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Bead-Dazzled: The Allegra Biscotti Collection

Bead-Dazzled: The Allegra Biscotti Collection

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Bead-Dazzled: The Allegra Biscotti Collection

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (5 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
254 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 15, 2014
ISBN:
9781941367063
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The long-awaited book 3 in the Allegra Biscotti Collection features beloved middle schooler Emma Rose in a race to put on a fashion show—and finish her homework.

In THE ALLEGRA BISCOTTI COLLECTION, Emma Rose's fabulous designs catch the eye of a big fashion editor, and her alias, Allegra Biscotti, is born. In WHO, WHAT, WEAR, Allegra's career takes off as she is hired to design a sweet sixteen dress for the most popular girl at Downtown Day School and a capsule collection for a hot pop-up shop. In BEAD-DAZZLED, Emma is tapped to produce a fashion show--complete with models, makeup, and music--showing off her always innovative designs. New York City is Emma's inspiration board as she creates exciting new looks on a tight budget and tighter deadline while a budding romance threatens to implode. Awesome fashion illustrations and juicy, detailed descriptions of Emma's artistic visions fill the pages of this fast-paced, thoroughly engaging novel.
Pubblicato:
Jul 15, 2014
ISBN:
9781941367063
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Olivia Bennet has had a passion for fashion since she was a young girl, putting together surprising outfits for the daily fashion show that took place in the school hallways. When not writing fashion-forward books for tweens, Olivia can be found hot-gluing and sewing amazing DIY projects. Olivia loves to mix-and-match...and then mix it up some more.

Anteprima del libro

Bead-Dazzled - Olivia Bennett

16

CHAPTER 1

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

Emma Rose eyed the mess on the living room floor. Christmas gifts had long been tucked away in bedrooms or the kitchen or wherever her mother could find an extra inch of space in their cramped three-bedroom apartment, but what was left was the real treasure. Ribbon—tons of it. Red satin, green glitter, and gold organza were always nice. But there was also a shimmery silver, pearly white cord, and velvet in deep purple.

Seriously, Em, you totally don’t get the gift thing, her brother William had complained on Christmas morning. You take forever to open a present.

The whole family had watched as Emma carefully lifted each piece of clear tape with her fingernail so as not to rip the wrapping. Ribbon was slowly unknotted and peeled away. Her parents sat back, savoring big mugs of coffee. Unlike her younger brother, they understood Emma’s quirks when it came to crafts and fashion.

I’m going to make such fabulous things! Emma had exclaimed. For her, the real gift was the wrapping. She loved Aunt Melissa’s presents most of all, with their whirlwind of ribbon, sparkle, and even sprigs of holly. It would all find its way into craft projects—woven ribbon headbands and notebook covers, ribbon-trimmed lampshades and purses, whimsically adorned jars for her sketching pencils….

Now, a week later, Emma reached for the lengths of turquoise grosgrain and iridescent ivory ribbon. The colors were reminiscent of magical oceans far away from the steel-gray clouds that blanketed the city outside her windows. Over, under, in, out, she chanted under her breath, as the woven square bloomed under her fingers. She imagined a mermaid with a shimmery tail sitting on a rock. She wore a bikini top made from the woven ribbon. The colors flowed from light to dark and, maybe, back again. Her fingertips brushed the braided patch, admiring its weight and sturdiness.

I could extend the top and make a cute mini dress, she thought.

The ribbon had just enough stretch to settle over the curve of hips. No longer a mermaid—a dress for a girl in a music video. If she added silver and gold ribbon, the dress would catch the light as the beautiful girl danced.

Emma reached for her sketchbook lying among the ribbon on the hardwood floor. She was never without one of the silk brocade-covered books filled with thick, creamy white paper. She never knew when an idea would hit. The idea didn’t have to be great to add to the book. One idea led to another. Bits of one design found their way into another design.

Emma had filled dozens of these sketchbooks with her designs over the last few years alone. Sundresses, skirts, capri pants, ball gowns, swim suits, even space suits.

Her pencil moved in a quick, confident motion. She shaded in the crosshatch marks to show the texture of the ribbon. The doorbell rang and her hand jerked, leaving an ugly mark across the page. She frowned, reaching for her eraser. The doorbell rang again. It took a minute to remember that she was the only one home. Her parents had left for dinner with the Duncans, who lived two floors up. Will was sleeping over at his friend Sean’s apartment.

