Meet Susannacomplete with killer heels, gorgeous models, and cutting-edge fashion, she's been given her first ever Scene magazine assignment: covering the catwalk!
Susanna Barringer sees her internship at Scene magazine as a dream come true. She'll scoop the latest celebrity stories and be the youngest journalist to rub elbows with the stars. However, things don't come as easily as she hopes, and only now after months of hard work for her demanding Devil Wears Prada boss, Nell Wickham, does it seem her efforts are about to pay off. In her next assignment for the magazine, she'll be covering New York Fashion Week! She's learned that gray is the new black, shorts are the new slacks, and that there is actually a difference between a catwalk and a runwayall she needs now is a story, which should be no problem for the girl who can get a story no matter what. After all, it can't be that hard to get backstagecan it?
About the Author
Mary Hogan is an editor and feature writer whose articles have appeared in Seventeen and Teen magazines, among others. She is the author of Perfect Girl, Pretty Face, The Serious Kiss, and the Susanna series.
Read an Excerpt
I never dreamed it would happen to me. I've become a fashionista.
"A fashawhat?" Dad asked when I told him that Nell Wickham, Scene magazine's uberglam editor in chief, offered me the chance to cover New York's major style event: Fashion Week.
"One of the couture cognoscenti," I informed him, having just memorized the term.
"I see," he said, though he didn't see at all. Not that it matters.
Fashionistas like moi aren't into labels--except designer labels, of course. And, FYI, we have our very own language, which uses foreign words like "moi" and "cognoscenti" and abbreviations like FYI.
Becoming a fashionista is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Mostly, because I had so many other things to do--like cram for my killer finals at the end of sophomore year, spend the summer doing community service (my school adviser flat-out refused to consider last summer's catering to Nell Wickham's every neurotic need as service. Can you believe it?) and start a new school year in which I, Susanna Barringer, am determined to have a bona fide boyfriend. My fantasy relationship with Hollywood mega-hottie Randall Sanders is over. It's time to get real.
So in every spare moment for the past six months, I've studied style. I watched Project Runway and Full Frontal Fashion. I devoured Vogue. While babysitting my three baby brothers--two-and-a-half-year-old triplets--I practiced speaking Fashionese.
"Henry, your Boyz in the Hoodie sweatshirt and cargo pants are too matchy-matchy," I said.
"I wuv Elmo," he replied.
My fashion immersion has taught me that gray is the new black, shorts are the new pants, long sweaters are the new shirts. Round-toe shoes are in; balloon-poppers are out. Or is pink the new gray? Are trousers the new shorts? Is a vest the new sweater? Honestly, it's impossible to know for sure because, when it comes to fashion, there's only one rule that's set in stone: The moment a trend is solidified, designers will trip over themselves to change it.
So for the past few months, my brain has been overheated with fashion temperatures: cool looks, hot trends, white-hot accessories. I learned the difference between a catwalk and a runway. A catwalk is an elevated pathway where models strut their stuff; a runway is on the ground. But few fashionistas get that technical. Unless, of course, they're talking about a cinched waist, which is the new silhouette. Or is the waist the new upper rib cage?
Whatev. The important thing is that my months of hard work are about to pay off. I'm ready to take on the fashion world for my second reporting assignment for Scene. Not that hiding in a limousine trunk on Oscar night was an actual assignment. Still, Nell Wickham--editor in chief of the hottest celebrity magazine in the Northern Hemisphere--said she was proud and called me "fearless." She also called me Susie, Susan, Sue and Suzanne, but why quibble over names when I'm now known as the teen intern who can get the story no matter how much trunk lint it takes?
Today, as the leaves in New York City turn golden apricot (one of the season's sizzling new colors, FYI), I'm going to enter the epicenter of style: Fashion Week. The mere sound of those two words sends shivers of thrill up and down my spine. The world's designers will reveal their latest creations inside a monster tent in the middle of Manhattan. A tent that's for insiders only.
"Your press pass will get you in the front door," said Sasha, Scene magazine's gaga fashion editor, "and I can get you into a few fashion shows, but the rest is up to you. Nell and I will be busy. We can't babysit you."
"I don't need a babysitter," I say.
"Good. You only have one week, so make it count."
Six feet tall, mega-thin, latte-skinned, with eyes that are halfway between sage and copper, Sasha makes every outfit count. She's beyond fashionable. If you want to know what will be in style tomorrow, look at what Sasha's wearing today. Her indefinable accent sounds dipped in honey. Even though the fashion section of Scene usually features celebrity nip-slips caught by the magazine's seriously luscious photographer, Keith Franklin, Sasha is a fashion diva. She oozes style. She was born hot. If they made designer diapers, she would have insisted her mother put them on her.
Before I became a fashionista, I definitely would have fallen into the "not-hot" category. Unless you consider Gap jeans trendy. Which, silly me, I thought they were.
"Not the way you wear them," Sasha told me matter-of-factly, leaving me to wonder, How else do you wear jeans?
During fall's Fashion Week, I plan to find out. Inside the humongous white tent, everyone who is anyone will vie to see and be seen. (That's another fashionista word--"vie." From the French "envier." As in "envy.") According to Sasha, on three separate catwalks (or runways, if you want to get technical), fashion shows will be running morning, noon and night. Celebs will be escorted to front-row seats, models will wow the crowd, fashion editors will make and break careers. Paparazzi! Stars! Supermodels! Oglers! Lindsay Lohan slipping in her Chanel boots!
How lucky can a "not" girl get?
"Designer clothes are yet another way to enslave women in our male-dominated society," Amelia, my bff, said at school today. "Along with all sizes under six, Botox and Brazilian bikini waxes."
"Does this long sweater make me look fat?" I replied.
Yep, I'm going in. My absolute fave place to be. Especially after my experiences in Hollywood. Nothing feels better than being on the inside of a velvet rope with a red carpet beneath your feet. Except maybe getting my first-ever article published in Scene magazine. Or riding in a limo with Randall Sanders. Or, okay, feeling my fingers curl around the muscular hand of a boyfriend who can't stop telling me how lucky he is that I finally agreed to go out with him after months of begging. I'm pretty sure that will feel awesome.
From the Trade Paperback edition.