Is Mickey Williams about to become an international fashion phenomenon?!
Mickey thought she'd gotten used to the heavy competition at the Fashion Academy of Brooklyn. But when the students of FAB get the chance to compete for a spot in an international fashion show, Mickey's ready to get tres fierce. Because the top two winners get to experience the holy grail of fashion: Paris Fashion Week.
Mickey knows she's got what it takes to make it to Paris, especially with the support of BFF, JC, and her Apparel Arts teacher, Mr. Kaye. But Mickey's nemesis Jade wants it just as bad...and she'll do anything to get what she wants. Can Mickey push past Jade's selfish plans-and the pressure of representing FAB on the international stage-or will she have to kiss her dream au revior?
About the Author
Her daughter, CARRIE, a cupcake connoisseur, cooked up the idea for the Cupcake Club series in second grade. Together, they have invented dozens of crazy cupcake recipes in their NYC kitchen (can you say Purple Velvet?) and have the frosting stains on the ceiling to prove it. Carrie maintains her own cupcake blog, featuring reviews, photos and recipes of her culinary adventures.
New York Times bestselling co-author of Soul Surfer, SHERYL BERK is the founding editor in chief of Life & Style Weekly as well as a contributor to InStyle, Martha Stewart, and other publications.
Her ten-year-old daughter, CARRIE, a cupcake connoisseur, cooked up the idea for the PLC series in second grade. Together, they have invented dozens of crazy cupcake recipes in their NYC kitchen (can you say Purple Velvet?) and have the frosting stains on the ceiling to prove it. Carrie maintains her own cupcake blog, featuring reviews, photos and recipes of her culinary adventures.
Read an Excerpt
By Sheryl Berk, Carrie Berk
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk
All rights reserved.
Mickey Williams burst into the Fashion Academy of Brooklyn (a.k.a. FAB) with only ten minutes to spare before first period. The school bus had been late this morning, and no matter how hard she willed the traffic to move over the Brooklyn Bridge, it had taken forever. As she dashed to her locker, the halls were buzzing with students who couldn't help but stare at her outfit of the day.
"Ooh-la-la!" JC exclaimed, noting his BFF's Eiffel Tower print T-shirt, cancan-inspired tiered ruffle skirt, and purple studded beret. He could always count on Mickey for an early-morning fashion wake-up call.
"You like?" she asked, giving her ensemble a twirl. She'd paired it with a mismatched pair of combat boots — one purple, one pink. Although she was pressed for time, she was glad she'd run into JC. She had something important to ask him.
"It's certainly very Parisian," JC said. "All you need is a croissant-shaped purse to go with it."
Mickey pulled a gold, rectangular-shaped bag out of her backpack. "Baguette," she said. "I'm one step ahead of you."
"So what's with all the French-ness?" her friend asked.
By now, JC knew that Mickey's personal style was a bit over the top. But it rarely had such a strong theme, much less an international one. Mickey loved to clash her colors and patterns and to stripe her hair with colored chalk to match her ensemble. That had earned her a scholarship to FAB this year — and gotten everyone's attention. And while not everyone embraced her talent for out-of-the-box designs, she and JC had hit it off instantly. He truly appreciated her fierce and fearless fashion attitude.
"Didn't you hear about the International Student Runway?" Mickey replied. Mr. Kaye, her Apparel Arts teacher, had made a really big deal out of it and practically insisted that someone from FAB win — or else. Kaye was never kidding when he issued a command in one of his design classes. He was tough. So tough that rumor had it he used his thumb for a pincushion!
JC raised an eyebrow. "And you wanna win bad. Why?"
Mickey closed her eyes and sighed. "Because the top FAB team gets to go to Paris Fashion Week and present their designs at the annual FIFI gala. I've always dreamed of going to Paris!"
"FIFI?" JC gasped. "As in the French Institute of the Fashion Industry?"
Mickey nodded. "Amazing, right?"
"Amazing — and near to impossible. Every fashion student in the world is probably competing."
"I know," Mickey said. "Which is why I need your help. I've never been anywhere out of the country, and I don't know anything about Paris — except for what I'm wearing. Oh, and those colorful little sandwich cookies."
"Macarons," JC corrected her. "I've visited Ladurée in France several times."
"You did mention that ... several times," Mickey teased. "Something about staying with your cousin Angelique? Eating crepes and shopping on the Champs-Élysées?"
JC nodded. "My cuz moved to France a few years ago. She's very cool — and very fashionable."
Mickey sighed. "Do I have to beg?"
JC's Chihuahua Madonna made a whimpering noise from inside her dog bag.
"Can you top that?" JC snickered.
"Fine. No begging necessary."
"There's just one little thing before you agree," Mickey added.