She padded through their narrow front hall in her fuzzy purple socks. On tiptoes, she peered through the door’s peephole.

Oh, no! What time was it? How had she forgotten?

Glancing down at her stretchy yoga pants and zip-up hoodie, Emma debated if she could bolt to her bedroom and change really fast.

I know you’re there, Emma, Charlie Calhoun’s raspy voice rang out. He leaned on the doorbell. She had no choice. She opened the door.

Seriously, Em? Holly Richardson placed her hands on her hips. Emma admired the short, simple pale-pink shift dress her friend wore. Holly had paired it with black textured tights and black suede flats, and her long legs seemed to stretch on forever.

I know, I know, Emma began. It’s just that I started making this fabric out of the holiday ribbons and it was coming out so cool that I—

Floated off into a fashion fog and forgot about your best friends and the big party, Charlie finished knowingly.

Something like that, Emma admitted. Fashion always had a way of nudging everything else aside. Your glasses say it all, don’t they? Charlie wore crazy lime-green glasses with HAPPY NEW YEAR scrawled across the top of them.

I like my holidays. No point going to a party if you’re not going to do it big.

That was Charlie—all or nothing. Never wishy-washy. He even had noisemakers poking out of the pockets of the worn denim shirt he wore over narrow whale-gray cords.

You, however, need to show a little New Year’s spirit. Charlie pushed his hand through his spiky blond hair. That outfit’s lame, especially for you. Charlie was also brutally honest.

You should go without me. I’m kind of into this fabric thing and—

You’re scared to go, Holly finished, pushing past Emma and into the apartment. Charlie followed and shut the door firmly behind them.

I’m not scared of the Ivana-Bees or their party, Emma said. It’s a bunch of snobby airhead girls and dumb boys prancing around all night. Why bother?

Em, come on. You promised you’d try. For me. Holly widened her water-blue eyes hopefully at Emma.

Ivana and her friends don’t want me there, Emma added. Back when middle school first started, they’d named Ivana Abbott’s followers the Bees—as in I Wanna Be Ivana. Holly had always made fun of them with Emma, but this year Holly had been dangerously close to joining the hive.

I want you there, Holly insisted. She wasn’t letting Emma back out this time. And it’s New Year’s!

"Word is Kayla Levine’s apartment is insane. That interior designer, you know the one with the TV show, Ricardo what’s-his-name, did it. The whole place is red and white. We’ve got to see that." Charlie wiggled his eyebrows. Emma loved anything to do with design. Sofa fabric was just a notch down from dress fabric.

Emma twirled a strand of her shoulder-length pale brown hair around her finger. Holly kept saying that there was another side to Ivana. Some secret sweet side that she kept hidden. Way hidden. Emma sighed. She’d promised Holly she would give Ivana a chance. New Years was meant for throwing out the old and bringing in the new.

Okay. She raised her arms in surrender. I’m going, but not for Ivana or Kayla. Best friends need to ring in the new year together.

Holly squeezed her in a hug. She smelled of vanilla and figs.

Get dressed! Charlie ordered.

Emma hurried to her bedroom and surveyed her closet. She had no idea what to wear. A little black dress? Nice but boring. Her eyes scanned the crowded rack.

The red sequined tube dress that she’d found last summer at the vintage shop on the Lower East Side called to her. Nothing said New Years Eve like sequins. The dress was fun and, if she paired it with skinny jeans and short boots, it wouldn’t be too dressy. She shimmied into the outfit and pulled a brush through her hair. Ready to go!

Before they left, Emma texted her dad and he agreed to pick her up at Kayla’s. Ten minutes after midnight and no later, he insisted. He was usually a softie, but Emma didn’t push him tonight. That was late enough. She linked arms with Holly and Charlie and the three of them rode the elevator downstairs and shared a taxi twenty blocks uptown.

A doorman in a stiff cranberry blazer with gold braiding on the shoulders directed them to the Levines’ apartment on the 36th floor. As they waited for the elevator, Emma mentally redesigned the jacket. A softer, more-forgiving fabric was needed. Perhaps felted wool. And a cool insignia or monogram instead of the costume-like braiding, she thought.

