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Thursday, November 1, 2018

REVIEW: Wildchilds by Eugenia Melian @smithpublicity

by Eugenia Melian

Thank you to Smith Publicity for this book.  Fiction based on truth.
The fashion industry at it's rawest.

Publisher:  Fashion Sphinx Books
Publish Date:  September 20, 2018
418 Pages
Genre: Fiction

The loss of innocence, the death of beauty, and the price of success.

Seventeen years ago, Iris was forced to abandon Gus, the love of her life, and her career as a top model in Paris. She has created a new life for herself and her daughter, Lou, in California. However, when the news of Gus’s unexpected death reaches Iris, her tenuously reconstructed life is thrown into chaos. A celebrated art and fashion photographer, Gus has left his estate to Lou, with one condition: Iris must travel to Paris and recover a missing collection of his work. 

Iris soon discovers that she’s not the only one after the photographs. An old enemy is staking claim to them and a notorious tabloid is threatening Iris with brutal—and very private—images of her past life. To protect her daughter from scandal, Iris needs to confront the demons that caused her to flee Paris, her career, and her life with Gus. 

Iris embarks on a suspenseful journey through the closed world of the fashion industry where the beautiful people do ugly things.

Will she expose the industry’s dark side and shameful secrets? Can she shield her family from the consequences?

Wildchilds is a work of fiction based on the truth.


Since the early 1980s, Eugenia Melian has worked as a model, agent, producer, and music supervisor in Milan, Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles. She has discovered, managed, art directed and produced some of the most talented artists of our time, with career highlights that include launching the careers of iconic photographers Tony Viramontes and David LaChapelle, and co-producing Malcolm McLaren’s cult album Paris. Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Hardy, LouLou de la Falaise, Sonya Rykiel, Rocco Siffredi, Helmut Newton, David Bailey, Faye Dunaway, Marlon Brando, Prince, Tilda Swinton, Guerlain, Vogue, Daft Punk, Blur, Stella McCartney, Janet Jackson and The Face are among the long list of luminaries and brands she has collaborated on projects with and represented. Eugenia currently lives in northern California, and in September 2018 will release her debut novel Wildchilds.

Eugenia Melian can be found online on Instagram, her blog and at

My Review:

I feel like debut novels can be difficult to review.  Here Melian gives to us a fictionalized story based on truth.  Iris, a former model, who had a tumultuous relationship with fashion photographer, Gus, now is off that fast track and with her daughter, lives in California.  Living a much calmer life, she receives notice that Gus has passed and has left his estate to Lou, him and Iris's daughter.  Here comes the paparazzi.  Now she has to confront her past to try and protect not only herself but her daughter as well. Told from present day with flashbacks, we get a look into the seedy world of modeling, drugs and sex.

A realistic look into something we on the outside tend to see as exciting and a dream for some.  There were some issues in the writing of the book - it could seem choppy in certain areas and would go from past to present without any real segue or break in the chapters.  This could get a little bit confusing.  Am I reading about Iris of old or of now? The tenses seemed to change a lot throughout the pages as well.  But hey, this is a debut novel and these things, while can disrupt the reading flow, is something I can also overlook.

I do think that maybe this wasn't quite the right choice for me to read.  I'm not big on art-y type books and fashion certainly can fall into that same category in my eyes.  However, this isn't just a book about fashion and the extremities that occur in the industry.  It's also a story of Iris and her journey.  A girl who had to make some very adult decisions at an early point in her life.  Someone who had been taken advantage of, who fell in love, who got hurt in a variety of ways.  Her journey to have to confront that life again and her opening up to her daughter.

It's a great story for those interested in the behind the scenes of the modeling industry that reads a bit like a memoir. 


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