Thursday, 21 July 2011

Coffee Table Books: Influence by Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

I adore coffee table books; I read passages, gaze at images, put them down, and return to them time and again. For me, they are a vast source of inspiration and I am forever on the look out for a new one. I do have a few which I rate most beloved and they generally cover fashion and style, interiors, music and food. Over the course of Novateur I will blog about the books I keep in my personal collection and review new ones as I add to my stash. There will be a link at the end telling you where you can buy each book.
So, lets get started...

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

My boyfriend bought me this book for my last birthday and it exceeded all my expectations and then some.

I love the Olsens and find their style inspirational. I love The Row, I love Elizabeth and James, I love their sister Elizabeth and yes, I'll even admit it, I loved Two of a Kind. However, the first and most notable point I shall make is that this book is not so much about them. Through insightful interviews with inspiring artists and spectacular imagery Mary-Kate and Ashley explain quite simply who, you guessed it, influence them.

This really is a true fashionistas book; the interviews cover movers and shakers in fashion, art, photography and interior design. The articles and interviews are in-depth and honest and the twins guide us on a private tour through each artistic world. Prior to each interview Mary-Kate & Ashley divulge how they discovered the artists work, why it inspires them and what they have taken from it. Their love for each artist is completely unpretentious and you really believe they are in awe of their work. They go on to reveal how this love, their knowledge and their interest in these people has transpired into real friendships and the pages are littered with personal photographs.

Visually the book is sensational and crammed with eye candy. You’ll find sketches, personal Polaroids and stunning fashion photography. It's the sort of book you can look through over and over which makes it the perfect companion for your coffee table.

Mary-Kate's shoes

Of course there are parts on Mary-Kate and Ashley, but not as many as you would have expected. As well as interviewing people who they’ve been influenced by, they also interview themselves; allowing us to hear their inner thoughts through open and honest answers. They discuss their childhood, their love and admiration for one another and what they have learnt from each other as sisters and as business partners. They discuss their work ethic and explain how they apply themselves to their creativity. Furthermore each twin has made an image collage of their various passions and added narration to navigate the reader. 
This section is great but is by no means the body of the book, although I’m sure it keeps the super-fans happy who will be more than pleased with this rare and candid openness.

Overall this book is marvellous and top of my list of coffee table favourites. It’s sort of like a dream blog; if you turned the pages into blog posts it would be the most interesting read on the net. I also liked Mary-Kate and Ashley even more after reading this and their genuine passion for the arts shines throughout. You believe they let this passion into every aspect of their lives and not just through how they dress. Even if you aren’t an Olsen fan, I would still recommend as the interviews and images are enough to illuminate the eyes of any fashionista and I can assure that you will be overflowing with ideas and inspiration after reading this book.
A real must have...

You can buy Influence at Amazon

Images: Influence