Gossip Girl star and Actress, Blake Lively was recently in Dubai to promote Gucci Premiere at Galleries Lafayette, Dubai Mall. During her trip, I had the opportunity to sit down with the star to talk about Dubai, style, fragrance, and her connection with Gucci. Enjoy the interview below…
How does it feel to be in Dubai, what do you think of the city?
Well, Dubai is beautiful out this window! We made it last night, and we went for diner at Atmosphere, which was amazing, it was so beautiful.
Did you have the chance to try Arabic food yet?
No. But you know, I would love to take a class with a chef, but unfortunately I won’t have time during this trip.
Let’s talk about perfume. What is your favorite element in Gucci Premiere? And why is it your signature fragrance?
I am very picky about my fragrances; so I will always mix a perfume and a cologne. Because I love what a perfume offers, a feminine tone, but the colognes capture more of a masculine smell. Perfumes have a stronger smell, more aggressive and Gucci Premiere has the perfect balance of both. So I have found my signature scent with this one.
How important is fragrance to you?
Scent in general is the most emotional connection you have with memory. Whether it be the fragrance of a loved one or the smell of fresh cut grass in the spring….. It is very emotional. For example, whatever smell you identify with your mum, it is like a superpower. When I left, I just sprayed her perfume on my sweater and I had that with me on the plane; and that is such a powerful thing to have. You can spray the smell of someone else and you are still with them.
Do you use perfume every day?
I do wear it every day.
I am sure a lot of big brands had approached you; so what is it about this fragrance you really wanted to put your name on? Was it a collaboration with Frida Giannini?
It was more about the brand. Gucci represents the woman that I was always looked up to. They tend to represent the empowered side of a woman. They don’t highlight the softest side much. They capture everything I want to be as a woman. What made the difference above anything else is Frida Giannini herself. How influencial she is; the fact that she had always given the women a voice, a way to express themselves. Her designs, her fragrances…she is involved in everything, every single element.
How did she approach you to be the face of Gucci Premiere?
It was a kind of surprise for me. I did not know anything at all about all this, but when they asked me to be part of the family, it was an immediate YES!
And what do you think are the characteristics of Gucci? What makes a Gucci girl?
It is that masculinity, empowerment, and also that femininity and sensuality.That kind of Bohemian angle Gucci represents. And there is also the “Glamazon” girl. That is what we tried to do in the commercial actually: gold and shiny… But whatever Gucci outfit you wear, you can feel strength.
Do you remember the first time you heard the news that you had been chosen to be a Gucci girl?
Yes. It was surreal. I did not believe it at first. I was afraid to wake up. It was very exciting. The whole process has been amazing. Frida Giannini cares so much about arts, and you look about what she has fulfilled for film preservations, you look at the directors she hires for her commercials…. It is an honor to be part of all that, to be part of that campaign.
Today you are sparkling… is that the real you or is it the person who is doing her job for the Gucci campaign? Or are you somewhere in between?
I am very private. I am very shy by nature, which is strange because of my profession which is very public. If I was not in that position I would wear a more sparkling outfit in New York City; but I have the tendency of cover up a little bit more because of my life. But when I am walking around my house, I just love to dress up!
Have you ever tried oriental smells or Arabic ones? What do you think about those perfumes?
I don’t know. I have never been specific with…you know…the smell of this region. What I like is the mystery of a fragrance, because for me, your scent should be as complex as you are. So I would never identify a certain note or a certain region in a smell.
Fragrances aside, what is your favorite smell?
Cookies. Fresh cookies, that is a pretty good smell.
What is your favorite red carpet moment?
I don’t know if there is one. Maybe the Met Ball every year. It’s the only event that celebrates fashion, whether is the History of it or the iconic of it. That is a really great event, because people often on the red carpet are only concerned by the photo pauses, whether during that event people are very brave. It is always fun to see the fashion there. So every year I have been there I have enjoyed it.
Do you have any new advice for 2014? Or new beauty secrets that you would like to share with us?
I don’t know….My routine is the same as it has always been. Moisturizing with SPF is number one. I have grown up in California where being tanned is popular…but now you can find a great bronzer that gives you the same glow.
Any discovery products? Natural recipes that you use for your hair, your face?
Skin Perfection is a really good moisturizer because it reduces your pores, which is nice. Even if you are not worried about wrinkles, if you are still young, it is always a good product. I think coconut oil in your hair is a great thing to do before you wash it. It preserves the softness of your hair.
What is the best tip you have picked up from the industry? What is the ONE product that you do not want to live without?
It is a thing that you don’t want to try at home! When the make up artists want to curl your eyelashes, they use a spoon and their thumb. Do not try it you will end up without eyelashes. It is a hard thing to ask, you know, because when you are working with the best people, they are really artists. So I think it is just finding the things in your face that you want to accentuate rather than painting something on your face.
You mentioned you do not have a stylist; how do you choose your outfits?
People make a big fuss about it. I don’t know why! I understand that it can be a full time job and a lot of efforts, but I love it so much that I find the time to do it myself. It is a direct expression of yourself, so I don’t know…I just get dressed like everyone else.
How would you describe your character in three words?
I don’t think I can do it. The things that in my life are the most important are my family and food. I don’t know…if I had to choose one key word in my life that would be significant, that would be family.
You travel so much, so even on a trip like this one, what are the things that you never leave home?
I used to pack a lot of things because I thought I needed everything. When I am traveling I always want to bring a piece of my journey home with me; so it is better to bring less and just go shopping…
Whose career in front of the camera do you most admire? Or inspired you to be like?
I don’t know. I don’t really remember me looking at people’s career… If I had to pick one I would say Gene Kelly! Yes; he must have had a really fun time.
What is in store for you in 2014?
I am going to start a movie called “Agent out of line”, which I am very excited about because I am going to explore every decade fashion from the Nineties till now. The costumes are the most beautiful costumes I had never seen.
What do think you will tell your friends about Dubai?
I wish I could have gone to a cooking class. That is the way I am able to describe a culture. When I take back spices or ingredients from places all around the world; you can experience it instead of watching it.
As a Californian girl, how are you with the cold?
I thought I really liked the cold because you can always layer up; but I hate it!