Wednesday, March 24, 2010

THE OVERNIGHT SOCIALITE: AUTHOR ARTICLE, REVIEW, and GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE OVERNIGHT SOCIALITE

BY BIRDIE CLARK

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this beguiling retelling of the classic Pygmalion, we meet Lucy Ellis, a Manhattan transplant who dreams of making it as a fashion designer but instead toils away on a Garment District assembly line. Road-blocked each time she tries to score a break, Lucy is beginning to think the unthinkable: maybe it's time to pack it in and move home to Minnesota. Then, during a torrential downpour, at her most bedraggled and disheartened, Lucy meets Wyatt Hayes IV.

Wyatt -- man-about-town and bored Ph.D. anthropologist -- has just been publicly dissed by New York's reigning socialite, Cornelia Rockman, whom he'd been dating. He boasts to his best friend Trip that he can transform any woman -- even a trailer-born nobody like Lucy -- into this year's "It" girl. "Give me a few months," he tells Trip, "and I could turn her into a social luminary. She'll make the rest of the pack look like dim little tea lights." If Wyatt can fool the East Coast aristocracy into thinking Lucy's the real deal, he can reveal the farce behind Cornelia's social superiority complex . . . and score a career-boosting book deal.

Headstrong Lucy challenges her teacher at every turn, but armed with a made-up pedigree and a wardrobe costlier than most studio apartments, she's soon navigating a world in which the most photographed socialite takes all. Can Lucy survive in a wilderness where no girl wears the same gown twice, the Astors are considered Johnny-come-latelies, and weddings are more lavish than the coronation of Louis XIV? Will she forge the connections needed to make a name for herself in fashion? And can she surmount the schemes and suspicions of her newfound rival, Cornelia?

Three months of rigorous prep and test runs culminate in Lucy's showdown at the Fashion Forum Gala, where she and Wyatt confront the ne plus ultra of society . . . and their unexpected feelings for each other. But the gaps between them -- as well as Wyatt's secret agenda -- may make this improbable couple an impossibility.

Set against the gold-plated world of Manhattan's social elite, The Overnight Socialite puts a witty twenty-first-century spin on a timeless story of transformation and unlikely love.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bridie Clark graduated from Harvard University, and has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, New York, and Quest. Her debut novel, Because She Can, was published in nineteen countries. She lives in New York City.
For more information, please visit www.bridieclark.com.

AUTHOR ARTICLE:


The Socialite Look:
How To Dress Like You Have
A Trust Fund Even If You Don't

By Birdie Clark

You know the type: It's raining, or 3 am, or the middle of yoga class and this woman looks crisp, pulled together, ready for her close-up. Her hair is freshly blown-out, her jewelry is tasteful Cartier. Linen wouldn't dream of wrinkling when she wears it. Seeing her, you envision a walk-in closet full of neatly folded Italian cashmere. She must be rich, you think. Her look would be impossible to achieve -- or maintain -- without a trust fund and a lot of free time.

Actually, the "socialite look" -- we're talking Aerin Lauder, not Paris Hilton -- is just a matter of mastering a few basic rules.


1. Figure out what works and stick with it. Anchor your wardrobe with clean lines, good fabrics, classic tailoring. Develop a signature look . . . even a uniform. Avoid trends. The look you're striving for is fresh but timeless, and most trends have an expiration date.

2. Before you make a purchase, try to calculate Cost-Per-Wear. A Burberry trench that you'll wear every spring for the rest of your life could be worth a splurge. Likewise you'll always want to wear a great watch, "everyday" jewelry with just the right amount of bling, a simple clutch for evening, a T. Anthony tote that's comfortable but chic. A little black dress is part of every socialite's arsenal -- make sure yours fits perfectly, and you'll wear it all the time.

3. Buy at the right time. Stores need to turn over their inventory to make room for new arrivals, so keep your eye out for sales. There's definitely a right time (usually January) and a wrong time (November) to buy that shearling coat.

4. Buy more than one. Say you find the perfect pair of jeans. The right length, the right wash, the right silhouette from every angle. This is a good moment to splurge by doubling down on an extra pair (and if they're really that fabulous, two). Same goes for all your basics -- white tailored shirts, black ballet flats, socks. This way you'll have a fresh set to rotate in when the original starts to show wear and tear.

5. Never compromise on fit. Who cares if it's cashmere -- if the sweater doesn't fit properly, donate it. Keep your wardrobe as streamlined as possible.

6. Take care of what you have. Even if you're short on "staff," it's worth it to pay close attention to the laundry. Skip bleach -- it will hurt the fibers of your clothing after many washes. Instead, soak whites in hot water using detergent and a bleach alternative, like white vinegar. Be vigilant about separating colors. Your jeans and delicates should never see the inside of a dryer. Lastly, spot-clean items instead of always dry-cleaning -- it'll save you money, and save your clothes the chemical treatment.

7. Never pay retail. Why blow your budget at the mall when there are so many places to buy designer clothing at deep discounts? Gilt.com (become a member by signing up at gilt.com/theovernightsocialite), eBay, and consignment shops are just a few of the spots you'll find marked-down treasures that look like you bought them on Fifth Avenue. Somebody did.

