Bri­tish-born twins Plum and Lucy Sykes both have laugh-out-loud funny books out right now.

Hamptons Magazine - - Contents -

The fashion and lit­er­ary bona fides of the Sykes sisters are un­de­ni­able. Lucy Sykes was the fashion di­rec­tor at Marie Claire and a stylist at Town & Coun­try and Al­lure, and her novel The Knock­off was a best seller. Her new book, Fit­ness Junkie (writ­ten with Jo Pi­azza; $26, Dou­ble­day), is a satir­i­cal play-by­play of fit­ness-ob­sessed New York­ers as they bop from one trendy class to an­other, all the while an­a­lyz­ing ev­ery calo­rie they in­gest. Plum Sykes is a for­mer edi- tor at both Bri­tish and Amer­i­can Vogue, a fashion It girl, and a lover of chick (or shall we say chic) lit; she penned Bergdorf Blon­des and The Debu­tante Divor­cée. Her latest, Party Girls Die in Pearls ($27, Harper), is a rol­lick­ing mur­der mys­tery set at Ox­ford Univer­sity. Here we chat with the oh-sopow­er­ful Sykes duo.

Plum, your book is the first in a new se­ries of mys­ter­ies set at Ox­ford, which you at­tended. Plum Sykes: It is a comic mur­der mys­tery set in the 1980s. It is very much based on per­sonal anec­dotes, as well as the sto­ries of many of my friends and other Ox­ford grad­u­ates. It was such a funny time to be at univer­sity, be­cause the Sloane Ranger was the icon, as well as women like Ivana Trump and Princess Diana. I re­ally wanted to write a book that was a spoof of this time and of all those fashion styles that at the time we all thought were so won­der­ful.

We fol­low the ad­ven­tures of Ur­sula Flower­but­ton—i love that name—and her friend Nancy Fein­gold. PS: The key char­ac­ter is Nancy Fein­gold, and she is an Amer­i­can year-abroad stu­dent. She re­ally is a fish out of wa­ter, be­cause she has been used to wear­ing sweat­pants and sneaks at col­lege, and now she’s thrown into the ball-gown­wear­ing world of Ox­ford, which seems so for­mal and in­tim­i­dat­ing to her. She also ab­so­lutely loves the dress­ing up! I met a lot of Amer­i­can stu­dents while I was at Ox­ford, and they all found the ex­pe­ri­ence to be in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing and com­pletely dif­fer­ent from be­ing at col­lege in the United States. Did you two talk about your books as you were writ­ing them? PS: All the time. Lucy al­ways has amaz­ing sto­ries and funny jokes, which I of­ten find my­self in­clud­ing in my books and ar­ti­cles. If you need a funny quote, I say call Lucy Sykes. Lucy, your book is filled with spot-on mo­ments in the nutty world of New York­ers ob­sessed with the latest fit­ness trends. Lucy Sykes: It is an in­spired mashup of real fit­ness life and sto­ries we over­heard—plus a big spoon­ful of sugar. There are no real peo­ple in this novel. I love the hor­ror of Janey eating the bruf­fin and be­ing pho­tographed at a fashion show while do­ing so. Would that re­ally hap­pen to a wo­man in her po­si­tion? LS: Sadly, be­ing fat-shamed is not un­usual in fashion or our In­sta­per­fect world. Ev­ery­one has a fil­tered bikini body while eating beau­ti­ful fairy food. As far as fads go, the clay diet and Free the Nip­ple yoga are my two fa­vorites. LS: My best friend eats clay two weeks be­fore the fashion shows. She drops 10 ev­ery time. Clay now has a celebrity fol­low­ing. Dirty food is the new clean eating!


Lucy and Plum Sykes have turned their in­sid­ers’ knowl­edge—of fashion, fit­ness, and Ox­ford— into two of the sum­mer’s best beach reads.

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