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Images from a backstage past

Sharon Socol spent eight years attending parties as the wife of a high-fashion CEO. She shot a book's worth of photographs as a fly on the wall at posh events, and published them in "Plus One: An Outsider's Photographic Journey Into the World of Fashion."

Her first book is a collection of Fashion Week images from times out with her husband, Howard, who from 2001 to 2008 was the top executive at Barneys New York. Her monochromes of waifish models primping, waiting backstage in a herd looking forlorn, and posing for behind-the-scenes photos depict the New York fashion scene without its affected pomp. The images betray her fascination with a world she may have not understood.

Now a Coral Gables resident, Socol is far from glam as a founding member of the Casa Valentina shelter for girls leaving foster care. She also runs a photography and creative-writing program for foster children called Photographing Ourselves. Its goal is to give at-risk kids self-awareness, although Socol was just the "plus one" on invitations during her near-decade in fashion.

Sharon Socol will sign copies of "Plus One" 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at Books and Books, 9700 Collins Ave., in Bar Harbour. Admission is free. The book costs $60 at

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