Catwalk: Strike a Pose by Deborah Gregory This is the second book in Gregory's Catwalk series. This continues where the first one left off. Pashmina Purrstein is a junior at Fashion International high school in NYC. She is also a future model and entrepreneur. Each year the school holds a Catwalk competition. Five houses will compete and the winning team will get money to start their own label, an overseas trip and other prizes. In book one Pashmina gets enough votes and the House of Pashmina is born. In this book every house must submit a line for the design challenge. The winning team gets $300 bonus towards the catwalk competition. The challenge "take things everyday in your environment and turn it into fashion." Pashmina has problems with her computer. Later it's revealed someone in the Pashmina's house has given her computer a virus. Pashmina suspects two of her best friends. Its obvious who the guilty party is. The question the reader should be asking themselves is "when will the quitly party be caught?" not who. The author makes the reader feel the doubt creeping into Pashmina about who she can trust. Being leader is a lot of pressure now Pashmina must worry about someone trying to sabotage her efforts. I loved the Catwalk competition blog. Contestants are free to express themselves. Since the book focus is on Pashmina's house its one of the few times the reader can learn about other houses/leaders. One of the house leaders Moet Major is a replacement. The first ever and no one takes her seriously. In her blog entry she shares a little presidential knowledge, beginning with Nixon first bid in 1960.
"Another historical point I can relate to after Nixon resigned as president, Vice President Gerald R. Ford succeeded him. Now just because G. wasn't nominated in the first place doesn't mean he wasn't legit enough to be head of state. Which brings me to a present situation that will soon be recognized as official fashion history I may have become the house leader by default - a first in the catwalk competition's 35 year history but I' m an authentic leader, nonetheless"
The other entries are just as good. Someone questions where have all the Black designers and models gone. Giving a little fashion history mentioning designers Jon Haggins, Scott Barrie and Stephen Burrows. Gregory's found a very smart way to slip in a little knowledge and make it work (as Tim Gunn would say) without it coming across as forced. These are student's of fashion so it makes sense that they would know and love talking about its history.
Pashmina and her team come up with a great idea for the design challenge. Unfortunately, the author doesn't reveal the design concepts of the other houses. I would have loved to see what the other houses came up with even if it was only on the competition blog. Even so this was a good follow-up. I am still not a fan of the catvocab, in the House of Pashimia that's just what they do. Though it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. Anyone who liked the first book should definitely check this one out. This is a fun series for young fans of fashion. Ages 12up