The warm intimate atmosphere of Gerard’s Bistro proved a perfect setting for dinner and a chat with a bestselling author Lauren Weisberger, here in town as part of the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
The American author famous for her debut ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is now up to her seventh and new book ‘When Life Gives You Lululemons’.
Interviewing the woman of the hour was former Channel 10 news presenter Marie-Louise Theile who herself had worked at Elle magazine in New York City. The conversation was far-ranging, discussing the commercial aspects of writing, the new discipline Lauren has found since having children and what the new book is about. Lauren proved charming, there were humorous anecdotes throughout, yet also discussion about a serious intent to write about women in a way that is positive but also fun. As someone whose first book was famously about a former employer and an insider’s world, Lauren made no bones about the fact that her family and friends know they’re always in the crosshairs for what they say or do going into a new story. However she said that the people who are usually written about never realise it and vice versa. Family and friends also understand that it is fiction she is writing and commercial fiction at that - intended to entertain and be a little heightened.
‘When Life Gives You Lululemons’ takes place in the wealthy suburbs of Greenwich, Connecticut where we pick up with Emily Charlton, former assistant to Miranda Priestly from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. In the film adaptation Emily Blunt played the character and you can’t help but wonder given the trajectory of that actress’ career whether there is a hope for another film to be made. The character of Emily is now working as an image consultant who Lauren noted is such a great profession to write about because of the messed up things people do that require such a profession to exist. Emily is also her favourite character to write about because she has no filter, she says what she is thinking which Lauren pointed out is a bit of wish fulfilment for her and, she thinks, a lot of women.
Many attending were big fans and asked questions about all her books including ‘The Singles Game’ which was centred on the world of professional tennis. Yet eventually questions did come back to her former boss Anna Wintour. The author spoke unreservedly about Miranda Priestly being a b.tch and featuring briefly in this new book showing no growth as a person since all those years ago. When it came to discussing Anna Wintour who inspired Miranda, the former assistant considered her words saying the famous Vogue editor-in-chief isn’t one who ruffles easily.
After the Q&A, guests were served a delicious dinner which included one of the best pieces of pork you could have. It could be argued that portions were a bit small for the price, but everybody seemed to have their fill. Afterwards Lauren posed for pictures and signed books being kind and generous throughout. The evening proved a success to inspire fans old and new to pick up ‘Lululemons’ and enjoy the finer things in life.