It’s been ten years since Lauren Weisberger picked up her pen and laid bare a thinly-veiled account of her time as a harassed assistant to Vogue editor Anna ‘Nuclear’ Wintour.
Now, eight years after Andy Sachs quit her job in the middle of a Parisian street, she’s back – and so, of course, is Miranda Priestly, the editor of fictional fashion bible Runway, who is just as conniving as ever.
Here MailOnline has an exclusive extract from Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns of the moment that Andy is left reeling as she comes face to face with Miranda once again.
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The woman’s eyes grew wide. ‘Ohmigod, he’s here. I can’t believe he’s actually here,’ she mumbled through her half-chewed food, the hand in front of her mouth doing little to hide it.
‘Who’s here?’ her husband asked with seemingly zero interest.
‘Valentino! He just arrived! Look!’ The woman managed to swallow her chip and re-apply lipstick in one almost-graceful motion. Max and Andy swivelled toward the red carpet and sure enough, a tanned, taut, and pulled-tight Valentino gingerly removed his loafers and stepped aboard.
Ten years on… Anne Hathaway’s Andy (left) and Meryl Streep’s Miranda (right), captured our imagination on screen in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. Now they’re back in Lauren Weisberger’s follow-up novel
A lackey standing just off to the side handed him a snorting, wet-faced pug, which he accepted without comment and began to stroke. He brazenly scanned the party and, appearing neither pleased nor displeased, turned to offer his one free hand to his date.
Long-time partner Giancarlo was nowhere to be found; instead, Andy watched in horror as five long fingers with red-lacquered nails reached up from the below decks stairwell and wrapped themselves, talon like, over Valentino’s forearm.
Andy glanced at Max. Had she screamed that aloud or just thought it?
As if in slow motion, the woman materialized inch by dreaded inch: the top of her bob, followed by her bangs, and then her face, twisted into an all-too-familiar expression of extreme displeasure. Her tailored white pants, silk tunic, and cobalt high-heeled pumps were all Prada, and her military-inspired jacket and classic quilted bag were Chanel.
‘Miranda didn’t like parties; she didn’t like boats, and it stood to reason that she especially didn’t like parties on boats’
The lone jewellery she wore was a thick, enamelled Hermès cuff in a perfectly coordinating shade of blue. Andy had read years earlier that the cuffs had replaced the scarves as her Hermès security blankets – apparently she had collected nearly five hundred in every imaginable color and size – and Andy sent up a silent thanks that she was no longer responsible for sourcing them.
Watching in a sort of fascinated terror as Miranda refused to remove her shoes, Andy didn’t even notice when Max squeezed her hand.
‘Miranda,’ she said, half whispering, half choking.
‘I’m so sorry,’ Max said into her ear. ‘I had no idea she was coming.’
Miranda didn’t like parties; she didn’t like boats, and it stood to reason that she especially didn’t like parties on boats. There were three, perhaps five people on the planet who could convince Miranda to board a boat, and Valentino was one of them.
In Vogue: Author Lauren Weisberger (left) famously leaned on her time working as an assistant to Anna Wintour (right) for material for the two books
Even though Andy knew Miranda would only deign to stay for ten or fifteen minutes, she was panicked at the idea of sharing such a small space with the woman of her night terrors. Had it really been almost ten years since she’d screamed F you on a Parisian street and then fled the country?
Because it felt like only yesterday. She clutched her phone, desperate to call Emily, but she suddenly realized Max had dropped her hand and was reaching out to greet Valentino.
‘Good to see you again, sir,’ Max said in the formal way he always reserved for his parents’ friends.
Read the rest: Revenge Wears Prada is published in the UK on June 20 and is available in the U.S. now
‘I hope you will excuse the intrusion,’ Valentino said with a small bow. ‘Giancarlo was planning to attend on my behalf, but I was in New York tonight anyway to meet with this lovely lady, and I wanted to visit with my boat again.’
‘We’re thrilled you could be here, sir.’
‘Enough with the “sir,” Maxwell. Your father was a dear friend. I hear you are doing good things with the business, yes?’
Max smiled tightly, unable to discern if Valentino’s question was merely polite or fraught. ‘I’m certainly trying. May I get you and . . . Ms Priestly something to drink?’
‘Miranda, darling, come here and say hello. This is Maxwell Harrison, son of the late Robert Harrison. Maxwell is currently overseeing Harrison Media Hol—’
‘Yes, I’m aware,’ she interrupted coolly, gazing at Max with a cold, disinterested expression.
Valentino looked as surprised as Andy felt. ‘Aha! I did not realize you two knew each other,’ he said, clearly looking for a further explanation.
At the exact same moment that Max murmured, ‘We don’t,’ Miranda said, ‘Well, we do.’
An awkward silence ensued before Valentino broke into a raucous laugh. ‘Ah, I sense there is a story there! Well, I look forward to hearing it one day! Ha ha!’
Andy bit her tongue and tasted the tang of blood. Her queasiness had returned, her mouth felt like chalk, and she couldn’t for the life of her figure out what to say to Miranda Priestly.
Thankfully Max, ever more socially graceful than she, placed his hand on Andy’s back and said, ‘And this is my wife, Andrea Harrison.’
Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger is published by HarperCollins priced £7.99 on June 20. Available in the U.S. now at Laurenweisberger.com