Devil is in the details in 'Revenge Wears Prada'
Who said fashion is all about the next new thing? Author Lauren Weisberger revisits her over-the-top characters from “The Devil Wears Prada,” including top magazine editor and ice queen Miranda Priestly, 10 years later in her latest novel, “Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns.” It turns out, other than a few fleeting trends that clearly define the setting as 2013, things haven't changed all that much.
Miranda, widely rumored to be based on Vogue's Anna Wintour, for whom Weisberger once worked, isn't the main character, although she is the most fun to read about. The story belongs to Andy Sachs — or Ahn-dre-ah — as Miranda likes to call her.
Andy quit Runway magazine in the last book, taking pleasure in leaving Miranda high and dry in Paris. Miranda isn't kind to those who work for her, and her cold, calculating and cruel ways have haunted Andy for a decade. The story opens with Andy's nightmare about not delivering Miranda's lunch on time.
Andy often calls her “inhumane.”
But Miranda also is unpredictable: She trades her trim Prada dresses and Chanel suits for a maxi dress at one point! That's jaw-dropping. Seriously.
The primary driver of the plot is that Miranda wants to buy the wedding magazine created by Andy and her friend Emily, also a formerly tortured Runway employee. For Miranda to make small talk with these women — and even invite them into her home — in an attempt to court them to sell her an idea that she couldn't take credit for is practically mind-boggling. Of course, it doesn't take her long to revert back to her normal self, but it's fun to see her try so hard to be civil and gracious, and especially to see her flirt with tennis star Rafael Nadal. (Wintour is a famous fan of tennis and its top players.)
Andy, however, isn't all that interesting. At times, the reader can appreciate her principles and even some of her insecurities. Sometimes they are a little too much. It seems hard to imagine that in the relatively small, insular world of fashion magazines and, taking into consideration Andy's success, she still trembles at the mere mention of Miranda's name.
And, while she has a very high horse about honesty, she isn't quite what you'd call forthcoming.
The book successfully sprinkles pop culture tidbits to keep up the breezy tone, but the mix of real and fictional references can be puzzling: Why use the real names of Nadal, designer Monique Lhuillier and hairstylist Oscar Blandi when the celebrities that seem so obviously fashioned on Beyonce and Jay-Z are called Harper Hallow and Clarence “Mack” Dexter?
The of-the-moment shout-outs might limit the shelf life of the book, but for summer, it's a pleasant, entertaining read in a tabloid magazine sort of way.
Samantha Critchell is a fashion writer for the Associated Press.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Review: James Abel delivers a winner with ‘White Plague’
- Tim Johnston’s ‘Descent’ twists a familiar trope in an unforgettable novel
- Christopher Scotton’s ‘Secret Wisdom of the Earth’ is a marvelous blend
- Fitzgerald fascination: Stewart O’Nan book, new biographies, film projects focus on F. Scott
- Bloomfield bookstore owner bucks naysayers