdorf, another designer, and bald-headed Beppe Modenese, who worked to polish the Italian fashion indutry's...

Meet the Author

Olivia Goldsmith is the bestselling author of The First Wives Club, Flavor of the Month, Fashionably Late, The Bestsller, Marrying Mom,and Switcheroo. She lives in south Florida and is no longer young or a wife.

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Fashionably Late 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed this book,however there were WAY to many details on unimportant topics. Goldsmith goes to great measures just to describe a chandelier. otherwise, the book was a great read, just to wordy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author is relying too much on the same type of characters, especially the handsome, charming, but ultimately untrustworthy man. There ARE plenty of attractive, heterosexual and honorable men out there; maybe they're just not in New York. Also making yet another appearance is the gay male confidante who carries the heroine along when her 'real' man lets her down. I don't think this book matches the quality of either Flavor of the Month or First Wives Club. But part of my disenchantment stems from the sloppy editing; incorrectly spelled words ('weedle' instead of 'wheedle') and quotation marks popping up in the wrong places. Plus too much white space on the pages when compared to the other novels mentioned above, as if the author and/or publisher is trying to con the reader into thinking the book has more heft than it really does. The book came across to me as a formulaic rush job to get more royalty bucks in the bank. Still, it's not a bad read, just a little too predictable.