JC raised his hand to silence her. "Don't tell me. Does it wear a tiara and have a bad attitude?" Of course, he meant FAB's resident Designzilla and queen bee, Jade Lee. If there was a prize to be had, an award to be bestowed, Jade thought she deserved it. Her mother was a hugely popular Hollywood fashion designer, and Jade figured that earned her the right to be a star as well.
Mickey nodded. "Jade is determined to win. She and Jake are partnering up as usual."
Jade's twin brother, Jake, did whatever his sis told him to do — even if it meant trampling his fellow students in the process.
"You think I'm afraid of the tacky twins?" JC asked. "Pullease. You shouldn't be either. You can't cover up boring with bling. And you ... Well, you're one of a kind, Mick."
Mickey blushed. "You really think so? How many times has Jade beaten me on fashion challenges? And how many times has she gotten us in trouble with Mr. Kaye?"
"Too many. Which means she's running out of options. Besides, I bet you were already working up ideas while Jade was out getting her mani and pedi."
"Well, I was thinking of doing a mini collection that draws from the iconic architecture of Paris. The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe ..."
"Love!" JC cheered. "Tell me more!"
Mickey pulled her sketchbook out of her bag. "It's all pretty rough, but maybe colors that are muted, like grays and blues and black to match the structures. Metallic silver and bronze studding that looks like rivets. And the shape of this skirt —"
She showed him a dramatic A-line gown with a corseted back. "This mimics the lines of the Eiffel Tower."
"Not bad," JC said thoughtfully. "Not bad at all."
"So it's a yes?" Mickey asked.
JC smiled slyly. "Madonna? What do you say to joining Team Mickey?"
Madonna barked happily.
"That's a yes for both for us," JC said. "Paris Fashion Week, here we come."CHAPTER 2
Mr. Kaye's Competition
When Mickey got to her Apparel Arts class, Mr. Kaye was already there, snapping his tape measure to get the class's attention.
"Punctuality," he reminded Mickey as she quickly took her seat. "We have a lot to discuss today."
Mickey nodded. "I'm sorry, Mr. Kaye," she said. "JC and I were just so excited talking about the International Student Runway and Paris."
Mr. Kaye gave her outfit the once-over. "So I see. Interesting choices."
Jade's ears suddenly perked up. She was applying lip gloss and quickly tucked her makeup back into her purse. "You and Bowwow Boy are working together? Oh, I'm shaking in my boots!"
Jake peered under the desk. "But you're not wearing boots today," he pointed out. "Those are your platform pumps."
Jade scowled. "Duh, I didn't mean it literally! Clearly I got the brains in this family."
Mickey chuckled. "And I'm sure you and Jake will work so well together — since you get along so well."
Mr. Kaye held up a hand to silence them. "You may choose to work in teams, but I warn you that often makes things harder, not easier. And watch the cohesion of your collection: all three looks must embody a French theme, yet each piece must be able to stand on its own."
Gabriel's hand shot up. "Mars and I want to team up," he said. "I'm doing the main outfit, and she's doing all the accessories."
"I have these awesome semiprecious stones that will make the coolest earrings," Mars added. "I'm thinking shoulder dusters! And I'm hammering copper for the stackable bangles."
South sat quietly in her seat, not saying a word.
"South?" Mr. Kaye asked. "Are you working with anyone?"
South shook her head. "My dad made a really difficult decision a few years ago to break up with his hip-hop group and become a solo rap artist. I mean, Diddy and Kanye both advised against it, but he stood his ground."
Mr. Kaye sighed. "And what does this have to do with your International Student Runway entry?"
"Nothing. She's just name-dropping," Jade said, stifling a yawn. "Like I care."
"I've decided to go it alone," South replied, shooting Jade a nasty look. "I'm going to be a solo act like my dad."
"That's cool," Gabriel assured her. "I mean, it's easier 'cause there's no one to boss you around."
Mars bristled. "Are you referring to me? Because I am not bossy."
"Really? The outfit needs to be bronze to play up your topaz earrings and bronze bracelets? That's not bossing me around?" Gabriel replied.
"And now you see the challenge of working together as a team," Mr. Kaye said, interrupting them. "When two creative minds get together, there are bound to be fireworks. Expect it. Prepare for it. Deal with it."
He wrote the word MONDAY on the SMART Board in bold, all-capital, red letters. "That is when your first sketches are due to me."
Jade raised her hand. "That's a week away. Seriously? You want us to come up with a three-piece collection in a week?" She pointed at Jake. "Do you know what I'm dealing with?"
Mr. Kaye brushed her off. "No excuses. Monday, 9:00 a.m. sharp. I can only send one team of students to Paris."
"Or one brilliant student who is going it alone," South pointed out.
