Creating the perfect look or the perfect style is the goal of every fashion designer hoping that his or her creations will steal the show during Fashion Week. But, sometimes things go astray and what you think will win over the public does not. Killer Look takes on a unique look of its own as the main character, Alexandra Cooper is just experienced being kidnapped, tortured and is quite mentally delicate as she buries herself in the bottle hoping to drink away her fears. She is the assistant district attorney and is on leave with the fun begins as a well- known fashion icon is at the center of a murder investigation that appears at first to be suicide. Remaining at her other residence on Martha’s Vineyard she hopes that with the company of Detective Mike Chapman and his team she can return to New York, do her job and get back to her life. But, things are not quite what they seem and Mike’s attention is drawn to the death of a young woman and then the suicide of Wolf Savage the head of WolfWear. Things get out of control and Alexandra is told to back off and not get involved but her curious nature, her investigative skills get in the way as author Linda Fairstein takes us deep inside the fashion and garment industries adding in the history of both, the interest in Fashion Week and the stories behind why Wolf Savage was planning two separate shows of his own. Alex refuses to face the fact that she might need some counseling and every step of the way she uses what so many others do, the bottle to bury her fears and anxiety. As we meet Reed and Hal Savage the son and brother of Wolf who demand that his body be turned over to them so that he can be buried. But, Coop thinks there is something odd about the death and why would someone with so much to look forward to and going for him kill himself by placing a plastic bag over his head with helium inside. Realizing after assessing the site where the victim died, the apparent suicide of fashion designer Wolf Savage and a young girl named Tanya Root are linked to together and you won’t believe how! Meeting both Reed and Hal you wonder which one is really running the company, for what reasons and just why the books look off and whether money is being funneled somewhere else. Two shows that are pending. One at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other at the Costume Institute as the author shares the history of the Garment District which began in the 1850’d when, “ the first sewing machines had been patented, this little patch of the city began to manufacture textiles for the whole country.” Wanda who worked for Savage explains further that mend like Savage made their money by producing the uniforms our people wore in the fields and in the plantation houses shipping them back south.” The reason it is marked as the garment-producing world is the clothing that these people wore as slaves.
Wolf Savage was a womanizer and loved to have the young girls that worked for him as more than just models and he had five wives and cheated on all of them. When the truth about whom Tanya Root is and how the cases are tied it became apparent that she was Wolf’s daughter. But, Lily Savitsky comes to Coop and hopes she can convince her to get the body autopsied and find some way to become part of the Savage family. Although he changed his name from Savitsky to Savage as did Hal and Reed, Lily wanted her old friend Alexandra to help her find out what really happened to Wolf and why how he died with a plastic bag filled with helium over his head. Alex, looking for a way in to be a part of the investigation brings Lily to Mike and Mercer’s attention but gets shut down when asked to join in the investigation. Signing his name as Velvel Savitsky, Wolf abandoned all of his children and Lily hoped that she might become part of the company run by Wolf’s brother Hal, CFO and his son Reed, who works from London and runs the international part of the company and the operations. Neither wants to deal with Mike or Mercer and their questions and as Mike finally gets an audience with both of them you begin to wonder just what they are both hiding. Added in we see the inside workings of these fashion shows, get to tour the settings, see the amazing clothes and hear the voices of the designers as the plan to show the clothes created by Wolf and his special animal patterns. Added into the mix is the fact that a Chinese Company run by George Kwan is interested in buying the company and had offered to let Wolf continue running it. Plus somehow the DA is linked to this man but how and why?
The author continues by describing on pages 126-128 just how the shows work, how they decide what garments are the best prototypes and why high-end garments are what they need. Explaining that the “Bergdorf Goodman buyer wants to see it tomorrow. Not next week, but tomorrow.” Demand and supply you might say but wait until you understand the value and importance of the zipper.
Hal Savage and Reed Savage each has his own agenda and when Alexandra starts to get too close Mike warns her to back off but she is finally coming into her own and does what she does best ignores the warning. Meeting someone related to the show named Tiziana Bolt we hear another side of the industry as she reveals just so much about the shows to Alex when she manages her way into the museum. Wolf loved women, drugs and was in rehab for a while and this young lady thought he was funny and said he cracked her up. But, his addiction to Oxycontin and poor financial advice and handling was only part of what did him in. Imagine walking into a room and everyone stares at you because you look so amazing, so breathtaking so perfect you have what they want on the red carpet the Killer Look. It’s an expression and they spent time being toured around Savage’s offices and seeing what they wanted them to see first had. Hal practically handed Coop the suicide motive but with Lily in the background we also learn about the possibility of another will, what was left to everyone after the body was autopsied and who would profit and why. But, David her husband seems to play a part in all this and you won’t believe how or why Wolf thought he could trust him.
Someone kills Tanya Root and it’s related to Wolf, her father that she came back to see for money but who was directing her and why? We get the inside look at the show, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the planning and the many parts that go along with creating the Wolf Savage Exhibition. But, there is a hidden plot that has yet to be exposed as we learn something sinister about the DA. Financial fraud, deceit, lies, deceptions, hate, revenge, takeovers, financial gains and a family that is so disjointed yet each with their own agenda yet all wanting the same: THE EMPIRE created by Wolf! The Manhattan DA Paul Battaglia warns Cooper about getting involved and orders her to back off and is glad she is on leave. As the pieces of the fashion puzzle come into place and Cooper realizes the connections and who the murder or murders are, you won’t believe the electrifying ending. A murderer arrested and more to come as the author lets readers know that this is far from over as the ending will prove fatal for someone but who and why? Once again author Linda Fairstein delivers her characters in a vividly depicted and creative manner as we learn the inside dealings of the Fashion Industry, get to see the show first hand and learn what happens when you get to close to the Killer Look. As the plot draws to a close and the final fashions are exhibited will Mike finally find his way back to Coop or will their relationship continue to be strained. Killer Look: What’s yours?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine