My owned copy is the trade paperback edition.
Date read: April 2011
Violet Greenfield, who thinks of herself as a quiet, shy wallflower, has always been teased because of her height (six-one, or 1.85m). She longs to be popular like those BK girls (stands for Bee’s Knees, not Burger King), even though she’d never admit it to her best friends, Julie and Roger.
But when she catches the eye of a Tryst agent Angela Blythe, things change dramatically… because Angela is sure Violet can be “the next Kate Moss – but, you know, taller and without the cocaine problem” (that was Violet’s soon-to-be agent). In the following months, Violet will have to wade through the castings, photo shoots, runways, bitchy models and other difficulties to find herself and what she really wants.
As far as I know, the author Melissa Walker used to work in a fashion magazine and has now (well, five years ago) written a series which gives us backstage insights on the glamorous fashion life.
Let’s talk about Violet first. Violet Greenfield is insecure about her height and her body in general – she’s too bony and all angles, she thinks. Of course, those two complexes are what caught Angela’s attention. Angela is persistent on letting Violet fly out to New York (she lives in North Carolina) for the Fashion Week, and when her parents give in, Violet is whisked away to a world in which she feels beautiful, strong and desirable.
Long story short, designers and photographers are taken by Violet’s naturalness, Angela convinces the Greenfields to let Violet graduate a semester early and live in the Tryst’s model apartment in New York – and make a name as a model!
Now, I know, I know that Violet needs to make stupid mistakes in order to learn and grow up, but I was quite exasperated when she ditched her best friends for the BK. What pissed me off, however, was Julie’s response to that. I get she has a valid right to be angry, I don’t blame her for that. What I consider a true BF reaction is Roger’s, Violet’s other friend. He’s mad, gives her silent treatment, but in the end he cares, and he comes up to check on Violet. They fight, but he forgives. Julie’s just petty.
Back to Violet. I think she is a good and nice person at core – that’s her personality, and her nature. She hardens up in this vicious tangle of competition and criticism, but she never develops an eating disorder or turns to drugs. She is hurt by the harsh words people and fellow model Veronica throw at her – about her weight, her nightlife, her privacy – and yet she remains a softie (in a good way) inside.
Violet on the Runway is a book about self-discovery and mocks the fashion world, but in a light-hearted and believable way.