Saturday, November 22, 2008

You Got it Dude! A Mary-Kate and Ashley Book Review?

It’s not a follow up book to an Olsen twin mystery series, nor is it an official biography of the twins. Mary-Kate and Ashley do not center their new book Influence on themselves really at all. So, what would the twins even talk about? I was expecting a fashion diary when I picked up the coffee table book, maybe Paris Hilton-esque, describing what they wore to a certain movie premiere or what Mary-Kate’s wardrobe included on her last date with Heath Ledger.
I was very wrong. Influence is chalk full of interview with artists, photographers and fashion designers. If you had the desire to read up on Uncle Jesse, you got it all wrong, mister! The Olsens interview people who have influenced them the most through out their lives (Bob Saget not included).
You will not find interviews with the most common names in fashion like Marc Jacobs or Stella McCartney. You will however, learn names like Francisco Costa and Karl Lagerfeld. Mary-Kate and Ashley let you in on the incredible minds of art and fashion that do not receive much public attention.
I was surprised to learn the Olsens are excellent interviewers. They do not ask silly, nonsensical questions; rather, their inquiry skills are in-depth and revealing. Several pages are dedicated to each designer, with interviews and photography to go along. Later on in the book the Olsens interview each other, and more pictures of them spring about the pages, showing off their influencers’ work.
It’s refreshing to see The Olsen twins, who have been in the media since they were babies, make a book that shows a different side. It gives a new perspective of their lives instead of the tabloid fodder that surrounds them. Instead of making a reality television show on MTV about finding their new BFF, Mary-Kate and Ashley exceed expectations with Influence.
I recommend the book to the Michelle Tanner generation and the fashion forward. It is a great conversation piece when friends come over and ask why I would have a Mary-Kate and Ashley book. Then they start reading and find that their expectations of the book were mistaken, and the twins actually have a little something to say.

-Caitlin Tadlock, Arts and Pop Culture Editor

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