8. Master a speedy daytime beauty routine. We all need to get out the door quickly sometimes. After your shower, massage a small amount of mousse into the roots of your hair, flip your head and use a flat brush to blow-dry hair into straight, shiny panels. Smear on some tinted moisturizer with SPF, some mascara, and some lipgloss, and you're good to go.

9. To paraphrase Coco Chanel, remove one accessory before you walk out the door. Less is more. If you want to look effortlessly elegant, put quality ahead of quantity and keep your look simple.

10. Exercise clothing should be worn solely to exercise. Ok, and back and forth to the gym. Socialites don't allow themselves to lapse into that comfy, sloppy look that can be so tempting on a Sunday morning.

Splurge vs. Save List
Splurge on:
  • Classic pieces -- the little black dress, the Chanel ballet flats, the perfect clutch -- that you'll wear for years to come.

  • If you plan on making it as a socialite -- in the Jackie O, not Casey J mode -- you'll be dashing off countless thank you notes. Invest in personalized stationery. Sites like tinyprints.com offer an affordable alternative to monogrammed letterpress.

  • Charitable giving. Nothing's worse than a socialite who struts the red carpet but can't write a check for an important cause. No matter what your budget, find some way to give -- or give your time -- to the organizations that resonate with you.
Save on:
  • Staying Bergdorf blonde can be an expensive habit. Fortunately, most of the top salons hold "training nights" for stylists' and colorists' assistants to hone their skills under the watchful eye of the experts. Sign up, and you'll get top-end color for significantly less than the salon's usual rates.

  • Furniture. Estate sales, auctions, and online sites like 1stdibs.com and eBay have heirloom-quality pieces to lend sophisticated polish to your home. If a piece isn't quite heirloom-quality -- but the price is right and the bones are solid -- give it a coat of high-gloss paint, in a quirky turquoise or a punchy coral.

  • Hostess gifts. Hand-wrapping small items -- soaps, candles, a few chocolate truffles -- adds a personal touch which will impress the recipient.

  • High-end exercise classes and personal trainers. You can check out what's keeping Gwyneth so fit at tracyandersonmethod.com, or purchase a DVD. Core Fusion, a class that's popular with the Posh Upper East Side set, is also available on DVD. Or you can downward dog along to a Jivamukti yoga CD, the choice of fit and fabulous yogis in downtown Manhattan.

  • Retail. Paying full-boat is for the masses. Instead, explore sites like Gilt.com (you can become a member by visiting gilt.com/theovernightsocialite), designer outlets, or your local thrift and consignment shops. Make enough of a name for yourself, and it won't be long before designers are sending you their wares

© 2010 Bridie Clark, author of The Overnight Socialite

MY REVIEW:

Move over Henry Higgins, here comes Birdie Clark and her characters in THE OVERNIGHT SOCIALITE. Taking on the basic formula of MY FAIR LADY/PYGMALION, Clark gives us Lucy Ellis. She is a determined gal from the Midwest who has made her way to the Big Apple to be the next Coco Chanel or Vera Wang. Unfortunately, the only work she can fashion in Manhattan’s famous Garment District seems to be jobs like working an assembly line or thinking her “invitation” to a haute couture fashion event is her big break only to find out that her only “break” results in accidentally cracking the runway in half when she winds up being one of the hired help!

Humiliated and defeated, she is going to leave the big city and head home--her real home! She feels beaten and to add to her misery, looks like a drowned rat as she finds herself in a terrible downpour. This is when she meets HER Henry Higgins in the form of one Wyatt Hayes IV. Hayes is an anthropologist and has been recently put down by his latest conquest, THE Cornelia Rockman, the current Socialite du jour of New York. Running into Lucy all wet and shivering, he says to his friend that all this socialite nonsense is rubbish and any girl could be the current “IN’ person. He looks at Lucy and makes a bet that he can transform even her into THE most popular Manhattan socialite with the right training and clothes. Lucy is insulted but then realizes what does she have to lose.

And so the story goes with Wyatt teaching Lucy about fashion names and buying her the position of socialite. The transformation isn’t without its mishaps and hilarity but she soon begins to change and as they work together Wyatt’s opinion and feelings for Lucy also change. Cornelia begins to suspect something and wants to figure out where this “Lucia Haverford Ellis”, aka Lucy Ellis, has come from. The supporting cast of characters tell their side stories but the main story of Lucy and Wyatt is charming and hilarious, sad and lovely, and destined to end in …well, you have to read to find that out. For those not familiar with either MY FAIR LADY or PYGMALION, the entire story will be new to you but whether it is or not, with Birdie Clark’s expert hand, the book is a pleaser.

The characters are well fleshed out and especially Lucy who you will find to be naïve but confident as well. She is charming and a charmer! The story is told through the different characters and you have to keep track so you know whose subplot you may be following.

If you are like me and love the name dropping of famous designers and long for some of those Jimmie Choos, you will like this book. If you really are a fan of GOOD chick lit and the society of Manhattan’s elite, you will be in for a really enjoyable, fashionable, romantic treat.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KAREN AND MY GOOD
FRIENDS AT FSB ASSOCIATES, I
HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS FUN
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY!