Long before the door opened, the thump of music snaked its way into the elevator and into Emma’s designing thoughts. She held tightly to Charlie’s arm as he pushed his way through a sea of teenage bodies extending into the depths of Kayla’s apartment and into the living room.

Everything was red-and-white. Stark white walls. Maraschino-cherry modern sofas and architectural chairs. Low white-marble table. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the twinkling New York City skyline. Silver Mylar balloons artfully placed in clusters about the room.

You fit in, Holly called over the music. She jutted her chin toward Emma’s red dress.

Doubtful, Emma said with a smile. Takes more than matching the furniture.

Emma spotted Kayla’s mom standing in a group of adults before she saw Kayla. A silver clip held back Mrs. Levine’s ebony hair and she was squeezed into a one-shouldered scarlet dress. Her crimson lips and heavily mascara-ed lashes stood in stark contrast to her pale skin. Kayla’s mom owned Beautylicious, the trendiest makeup line that select department stores were now carrying. Kayla looked like a mini version of her mom. Her mauve dress was just as tight.

Food! Charlie yelled over the music. He pulled Emma and Holly toward a table with bowls of chips and salsa.

Holly and Charlie were immediately drawn into other conversations. Emma scanned the room for familiar faces. She recognized tons of kids from Downtown Day. A few smiled at her. Some nodded or gave her a curious glance. She studied them as if they were strangers, not kids she saw every day in the hallways of school. Stretchy black mini skirts, dark denim skinny jeans, glittery gold halters.

She watched a group of boys from her grade throw pretzels into the air and try to catch them in their mouths. Jackson’s friends.

Jackson. Emma looked westward, out over the white holiday lights on a nearby roof garden. She tried to picture him in his ski clothes. Sleek down-filled parka, ski goggles, his wavy brown hair flecked with snow. No question he’d look good. Jackson Creedon always looked good. The question was whether he was thinking of her on his family vacation to Colorado.

Whether he thought of her at all.

If he were home, he’d be here. Jackson existed on a whole other planet apart from Emma’s. He lived in Ivana’s popular galaxy. That’s why the Ivana-Bees had a collective seizure when he’d asked her to the movies.

Emma thought back to three weeks ago. Pizza at Mario’s. They’d both ordered Veggie Supreme slices. Holly and Clayton Vanderbeek had joined them. Even though Jackson had spent most of the time talking sports stats with Clayton, he kept stealing glances at her, nudging her arm with his. She hadn’t been able to focus on the movie at all with him sitting so close and couldn’t say a word about it afterwards. Then the holidays and end-of-semester tests rolled in and they hadn’t really seen each other since.

She wished he were here.

Instead, Ivana appeared at her side. Emma tried not to stare, but where were the rest of Ivana’s clothes? Her violet dress, which perfectly highlighted her copper-red hair and creamy skin, was easily missing three inches of fabric—or a pair of pants. If she bent over, everyone was sure to see London, France, and Ivana’s underpants.

Ivana intertwined her arm with Holly’s and cooed over her pink dress. Emma pretended not to care. Holly had been her best friend since preschool days of saggy tights and mary-janes. She knew they’d always be best friends. No matter what.

And that included Ivana.

Hey, girls! Ivana squealed, directing her attention purely at Holly. You won’t believe the amazing stuff Santa brought me. She jangled the gold charm bracelet on her wrist. Each charm represents something in my life. Look, Holls, what does this remind you of?

Holly lifted the tiny oar charm. The lake! That’s so funny.

What’s funny? Lexie Blackburn demanded.

Love the bracelet, Kayla cooed, leaning in for a closer look.

Emma blinked. It was amazing. Lexie, Kayla, and Shannon O’Malley had just materialized out of nowhere to ooh and ah. Ivana’s loyal back-up chorus was right on cue.

Last summer, Ivana and I took a rowboat out on the lake and one of the oars fell in and sunk to the bottom, Holly explained. We were totally across the lake from our docks, and we had to paddle back with just one oar. It was hysterical.

Holly and Ivana’s families had both rented houses on some lake in Connecticut last summer. At the time, while she worked at her father’s lace factory during the heat wave, Emma had figured their connection was one of those isolated-in-the-woods friendships that crumble in the real world. Not so much. Theirs was still going strong. Holly had grown five inches last summer, and with her long honey-brown waves and killer smile, she’d become gorgeous. Gorgeous enough for Ivana want to claim her as one of her own.

