Falling Out of Fashion is a roman a clef by Jane Pratt's ex-assistant, Karen Cohen Yampolsky. But its heroine is a stand-in for Jane, not Karen! "Jill White" is a valiant soul who wants to keep Jill Magazine true to its idealistic roots, even after it gets bought by Nestrom (read: Fairchild) and Jill is forced to work with a publisher installed by evil Nestrom CEO Ellen Cutter (read: Fairchild CEO Mary Berner). Juicy stuff! And so, so, so bad!

In our previous installment, Jill White did battle with her new evil overladies for the soul of Jill magazine. She did not win. She got totally canned, the magazine was mainstreamed, and Jill was separated from her doe-eyed assistant, the lovely Casey! But it was all for the best, as we'll soon find out, after the jump and also in real life, when actual Jane Pratt has the last laugh on her radio program on March 23rd!

Take it away, Ms. Yampolsky!

It was fun to sit back and watch the rumor mill run wild with the speculation of my replacement ... With advertisers dropping out of Jill left and right since my departure, I started to think that no one would be dumb enough to take my job. But someone was. Nestrom's pick turned out to be Bryce Bradford, who held the top position at Jeune Fille, the teen spin-off of the women's monthly Femme.Bryce worked for Ellen as an associate editor at Charisma some time ago, and it was a well-known fact that she was desperate to get out of the teen market and step up into the world of women. It was also known that she was chomping at the bit for all the perks that came with it—front row seats at couture shows in Paris and Milan, invites to premieres—all the things about the position that had ceased to impress me long ago. I actually didn't know how Stepfordish she and Ellen were, but I knew Bryce—she had written a few stories for me in the early days of Jill—and she wasn't very Stepfordish at all. But Bryce wasn't known for having a strong personality—or voice—whichg was surely appealing to Ellen. After dealing with me, Ellen probably wanted someone as malleable as possible for the position. That made me feel a little sorry for Bryce. She probably thought she had a real opportunity to make her mark; instead, she was more likely to be used as a puppet.

I had heard about Bryce's appointment through the grapevine. But the rest of the world found out through a series of the lamest ads this side of Peoria. They featured Bryce donning faded jeans and a faded Michael Kors blouse... Even more painful than her trying so hard to appear so cool and approachable, however, was the tagline.

She's Totally Jill! it said, right under her photo.

I kid you not.

Copyright (c) 2007 by Karen Yampolsky. All rights reserved.

Earlier: "Falling Out of Fashion" Part Two