As the summer sun begins to fade there are still a few beach days left and a few more excuses to take a piece of deliciously fluffy dish along to read. The Liar, the Bitch and the Wardrobe, a novel by Allie Kingsley is a glamorously send up of all things Hollywood as seen through the eyes of a naive young photographer’s assistant. When Lucy Butler gets her dream gig working for famed photographer Stefano Lepres, she imagines glamourous days of shooting by his side. The reality is anything but as Butler learns what it really means to be an assistant in Hollywood.
The plot isn’t much of a surprise. A girl with big dreams get swept up in the madness of Los Angeles, meeting movie stars, wearing great clothes, and losing herself along the way. And yet, the whole affair is compulsively readable. Famed stylist and television commentator Robert Verdi lent a hand styling the wardrobe for this book and the result is a cavalcade of labels. In this case the labels, from Missoni to YSL and Jimmy Choo, often serve to denote both character and status.
Kingsley isn’t raunchy enough to be the heir to Jackie Collins but she packs her books with a few drug references and unlike some other chick lit heroines, Lucy is impure enough to take a snort or two. And like a Collins novel, part of the fun here is trying to uncover what real life stars might have inspired the antics in Kinglsey’s book. She sprinkles in real life boldface names with plenty of thinly veiled larger-than-life characters, Kingsley also began her careers working in photography and the book clearly falls in the roman a clef category. Kingsley also keeps a blog charmingly titled One Foot In The Dior, that features her photography and she definitely is more than a bit like her charming heroine. Luckily that only makes the book more satisfying. There’s nothing really new here but Kingsley’s book has enough heart to keep you turning the pages.