Except Holly never will be an Ivana-Bee, Emma reminded herself. Holly still has the ability for independent thought.

Emma smiled as she checked out their outfits. All three girls also wore tight dresses the length of T-shirts. Lexie’s was black with a criss-cross back, but it was Kayla and Shannon’s mauve dresses that made Emma clench her teeth to hold back her giggles. They were exactly the same! Judging from their sideways glances and the point they made of standing on either side of Lexie, this twin-thing was not planned.

Kayla, why’d you invite all these people? Lexie surveyed the crowd with a sneer. I thought you were doing a more exclusive thing.

Exclusive would’ve been better, Ivana agreed.

Shannon nodded. Shannon was always nodding. As far as Emma could tell that was her role in the group. The nodder.

Kayla’s cheeks flushed to match her dress. It’s my mom…she’s launching this new organic nail polish. Eco-licious, it’s called. Kayla splayed her fingers, showing off her ruby-lacquered nails. She wanted lots of people at this party. She invited some clients, too. It’s a big deal this nail polish. She pointed to a display of polish bottles stacked artfully on a mirrored side table.

When’s it launching? Ivana asked, inspecting Kayla’s manicure.

In the spring, Kayla said, but before it comes out in the stores, Beautylicious is featuring it at the Save the Earth charity event.

What’s that? Charlie asked, obnoxiously poking his head between Holly and Ivana.

Ivana rolled her eyes. Figures you have no idea. It’s the hottest charity event around. Save the Earth does all this great work saving, you know, the planet.

And nail polish is connected how? Charlie asked.

They have an invite-only fundraiser at the Park Avenue Armory. You must’ve heard of it. It’s called ‘Goin’ Green,’ and every year, it features the hottest up-and-coming designers in fashion and innovators in beauty and fashion, Kayla explained. My mom was asked which is, like, the hugest honor.

Shannon nodded enthusiastically.

My mother always goes, Holly added. Mrs. Richardson was a well-connected real estate agent and a huge donor to the fancy charities.

Emma wondered what new designers would be there. It would be amazing if Allegra Biscotti were ever invited. Next year, she thought. Hopefully next year.

"I still say the

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Not knowing much or caring much about high fashion, I went into this novel with bad feelings, however, I soon fell in love with Bennett's spot on depiction of middle school life and all the aspects of it! Emma is in 8th grade and while trying to find out "who she is" she is also dealing with creating her first ever fashion line for a major fashion magazine, but she goes by an alias, Allegra. She is trying to naviagate her eighth grade year of who her real friends are, crushes as well as trying to balance work and school. I really loved this novel, great for any middle school girl!
  • (4/5)
    The Allegra Biscotti Collection.: Emma Rose is a 14 year old girl who LOVES to design clothes. One day some one accidently sees her designs. She demands to know who did this marvelous dress. That is when Allegra Biscotti is born. Trying to juggle her hidden career, friendships, and a boy she likes Emma's life changes. Fiction I thought this was a very good book. I enjoyed the story line, and the characters. I really liked seeing the pictures of certain clothes in the book. This book is a good clean book. It also shows why it's good to tell the truth. I will definatly be waiting for the next book =)
  • (4/5)
    A cute MG novel that is kind of like Hannah Montana for the fashion industry.
  • (4/5)
    This book speaks to the teenager hidden somewhere in me that still wants to be discovered and be a star. This story is exactly like a thousand fantasies I've had myself, and so I could do nothing but love it, love it, love it. Emma is in 8th grade in real life--albeit one with a lot of unique style--working part time at her father's lace warehouse, having a pretty normal life hanging out with her few quirky friends. But her secret life exists in a corner of the warehouse where she's set up her ancient sewing machine and her dumpster-dived dress forms. There she spends every spare minute and every spare dime creating the fashions of her dreams. And they are really, really, really good. At least the fashion editor that stumbles upon some of the works in progress thinks so. But Emma panics when the editor starts asking her questions about the designer and "poof", Allegra Biscotti is born. Then the wild ride begins as Emma becomes an undercover grownup trying to get a "collection" together for a photo shoot. Stress, hilarity, dreams and panic lead to a marvelous conclusion to the book, which is to be the first in the series. It's lots of fun and has me smiling still.