From the Gutter to the Runway Tantalizing Tips from a Furry Fashionista


By Mark Welsh

By Rubin Toledo

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ebook (Digital original)


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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 30, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Hilarious, entertaining, and delightful, Sweetie is a stunning book of wisdom from Elle magazine's favorite furry fashionista.

Sweetie established her biting wit and discerning taste on all things in fashion as the back page columnist for Elle magazine. Now, the self-appointed answer to every woman's prayers has compiled a book which tells readers about her rise from the gutter to the runway and offers advice, tips, and wry commentary on topics such as diet, exercise, art, hair, accessories, and travel. The book is filled with four-color photos by Elle magazine's leading fashion photographers, illustrations by acclaimed fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, and of course, Sweetie's incomparable wit. This is no ordinary self-help and beauty guide, especially when Sweetie's philosophy on dating and romance includes gems of advice like, "The best way to get over a man is to get under another one", and "Men will say anything to get into your kennel".


Copyright © 2001 by Mark Welsh

All rights reserved.

Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Visit our website at www.HachetteBookGroup.com

The Warner Books name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

First eBook Edition: September 2001

ISBN: 978-0-446-56166-2


A hairy rags to riches story

It's often been said, dear reader, that the biggest difference between my story and Cinderella's is a couple of extra legs and a hairy midriff.

True, I come from a family heavily populated by ugly sisters (all of whom could use a good shave), but while Cinderella relied on pumpkins and princes to get to the top, I took an altogether different route. I chose fashion, or should I say, fashion chose me. Let me begin with a word or two about my bleak beginnings.

Once upon a time, long before I became a fashion icon, national treasure, living legend, and household name, I was just a hairy little mutt from the sticks. But then show me a major star who wasn't.

My family tree has more in common with a scraggly weed than it does a stately oak. Dad was the third of eleven children born of an one-eyed homeless hound called Blinky and a nameless bitch with a bad case of mange. And although my flea-bitten mother's parentage remains cloaked in mystery, local folklore has it that she was the only daughter of a three-legged chocolate poodle named Busty who had an insatiable fondness for plunging necklines and big, black Labradors.

How did I triumph over my sordid past I hear you ask? How did I soar from squalor to superstardom? Mine is the rags to riches story of an underdog with a terminal case of bad breath and a dream.

My parents raised me far, far away from the glittering runways of Paris and Milan in a neighborhood that was decidedly lacking in glitter. We lived two hours north of New York City within the maximum security, minimum hygiene confines of a rural junkyard and beauty shop—"One-stop shopping for a hubcap and a perm" or so claimed the hand-painted sign framed with folksy razor wire curlicues. My summers were spent sipping imaginary glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne in the shade of a rusted out '83 Pontiac and my winters were spent painting my nails in a four-poster

bed that I'd constructed out of sticks and a tattered wig. The husband and wife proprietors of the junkyard and beauty shop—"the Toothless" as I affectionately named them—were underwhelmed to have my precociously stylish self frolicking in their midst. When they weren't taking potshots at the broken-down lawn-mower (they'd already shot the defenseless washing machine), they passed hour after hour hurling beer cans in my general direction. Perhaps it was my enviable ability to mix plaid and stripes that irked them so. Or maybe it was my insistence on speaking only French. I did everything I could to appease the Toothless, truly I did, but what talents could a wildly glamorous puppy possibly employ to soothe the volatile nerves of this scrap metal-selling, hot roller-toting twosome? I couldn't even open a beer.

Although I was trapped in a place where polyester was worn without irony, my fashion instincts were as sharp as a pleat. When the Toothless weren't using me as a moving target, I made hats from hubcaps and practiced my runway walk among the hairdryer carcasses that littered the yard. It was here, amid toxic heaps of empty peroxide bottles, that I first dreamed that a roast beef wearing a Chanel suit was chasing me through a sea of gravy. It was here among rusted refrigerators and worn-out washing machines that I created my ball gown made of license plates and rusted fenders. And it was here as I licked an empty can of Chef Boyardee pretending that it was a full can of foie gras that I reached a life-changing conclusion. If I was to

become an international fashion icon (and who could argue that this was my destiny?) it most certainly wasn't going to happen in the shadow of a burned-out '76 Chevrolet. I packed up my hubcap hats and beer-can ball gown, bid adieu to the junkyard I had so fondly-ish called home, and jumped the fence. My journey from the gutter to the runway was about to begin.

My small but intelligent head grew dizzy with excitement as I passed road signs that taunted me with the promise of an exciting new life: "Piglets 4 Sale," "Pump Your Own Gas," "Trespassers will be Shot." Five minutes later, the intoxicating aroma of freedom intermingled with road kill quickly lost its novelty and the hollow pit in my stomach began to echo like an empty Alpo can. Where was lunch? Sure, I'd learned how to bleach my own hair and make platform shoes out of broken blenders—who hasn't?—but these handy skills left me ill prepared to find roadside sustenance. For a brief, hungry moment, I yearned for the cozy familiarity of the junkyard—the sweet smell of Marshmallow Fluff sandwiches mixed with menthol cigarette smoke; the weekly outbursts of domestic violence followed by police interventions. Should I give up my dream of becoming a living legend, I wondered? Should I abandon my mission of becoming the most influential fashion figure of the entire twenty-first century? As these questions thrashed about in my small but intelligent head, I rounded a bend in the road and stopped dead in my tracks. My damp but intelligent eyes spied two men sitting on the porch of a yellow colonial farmhouse. The one I would come to call Mark (my future escort, bodyguard, and personal secretary) had protruding ears that any good mother would have pinned back at birth. The other man was wearing lime and navy plaid patchwork pants and a Brooks Brothers' shirt monogrammed with the initials J.B. He appeared to be sketching a fake fur bomber jacket. My heartbeat quickened. You see, dear reader, my keen fashion instincts told me that J.B. was actually John Bartlett, a prominent New York designer who had won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Designer of the Year Award twice. If I played my cards right, this lad in plaid could provide my entree to the exciting-ish world of international fashion. I took no chances. After boldly stepping onto the porch, I rolled onto my


On Sale
May 30, 2009
Page Count
144 pages

Mark Welsh

About the Author

Sweetie lives in New York City.

Learn more about this author