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September 26, 2023


The Glitter Pen Gazette

Hello! My name is Shelly Ray. I’m a marketing grad living my sweetest life in The Peach State! My passion for nostalgia, writing, style, and marketing came together to create my TikTok page, Glitter Pen Perspective. In my weekly Nostalchicks Blog, “The Glitter Pen Gazette”, let’s explore a realm where sparkle meets retrospective.

Picture this: It’s 2004, and you’re a small-town tween with big city dreams, itching for adventure, romance, and a dose of fashion and culture. So, on a chill Saturday night, you find yourself at your favorite video rental spot, strolling up and down the aisles in search of the perfect flick to live vicariously through. Then, out of the blue, you spot an entire section of glossy VHS covers featuring two golden-blonde teen queens jet-setting around the world. It’s as if you’ve stumbled upon a secret passageway to a world of travel and style


Mary-Kate and Ashley were practically the OG influencers of their time. Just as today’s influencers circle the globe to exotic destinations and craft beautiful outfits for the ‘gram, the Olsen twins took us on aesthetically pleasing destination adventures throughout their filmography, sparking wanderlust within us before hashtags were even a thing. During their direct-to-video glory days, the twins whisked us away to Paris, Sydney, London, The Bahamas, and Rome…and that’s just naming a few.

What makes these five on-location movies stand out in a sea of teen travel films is brilliant costume design, a result of the creative collaboration between Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, and their personal stylist, Judy Swartz. It’s no secret that the twins became some of the youngest producers in Hollywood, granting them creative freedom in their films. This artistic freedom allowed them to put their designing and styling expertise to the test. They obviously passed the test with flying colors as we all know that this is the profession they continue to flourish within to this day (AKA: The Row, of course!). When revisiting these films, it’s highly impressive that each destination film paints a cohesive style palette, complete with its own color scheme, seasonal flair, and aesthetic that perfectly matches every city they visit. You’re invited to dive into these film style profiles, one city at a time


“Passport to Paris” (1999) is basically every tween’s ultimate spring break fantasy. Picture a wardrobe bursting with a color palette straight out of a macaron box—think rose-colored pink, robin egg blue, and lady-like lavender. This perfect Parisian daydream serves up the crème de la crème of late ’90s trends, featuring capri pants, slip dresses, bandanas, peasant tops, butterfly hair clips, platform wedges, and choker necklaces that practically steal the show. These staples blend together like the ultimate 1990s shopping spree, combining all your favorite tween mall must-haves from Limited Too, Claire’s, and Delia’s. The wardrobe is the perfect balance between sweet girlhood styles with a touch of sophisticated European flair. I mean, is there a better way to dress while eating McDonald’s and gazing at the Arc de Triomphe? I think NOT

Sydney, Australia

In “Our Lips Are Sealed” (2000), Mary-Kate and Ashley bring a zany charm to the screen, making it one of their quirkiest classics. While they may have joined the Witness Protection Program, their fashion sense was anything but undercover. This film serves up starburst colored visual flair with a kaleidoscope of retro-meets-modern styles. The twins consistently rock hibiscus print swimwear paired with matching sarongs, giving off the “best dressed girl at the surf content” vibe. Their flipped-out bobs complete with vintage headbands give them the perfect Polly Pocket doll aesthetic. Their playful eccentricity shines through with colorful tinted sunglasses and handcrafted jewelry. When it’s time to party, they slip into mod-inspired dresses that wouldn’t look out of place at a swinging ’60s shindig. “Our Lips Are Sealed” is a must-see for fashion enthusiasts looking for a burst of colorful inspiration

London, England

As autumn approaches, “Winning London” (2001) is like slipping into your coziest cashmere sweater for a day of errands that consist of visiting your favorite bookstore and coffee house! This particular styling feels as if it’s directly from a fall/winter Burberry runway show, with a youthful twist that appeals to the star’s tween demographic. What’s even more fun is how it embraces English motifs, giving us playful nods to the swinging ’60s, proper equestrian apparel, and chic James Bond spy ware. The Olsen twins master the art of blending jewel-toned trendiness and seasonal comfort stables with funky printed pants, classic riding boots, timeless trench coats, plaid midi skirts, adorable bucket hats, snug turtlenecks, and cozy wool scarves. Watching them, you’d swear they raided the closets of a young Kate and Pippa Middleton. Who knew Model UN could look this chic?


“Holiday in the Sun” (2001) is a more relaxed, no-fuss, easy-breezy take on the Sisters’ style. But trust us, that’s a good thing because they’re soaking up the sun in the Bahamas, and who wants to be bogged down by fussy fashion in paradise? The laid-back styling in this movie feels like tossing all your favorite summer outfits into a suitcase and hoping for the best. And as we know in Mary-Kate and Ashley’s world, it always turns out to be the best. This film offers a wardrobe that even the average teen viewer could easily replicate, reflecting the styles from the twins’ popular clothing line available at Walmart. You’ll spot tube tops, cut-off shorts, bikinis, turquoise jewelry, terrycloth, platform flip-flops, and a killer tan for those carefree beach days. And when it’s time for feuding with Megan Fox over a hottie at a teen night club, the girls effortlessly switch to chic halters, low-rise jeans, and breezy resort dresses that’ll make you wish you were joining their Bahamian adventure


Just a year before Lizzie McGuire’s Roman adventure, our dynamic duo beat her to the punch in “When In Rome” (2002). In this movie, the sisters are styled in a contemporary twist of business casual wear as they take on the roles of summer interns at a prestigious Italian fashion house. The girls are growing up, and their wardrobe reflects the newfound maturity, all while keeping things effortlessly trendy for their tween viewers. You’ll notice a dash of wardrobe inspiration from the classic film “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn, setting the stage for the twins’ budding obsession with boho-chic, especially Mary-Kate. Picture them rocking pin-stripe blouses, tailored button-downs, flowy maxi skirts, structured denim jackets, crocheted ponchos, vintage bomber jackets, and tying it all together with cool and casual Converse kicks. With the combined style influence of Lizzie M, Audrey H, and the Olsen twins, we’re ready for breezy Vespa rides and tossing our wishes into the Trevi Fountain.


From the enchanting streets of Paris to the sun-drenched shores of Sydney, MK and Ash have taken us on a whirlwind world tour where every corner becomes their runway. They’ve gifted us with a treasure trove of fashion dreams and a suitcase brimming with nostalgia. So, the next time you’re craving a dose of fashion and adventure, don’t forget to pop one of their iconic movies into your trusty VCR (or stream it, if you must) and let the Olsen twins be your jet-setting guides through a world of fashion and fun.

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