There’s a lot to love about the April issue of Vogue. First, we have the long-awaited cover story of flame-haired Rihanna, shot by Annie Leibovitz. There’s also a heartfelt and quite candid editor’s letter penned by Anna Wintour, dedicated to Grace Coddington in honor of the creative director’s 70th birthday. “Grace is always thinking about the human being at the core of the photograph,” Wintour writes. Perhaps our favorite feature of this issue is the fresh profile on pint-sized moguls and 2011 CFDA Award nominees, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Here are some choice quotes from the piece.
On their success in the fashion industry sans a design degree: “[The Olsen-managed $1 billion company] Dualstar started when we were six. And we had a collection with Walmart at twelve, which was the upper tier of the tween market. It was before celebrity designers.” – Ashley
On having super twin powers: “Some of our memories are shared. We don’t know what actually happened to whom. One of was stung by a bee, but we can’t remember who, because we both felt it.” – Mary-Kate
On growing out of their child star roots: “I am so proud of what we did. We made kids smile every day. But we had done the most we could.” – Ashley
On ditching LA for NYC: “The press here in New York respect you more. It was the worst in Los Angeles when we got out license. They would follow us. They knew where we lived. And you don’t know who these people are. People just out of jail.” – Ashley
On the perks of being an Olsen’s friend: “I couldn’t believe what they did when I texted in a panic about having nothing to wear for my audition for Gatsby. I was hoping they’ve send me some things from The Row, but then these huge boxes arrived—Ashley’s entire collection of thirties vintage dresses.” – Carey Mulligan
On developing their signature style: “We had our observations about fashion changing, when it went from being so eighties to the slipdress and the dark lip. We’d see students coming back from college in grunge. And then Lori Loughlin [of Full House] had all this great Donna Karan.” – Mary-Kate
On their ambitious future in fashion and beyond: “The thing about us is we think big. Huge.” – Mary-Kate
The Resort 2011 collection of the Olsen twins’ The Row clothing line maintains a focus on top-quality fit and fabrics. Fans of the line will find designs that feature drapery on a modern ankle-length black dress or flowing floor-length white frock. Transforming basic types of tops and trousers, their clothing this season continues to be menswear-inspired, with oxford blouses buttoned up to the neck, collared shirts peeking out from slouchy heather gray sweaters, and matching blue tweed pantsuits of tightly fitted mini blazers paired with low-slung pants that hit at the ankle. The overall influence of the collection is a bit of business-wear formal with a hint of comfy, easygoing ’90s grunge.
Shop The Row here.
● Mary-Kate Olsen says she “would never wish my upbringing on anyone,” calling herself and sister Ashley “little monkey performers.” You got it, dude! [HuffPo] ● Heidi Montag, who recently filed for divorce, is now spending time watching old episodes of The Hills, tweeting at her ex-friends, and doubtlessly drying her tears with dollar bills. [TV Watch] ● Both Jennifer Aniston and Julie Roberts are channeling Barbra Streisand in new magazine photoshoots, leading many to wonder, “Who wore it better?” and just about everyone to wonder, “Why?” [Celebuzz]
● Nearly all of Emma Watson’s hair is gone after a mysterious wand accident. But really, what kind of hippie institution are they running at this “Brown University”? [MTV] ● Rosie O’Donnell will return to television with a show on Oprah’s new OWN network, as the pair work to restore themselves to ’90s greatness, hopefully by getting matching perms. [Vulture] ● John Goodman lost 100 pounds. He quit drinking and someone finally told him he was no longer on Roseanne. [People]
So the “no pants” trend has been making waves for what feels like a full fashion lifetime. But, thanks to the new Olsens lookbook for The Row, there’s a new garment-less trend: no shirts. In an aboriginal-themed shoot, Mary-Kate and Ashley showcase SS10 wares from their higher-priced fashion line (Elizabeth & James retails at a slightly cheaper price point). Included in the mix: light-wash boyfriend jeans (a dead ringer for vintage Levi’s), silk slip dresses, leather shorts, a sheer black mumu of which Stevie Nicks would surely approve, and black satin as blouses and a trench coat. Also included: sunglasses from the Olsen’s premiere optics line, which likewise debuts in spring.
There’s also a Rick Owens-esque thin white leather jacket, as well as a box-cut double-breasted khaki blazer paired with slim-fitting cuffed shorts. (Coutorture has a full gallery of the look book here.) The line is chock-full of luxe basics that will cost a pretty penny. But with spot-on silhouettes and a knack for keeping things simple yet elegant, The Row is bound to continue winning over critics as it has been for seasons. As for paint in place of actual clothing, I’m not so sure …
Project Runway alumnus (who will soon be returning to the tube via a new Valentino-esque reality series) Christian Siriano is just shy of the debut of his second collection for Payless. But the photos of his labor hit the web yesterday, promising quite a few very cute, very, very cheap styles for the line’s launch in time for the holiday season. Styles include “two pair of flats with zippers on the toes, two boots with gold zipper details, and a pair of black and gold pumps and shiny black strappy sandals, both with little gold zippers up the backs,” says Racked. All heels come in an attractive upside-down cone shape and are decidedly more demure than the talon-like shoes that made their way down Siriano’s well-received SS10 catwalk. The best part: “nothing’s more than $49.99.”
