Hands up if you are just a TEENY bit fascinated by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? We have to admit we SO are. At first we thought of them as just another set of American TV stars, whom we’d not grown up watching, yet were foisted upon us, and OF COURSE we don’t admit to liking celebrity fashion lines without a RIGOROUS appraisal of their quality – otherwise its very unfair on those fashion designers we like who took the trouble of going to college for years to learn their craft and working in drafty studios because they can’t afford to pay the gas bill.
However, not only because of their crazy got-dressed-in-a-skip-filled-with-top-end-designer-duds approach to the red carpet, but also because of their label The Row – we’ve begun to take them seriously. We’re not the only ones in the fashion biz who have come round to this way of thinking. The twins are nominated for a CFDA Award this year – the Swarovski Award For Womenswear AND the New York Fashion council are not ones to go around giving away plaudits to celeb designers willy nilly, so they must be doing something right – plus the fact the girls’ various fashion lines earn A LOT of cash.
Here the sibling designers give an insight into their style, both personal and commercial!
On dressing like wealthy bag ladies; ‘That moment for us was us waking up, going to school, and not wanting anyone to take our picture. Kind of a piece of protection.’ And Mary-Kate adds: ‘For me, it was so cold, like the wind chill. How could you not put on 20 things when you’re going from Los Angeles to walking through the snow? . . . I think it was probably that. And laziness.’
On how they come up with the collections; : A: ‘It all starts with the fabrics . . . Then we go into kind of silhouette development, so we start figuring out our silhouettes, what we’re liking, what we’re leaning towards . . .then we start our pattern making off the silhouettes that we’re liking and the consistent themes that we start finding, the shapes. So we start twisting the fabrics and then we start trying different fabrics and patterns. And once we have all the fabrics, we have about three weeks to produce the collection.’ Wow- very technical!
And why you don’t see them smushing onto the front row at Marc Jacobs or Versace next to J-Lo; A: ‘I really don’t like going to runway shows. I don’t like being around a lot of people, I don’t like being in crowds, so that’s another more personal part of it. It’s hard for me . . . MK: ‘We just feel bad for all of you guys who have to schlep everywhere and then write your reviews in the car on a BlackBerry.’ – Aww, thanks Mary Kate!
AND how they felt when they finally decided to take the plunge and join Twitter; A: ‘That gives me so much anxiety.’ MK: ‘We’ve spent our whole lives trying to not let people have that accessibility, so it would go against everything we’ve done in our lives to not be in the public.’
But they did it anyway, and you can follow them too on - http://twitter.com/#!/theolsens although you will notice there’s only one account between the two of them!