April 21 2014

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74 posts tagged "Dolce & Gabbana"

David Gandy: Loyal to His Fragrance…and His BlackBerry



David Gandy was voted one of the world’s sexiest men by not one, but two British women’s magazine’s last year (Glamour and Cosmopolitan). He’s also ranked second on Forbes’ list of top-earning male models. When I sat down with the gent from Essex to talk fragrance (specifically Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue, for which he is the face and body), I was surprised at how dually down-to-earth and driven the man behind the muscle actually is. He strives to be on par with female supermodels, but he isn’t afraid to “flop like a seal” at a photo shoot with Bianca Balti and Mario Testino. Here, his thoughts on scent and why he’ll never fully embrace the iPhone.

You changed men’s modeling and helped designers embrace a more muscular physique. How do you feel about altering the face of an industry?
It’s an honor that people say that, but you can’t really put it down on just me. It was the genius of Dolce & Gabbana and Mario Testino—they came up with that concept of going against form in the modeling industry. Once a trend works, they all follow. [The campaign] worked for Light Blue, so everyone else—from Armani to Calvin Klein—all tried to copy the same thing. So yes, it has changed a lot. I really kind of hope I paved the way for guys, not just as using a more masculine man…but really competing with the female supermodels and not being complacent with or satisfied with what we have. Women are being paid so much more and they have so much more acclaim as female models. I was like, “Why is this?” The men usually don’t take it as serious as the women and they don’t have a business mind. We can compete with them; we can brand ourselves; we can be the ambassadors for [labels] instead of just modeling for them. In that way I hope I have changed [the industry].

You shot with three different models thus far for various Light Blue campaigns. How does the dynamic change on set, and is there a Light Blue woman who stands out as your favorite?
A favorite—I can’t possibly say. First of all, when we did the Light Blue with the first girl [Marija Vujović], we didn’t know the impact it was going to have. It was all very new and we didn’t know each other. Then we shot the second one with Anna [Jagodzińska] and had big shoes to fill. We got on very well, had a great laugh, and the second one was probably the most fun. Now, with Bianca [Balti], the dynamic has slightly changed. In the first two [campaigns], I was the domineering Mediterranean man, and in this one, she’s the Mediterranean Latin woman—she’s more domineering of me. The shoot with Bianca—she’s so lovely to work with—but she is the definition of that Latin Mediterranean woman. She is the one who fits the mold best.

Which Dolce & Gabbana fragrance is your favorite on a woman?
You are going to think this is so cliché, but actually I still love the women’s Light Blue. It’s just a classic fragrance. When [I] first started negotiating with Dolce & Gabbana and they said it was for a fragrance with P&G and we didn’t know what it was, my mom said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if it was Light Blue because that’s the one I use.” It turned out that it was the Light Blue for men. It was such a strange coincidence, but it was one of those coincidences in life that makes you say, “I wonder if that was meant to be?”

So when you smell Light Blue, does it remind you of your mother?
No, it reminds me of the first time we shot, really…Light Blue just takes me back to that first trip to Naples and Capri.

Where do you spray cologne?
I’m probably quite traditional, so around my neck. My girlfriends say that when they wear my clothes, they can smell me, Light Blue.

What about on a woman? Where should a woman spray fragrance—perhaps someplace more risqué than just the pulse points?
Oh, God, I don’t know. That’s for me to know and her to know, I think. A fragrance on a woman is so important to me. There is nothing worse than when you really like someone but can’t stand that fragrance they have. It’s quite weird when you miss someone and you smell that [scent] on someone else—it totally takes you back to that person.

As far as shooting the latest campaign, you said that you are playing the secondary role to a stronger female counterpart, so what was that like?
It was not the easiest shoot because the weather didn’t really play ball, but just standing up on the boat was tricky for both of us because it was so rocky. Even when the weather became beautiful the sea was still quite rough, and that was the first time we’ve had that. It was quite comical; we were in hysterics trying to stand up. You have to look domineering and sexy and everything else, but Bianca was falling all over the place and I was trying to hold her up. Mario was shouting at us to try and look sexy, and try and do this, and try to do that—it was quite funny. On the video [spot for Light Blue], I have to [pull] myself [onto] the boat. If anyone has tried that, [they know] there is not an elegant way of doing it—it’s one of the hardest things to do.