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING IN BIRDIE CLARK'S ARTICLE ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THIS REVIEW AND DESCRIPTION ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND THEN COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON IF YOU ARE A GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT FOLLOWER AND IF YOU AREN'T, YOU CAN BECOME ONE AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE HERE

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 4!


GOOD LUCK!

38 comments:

Kristen said...

I thought it was interesting that Clark suggests getting monogrammed stationary for thank-you notes. I have a stationary addiction so I've got that part covered already!

I thought it was funny when you mentioned Lucy Ellis becoming Lucia Haverford Ellis as part of her transformation. I actually double-barrelled my children with family names and people do always comment on their names sounding "rich." LOL! And since I love the Pygmalion myth, this one is totally up my alley.

Finally, I am also a long time a Google Friend Connect follow.

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

Colleen Turner said...

I follow via facebook, google connect and email.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I liked Clark's descriptions of when to splurge and when to back off from spendign too much. I had never heard of gilt.com for reduced priced treasures, so I will have to check it out!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I liked how in the review you set up the romance aspect of the main characters but tease us with the outcome! I love chic lit so will need to check this one out!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

traveler said...

An interesting and unique review which gave me much to think about. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Spending retail is for the masses is what I have always thought and never subscribed to. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Lisa R said...

+1 Facebook--Lisa Ann Richards 2 seconds ago
http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2010/03/overnight-socialite-author-article.html
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

(\___/)
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
(")_(")

Lisa R said...

+1 Twitter-alterlisa http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2010/03/overnight-socialite-author-article.html

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

(\___/)
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
(")_(")

Lisa R said...

+1 blogged
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/p/more-recent-giveaways-throughout-land.html
MORE RECENT GIVEAWAYS THROUGHOUT THE LAND

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
(\___/)
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
(")_(")

Lisa R said...

Never compromise on fit. Who cares if it's cashmere -- if the sweater doesn't fit properly, donate it.

This is a definite must. And if YOU don't like the way it fits then you will be and act uncomfortable.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

(\___/)
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
(")_(")

g.g. said...

I am a Google Friend Connect follower

anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

g.g. said...

I think the review made me want to read this because I love the My Fair Lady story and bet to have a modern day one is a fun read

anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

g.g. said...

I so agree about if you like it buy more than one!...how many times do I wish I had done that!


anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

enyl said...

I found the tip about white vinegar as a bleach substitute intresting.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

I find it intresting that the story is told from multiple points of view.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

tweeted.
twitter.com@enylstil#socialite
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

Pamela Keener said...

I follow via google friend & e-mail
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Pamela Keener said...

Birdie Clark's how to are very good. I adhere to the cost per wear everytime.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Pamela Keener said...

Your review makes me want to run right out and get this book. I love the Pygmalian premise.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Pamela Keener said...

Oops
I forgot my e-mail on the previous 3 posts. Will you slap me silly or perhaps disqualify me? Either way I stand by my comments *wink*
pk4290@comcast.net
Love & Hugs,
Pam

bison61 said...

this is a good comment-if the sweater doesn't fit properly, donate it. Keep your wardrobe as streamlined as possible.

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Lisa R said...

The story is told through the different characters and you have to keep track so you know whose subplot you may be following. This may effect my ability to enjoy it as I generally don't like to have the story told from different viewpoints but I'm willing to give it a try.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/
(\___/)
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
(")_(")

Lisa R said...

+1 I'm a follower on GCF(Lisa Richards)

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/
(\___/)
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!
(")_(")

Lisa R said...

+1 I follow you on GCF(Lisa Richards)

Linda Kish said...

I like the Pygmalion comparison update.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I like the splurge vs save list. It never changes.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

donnas said...

Posted here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2010/03/contests-found-324.html and on the sidebar

bacchus76 at myself dot com

donnas said...

I am a Google Friend Connect follower.

hacchus76 at myself dot com

donnas said...

I found the comment about developing a signature look but avoid trends interesting, especially when she says even if its a uniform.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

donnas said...

What I found interesting in the post/re3view was how its a modern telling of Pygmalion, which is a great story, but in modern times, with current fashion designers! And that it all comes together at the Fashion Forum Gala which almost sounds like it could be at the famous Fashion Week.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

holdenj said...

I totally agree with Birdie on the Cost per Wear idea of clothing! I have figured that particular number in my head for many items over the years!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I'm a loyal google friend connect follower. Thanks for the chance to win!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

Well, who doesn't like a good My Fair Lady story? I'm glad Lucy seems charming and confident throughout, not one to be stepped on or too molded.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca O said...

I love the "Never Compromise On Fit" tip. I never do...if it doesn't fit just so, I don't buy it. Or if I already have it, I give it away. :)

Thanks for the chance...this looks like a fun, light read.

bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

GFC follower. bekki1820cb at gmail

Colleen Turner said...

The Bingo Bunny gave me an extra entry because I am a FB Fan!
candc320@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO
SEE MY POLICY