"Or one individual student," Mr. Kaye continued. "This competition is extremely important. It has to be the best work you have ever done at FAB."
Gabriel scratched his head. "How come? I mean, it's not your fault if FAB doesn't wow those fancy French fashion types."
Mr. Kaye sighed. "I don't want to get into it," he said, waving his hand dismissively. "But I will tell you that you are not the only ones worrying. I also have some stiff competition — at FIFI itself."
* * *
Mickey found JC in the cafeteria feeding Madonna scraps of his fish filet under the table.
"That bad, huh?" she asked, taking a sniff of the food on his tray.
"Oh, it's delicious ... if you're a dog," he said, groaning. "Next time, remind me to go for the vegetarian plate." Mickey had chosen it: a brightly colored quinoa, cranberry, and squash salad.
"I guess Aunt Olive is rubbing off on me," she said, digging in. Her aunt insisted on a meatless home, and Mickey couldn't argue with her. Not when her aunt had agreed to let her move from Philly and stay with her for the entire school year. Neither Olive nor Mickey's mom were thrilled with the situation, but Mickey knew she had no other choice. If she wanted to be a fashion designer, FAB was the place to be. And if it meant giving up cheeseburgers and chili dogs — not to mention her home and friends back in Philly — then so be it.
Her mind had been made up even before she received the acceptance letter for a full scholarship to FAB. Fashion was her passion and the one thing that made her deliriously happy. From the time she was in kindergarten, she'd always had an eye for style. Her Barbies with their custom Mickey Williams couture looks were proof. But as she got older, she wanted to sew more, be more. As she flipped through the pages of Vogue and Elle, admiring page after page of exquisite looks, she thought, My designs will be in here one day.
And now, she could truly envision herself on that runway during Paris Fashion Week, showing the mini collection she and JC were going to create. She just had to get there.
"So, Mr. Kaye said something really mysterious in class today," Mickey shared with JC.
"And this shocks you? The man is full of surprises. Last week he gave a pop quiz in my History of Zippers class — on Velcro! What does that have to do with zippers?"
"No, this was really weird," Mickey insisted. "Like, personal."
"Well, what did he say?" JC asked.
Mickey tried her best to recall the exact words. "Something about having stiff competition himself at FIFI."
JC pulled out his laptop and typed in the address for the FIFI website. "Let's see, shall we?" he said, clicking on various tabs. "Whoa, this place looks intense! Check out the course list: The Mechanics of Macramé? The History of Fashion and Civilization?" He scrolled through the photos of the enormous campus until he arrived at the list of faculty.
"Interesting ..." he said, reading intently.
"What? What's interesting?" Mickey tried reading over his shoulder.
"They have an Apparel Arts teacher at FIFI too. Monsieur Gaston Roget."
"Ro-jay," Mickey repeated.
"Your French accent ..." JC laughed. "We gotta do something about that."
"You think this Mr. Roget is Mr. Kaye's competition?"
JC shrugged. "I think it's a good bet."
Mickey nodded. "Then that's it. We can't lose. We can't let Mr. Kaye down." She pulled out her weekly planner and looked over the dates. "If we work every day after school on the sketches, we should have something to show by next Monday."
"Whoa, every day? You didn't mention that when you recruited me," JC protested. "I have a life, you know."
"Really?" Mickey asked. "What were your plans?"
JC thought hard. "Well, I was going to take Madonna to the groomers tomorrow. And then Desperately Seeking Susan is on TV Thursday night ..."
Mickey shook her head. "JC, this is much more important. We have to convince Mr. Kaye we're the ones to go to FIFI and present on the international runway."
"And what then?" JC asked. "Have you talked to your mom about this? She wasn't keen on you coming to New York, so what makes you think she'll let you go to Paris?"
Mickey gulped. She really hadn't thought about that. What if her mom freaked out and said no? What if she called Mr. Kaye and told him he had to pick another representative from FAB? It would be mortifying! Mickey quickly pushed the idea out of her head. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," she assured JC. "Let's just win first."
"I'm down for it," JC said. "I'm just saying this could open up a whole other can of worms."
Madonna yapped under the table.
"See, Madonna agrees with me," JC said.
"I think Madonna's still hungry and the can of worms sounded good," Mickey teased him.
"Tastier than the lunch here, for sure," JC tossed back.
Mickey picked up her bag and deposited her quinoa bowl on JC's tray. "Better eat up. You'll need your energy. We're starting work on our designs right after school."CHAPTER 3
Mickey dumped a mountain of fabric on Aunt Olive's kitchen table and stood back to admire it.
"What is all this?" JC asked, confused.
