Ali is pouring her blood, sweat and tears into making a name for herself in the fashion world. She has a building reputation as one of the rising stars in the scene. her designs are doing well, but still not as well as the lauded designs of the mysterious Dream Dress company. When Ali decides to break a few rules in order to find out the secrets behind this competitor things take a dark turn.
What begins in the heated and catty world of small scale fashion shows soon escalates into a seedy and sordid psycho-drama peopled with addicts and supernatural substances, monsters and chemistry. In less than ninety pages we get a glimpse into a strikingly contrasting world.
If I'm honest this novelette reads a tiny bit fragmented but that might be because it is a teaser for an upcoming longer collection of stories all tied around the characters and events that happen in this story. That isn't to say this doesn't work as a stand alone, it certainly does. In fact, I greatly enjoyed it. The only shortcoming I can cite is my lack of knowledge when it came to some of the lingo/slang used in the fashion industry. It kept pulling me out of the story a little bit, but I'd wade tight back in.
Johnson gives us very real and flawed characters. One of the zaniest fashion villains this side of Cruella Deville and one hell of a second act. Really, if the collection ups the ante to the hand he's played here. I'm all in.
Dream Dress is available from Amazon.
What is a Dream Dress? It's a dress that makes you remember what clothes can do for you, a dress that makes you feel young and beautiful again. Or, for some, it's a dress that makes you forget everything around you, no matter how terrifying.