In other cheap shoe news, Steve Madden will be doing shoes for Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s soon-to-debut tween line for J.C. Penny, Olsenboye. But, unlike the clothes the Olsens have designed for the collection, donning Madden’s shoes for Olsenboye won’t require being in middle school. Choose from combat-inspired boots and ruffled platforms come November 6, or wait until the second shipment in February (which will include gladiator sandals and studded sandals). With nothing over $100, the styles follow suit with Siriano’s pleasantly priced wares for Payless. With Jimmy Choo x H&M launching very soon, FW09 is fast becoming the season for discount designer shoes.
Spring 2010 is the season to launch a sunglasses line. That is, if you’re Alexander Wang, the Olsen twins, or Diane Von Furstenberg. While Wang showcased his premiere line of specs on his football-inspired SS10 runway at New York Fashion Week; the Olsens just released images of their soon-to-debut sunglasses, which they created in collaboration with seasoned design house Linda Farrow. Now DVF is adding the accessory into the brand’s repertoire for spring. Even though images have yet to surface, the company’s Facebook page confirms that the designer (who was recently mugged in Madrid, but fortunately ended up safe and sound) is thisclose to her eponymous eyewear launch: “Just wrapped our eyewear shoot … stay tuned for behind the scenes photos (and the eyewear launch in November!).”
Meanwhile, Barneys New York is serving up a new line of eyewear as well: specifically a style of glasses inspired by the legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. One-half of the brother team behind such iconic films as Salesman, Grey Gardens, and Gimme Shelter, Maysles is never without his thick-rimmed black glasses. Barneys and California-based glasses company Barton Perreira have teamed up to reproduce a limited collection of the director’s favorite accessory. “The Madison Avenue store will host an event for Maysles on Nov. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.,” where fans of the filmmaker can pay tribute to the director and/or scoop up specs in his honor (which will retail starting at $350).
● Is Lindsay Lohan picking over Sienna Miller’s sloppy seconds? Lindsay was evidently late to her court appearance last week because she was making out with Balthazar Getty at a club till the wee hours of the morning. [Dose] ● Blue Bloods, the vampire TV vehicle Mary-Kate Olsen was to star in for the CW, was not picked up because it was too similar to Gossip Girl. Er, OK. [Limelife] ● K2 Productions, which directs the Miss California USA pageant, is suing Carrie Prejean to get their breast implants back — or at least the $5,200 they paid for them. [E!]
● Could Whitney Port be coming back to The Hills to be closer to rumored new beau Leonardo DiCaprio? This seems highly unlikely, but it’s fun to ponder a reality where this could exist. [Socialitelife] ● Ladies and some gentlemen in Asia are requesting Angelina Jolie tattoos — not of the actress herself, but replicas of the many tattoos that adorn her body. [AllNewsWeb] ● Zooey Deschanel will guest star on sister Emily’s show Bones, possibly playing her cousin. [E!]
Despite accolades for her fashion work, the tabloids haven’t been kind to Mary-Kate Olsen. To be fair, they’re not really kind to anyone, but they’ve been especially cruel to her. It’s almost as if they want to push her back over the edge into full-blown anorexia so they can do another eight months of “Scary Skinny” coverage and speculate about how low her weight has dropped this time around.
Headlines like “Bye-bye, billion dollar looks, hello bloat!” from the, uh, illustrious Star are no less damaging than handing a syringe full of dope to a newly sober person and saying, “Kudos on the whole sobriety thing, but you were just so much for fun, witty and attractive when you were blitzed out of your mind.” And PS — she’s not even big, or bloated, or whatever demoralizing adjective they’ve come up with to taunt her back to the dark side of self-starvation.
It’s like the tabloids are one giant glossy Jewish mother. You’re just never good enough, you’re either too fat or too thin. Like when I was a scrawny high-schooler and my Nana, now dearly departed, made the point in all seriousness that no boys were ever going to like me with my “skinny little chicken legs.” Well, I definitely went about proving her wrong, and then moved on to college where I promptly gained the mythic Freshman Fifteen along with the rest of my peers. And can’t you just guess what my family’s reaction was to that? This time it was Grandpa who took it upon himself to take me out to lunch (for good Jewish pastrami, of course) to inform me that I had needed to gain a little weight, but that I’d taken it a little too far, and I definitely shouldn’t gain anymore. Oy Vey.
I obviously didn’t finish my sandwich that day at lunch with Grandpa, and I have a sinking feeling that Mary-Kate won’t be finishing very many sandwiches herself after reading about how “bloated” she looks. Honey: eat the sammie. Everyone else can go to hell.
Style pieces surrounding the Olsen twins’ often inimitable aesthetic are a dime a dozen. But in recent history, few editors have taken it upon themselves to look at the millionaire actress-turned-entrepreneur twins’ two separate clothing lines — The Row and Elizabeth & James — through a thoughtful and critical lens. This is exactly the reason Cathy Horyn’s new in-depth profile of the design duo comes as such as surprise. But designers they are (Mary Kate and Ashley were recently inducted into the CFDA), and, in terms of sales, they have proven a sartorial success story.
According to Horyn, the magic happens in a surprisingly well-worn two-room studio on 38th Street in Manhattan. The fruits of their labors are undeniable — offering luxurious basics right before, during, and (one hopes) after the recession has proven an ideal approach. “‘Perfect’ was also the word that Julie Gilhart, the fashion director of Barneys New York, used to describe the Olsens’ timing.” And, to their credit, the Olsens seem to have perfected the celebrity-turned-designer transition. So how did they do it? “The customer who buys the clothes almost never knows we’re involved,” muses Ashley. Half of Hollywood should be taking notes.