"Inspiration," Mickey replied. "Don't you love all these grays and charcoals and ... Ooh! This black velvet I got at the flea market last weekend! It's an old coat with some rips, but we can cut it up and repurpose it into something amazing."
JC tapped a finger to the tip of his nose. "Nope. Not feelin' it. Looks like a big, hot mess to me."
"JC!" Mickey wailed. "Could you at least try to use your imagination?" She held up a sheer scrap of gray chiffon. "Doesn't this remind you of Paris at night?"
JC pushed the pile of scraps aside and took out his laptop. "Mick, if you want to be inspired by Paris, then you need to see it." He passed her the computer and clicked on a folder. A slideshow of photos appeared.
"Voilà!" JC said. "Paris by day, Paris by night!"
Mickey looked closely at the screen. "Paris by JC! These are your vacation photos!"
"Oh, here I am with Madonna standing under the Arc de Triomphe," he said, remembering. "And here I am with Madonna at the Louvre Museum."
"No offense to you or your dog, but this is not doing anything to get my creativity flowing," Mickey insisted.
JC slammed his laptop shut. "Fine. You need to embrace the French culture. This instant."
"Here? In New York City?" Mickey asked. "How am I supposed to do that? Order in french fries?"
JC pulled her toward the door. "First stop, the Met Museum to see the works of some of the great French impressionist painters. Then we'll grab some escargot at my mom's favorite little French bistro."
"Wait!" Mickey protested. "Isn't that snails? You want me to eat snails?"
"I want you to understand what the French joie de vivre is all about," JC insisted. "It will really help inspire your designs. Can't you see a hat shaped like a snail shell?"
"But I thought I'd make a dress that drapes like the Eiffel Tower," Mickey said. She was disappointed that JC was already trying to change her design ideas, just like the time he tried to change her into "Kenzie Wills," a faux Finnish fashion socialite. It hadn't worked. In fact, it had only made Jade hate her more.
"You can do whatever your heart desires," JC assured her. "But you asked me to help you create something authentically French. You can't do that unless you do your homework."
He pulled a small green box out of his bag and opened it. Inside were the prettiest pink and purple macarons Mickey had ever seen.
"Have one," he said, waving them under her nose.
"They smell like ... like ... flowers."
"Roses to be exact. And the purple one is violet."
"The French eat flowers?" Mickey asked, taking a nibble. The cookie was light and sweet with just a hint of rose flavor. She gobbled the rest in one bite.
"The French are about the senses: sights, smells, tastes, textures," JC rattled off.
"Uh-huh," Mickey said with her mouth full. She had helped herself to seconds and thirds. "This is really good."
He opened the door. "Are you coming?" he asked. "I know an amazing little French chocolate shop that gives out free samples."
Mickey grabbed her denim jacket. "Lead the way!"
* * *
Once they had eaten several chocolate truffles and stopped to wash them down with a bottle of bubbly French spring water, JC led Mickey to the steps of the Met Museum. The museum was a block long, perched on the edge of Central Park and filled with every kind of art imaginable. As Mickey bounded up the steps and entered the main hall, she had no idea where to go or start. Entire wings were dedicated to different artists, periods, and techniques.
"Ooh, can we start in the Egyptian wing?" she asked, tugging on JC's sleeve.
"Another day," JC said. "We're headed to the French impressionists." He pulled Mickey along after him. "I've been coming here since I was a little kid — so I know where everything is."
Mickey nodded. That was good because she could barely figure out the map the lady at the information booth had handed her.
Excerpted from Fashion Academy by Sheryl Berk, Carrie Berk. Copyright © 2016 Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. Team Mickey,
2. Mr. Kaye's Competition,
3. Dueling Designers,
4. Designs à Deux,
6. If at First You Don't Succeed ...,
8. And the Winner Is ...,
9. Plan of Attack,
10. Up in the Air,
11. Qu'elle Surprise!,
12. The Ultimate Challenge,
13. Amis pour le Vie,
14. A Scratchy Situation,
15. In the Spotlight,
Carrie's Style File,
About the Authors,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think this book has to be my favorite so far out of the whole series for everything that happens within the pages! With Mickey facing heavy competition from her enemies, it's when a spot opens up for the top two winners to go to the Paris Fashion Week that everything is on the line for Mickey! With Mickey's confidence at a all time high, it's up to her to show everyone what she is made of and how far she will go in order to fulfill one of her dreams!! I can't spoil this story too much but that ending was perfect for the events that lead up to that pivotal moment for Mickey! I'm not too much into fashion but this series has totally captivated me for who Mickey is and what she wants to accomplish in her life! With myself learning to sew, just reading about that fabric warehouse made me totally giddy that something like that is really real!! Thank You to Sheryl and Carrie Berk for this fantastic installment in a series made for young fashionistas! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Edelweiss!