You made it look relatively easy.
Well, after many, many takes. The [raft] was connected to a speedboat, and we were going around and around. Once it would be in position, they shouted, ‘David, go again,’ and I was being absolutely torn to pieces by the sea. I put my arm in [the boat] just so I didn’t have to keep treading water, and then [the director] said to the speedboat, ‘Go!’ My arm was still [attached], so it dragged me off. Everyone was saying, ‘No, David’s connected!’ By that stage, we were laughing so much anyway and Bianca was in hysterics.

How many takes did you need to get that shot?
I didn’t want to hang around too long, but it was probably four or five takes. But you get exhausted after treading water and having to [pull] yourself [onto] the boat. The first time I did it, I looked like a seal—I was sort of flopping on, but [eventually I was able] to do it more eloquently.

Fragrance aside, what is the rest of your beauty regimen like? What are your skincare must-haves?
There isn’t much to it. It went everywhere for some reason when I said in an interview that I use rose oil, but really it’s because I fly so much—you know how it is, it just dehydrates the skin. A makeup artist asked if I ever tried organic rose oil, and I said no, so she put that on my face and it worked wonders. It’s my little secret. Otherwise I just use moisturizer, fragrance, a bit of hair gel, and that’s about it.

What’s your go-to hair gel?
The one at the moment is an Aveda product that’s not even mine. It’s actually my hairstylist’s. He’s got that one and he mostly does the hair—I leave that to him, he’s the expert.

You are traveling so much for your job, so what do you pack? What’s one of your must-haves that you always bring with you?
For some reason, I have a bag of chargers. I don’t know about everyone else, but everything needs to be charged, so I have a separate bag of these chargers that seems to take up half my bag and all the adaptors for them. My Mac goes everywhere with me—that’s probably my one savior with communication, but really, if I could not lose anything, its my BlackBerry. I would rather lose my wallet and my cards than my BlackBerry.

Interesting that you’re a BlackBerry man. You won’t switch to the iPhone?
I love the iPhone, but if they come out with a keyboard I’m there. It takes me about a half hour to type one message with fingers and thumbs. It’s really great for slight hands, but my thumbs cover half the screen. I think I’m going to be one of those people who have two—the BlackBerry and the iPhone—so you have all the apps, you have everything. I have my own iPhone application, that’s the thing; I actually have two of them. But I can just go down the road and use my keyboard and not even look where I’m going and type a message. It’s quite amazing in the fashion industry how so many people still have BlackBerrys. I mean, we are on the forefront of design and trends, and everyone comes in and gets their sneaky little BlackBerry out—it’s still old school.

I like a guy who appreciates the classics.

dolce and gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana Is in Full Bloom


dolce-cropThe styles Guido Palau crafted at Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2014 show were literal treasure troves of leaves, flowers, jewels, and antique-like coins. For the designers’ Alta Moda couture collection, however, the hair accouterments have blossomed. Model Samantha Gradoville snapped this photo from backstage with fellow catwalker Maud Welzen. The flora appears to be crafted out of fabric—meaning these headpieces are guaranteed to last longer than your standard bouquet.

Photo: Instagram

Flashback Friday: Crowning Glory


hair-accessoriesFlashback Friday is a feature on Beauty Counter in which we pore over the pages of our favorite glossies from decades past in search of a little modern-day makeup and hair inspiration.

The Model: Laetitia Firmin-Didot

The Moment: Bold Baubles

The Motivation: There was many a gem on the Spring 2014 runways—and we’re not talking about your standard bangle or statement necklace. The soft, braided updos at Dolce & Gabbana were laden with treasures, ranging from leaves to antiquelike gold coins. Jason Wu got in on the action with rose gold barrettes, while a sprinkling of iridescent flowers decorated ponytails at Honor. And it’s not just this season that we saw various accessories affixed to models’ heads: For Fall 2013, Rodarte offered up barbed-wire headbands, Meadham Kirchhoff embraced diamante barrettes, and Dolce & Gabbana once again sent out a bevy of luxurious crowns (this time inspired by the Byzantine Empire). While we don’t suggest you head to work wearing a tiara, we do encourage the use of a few choice jewels—such as the subtle yet elegant choices in this image, shot by Neil Kirk for British Vogue.

Photo: Neil Kirk for British Vogue, July 1987, courtesy of

Put the Pedal to the Metal



New York City looked like the quintessential Christmas card today. Although Hallmark tends to leave out the cranky Manhattanites that find those fluffy flakes more of a pain (think: wet hair, drenched pant hems, and traffic) than a pleasure. But nonetheless, the snow served as a reminder that the holidays are right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you have yet to start shopping. For those left on your list, consider these designer fragrances that recall one of my favorite scenes from the 1964 stop-motion classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, in which the snowman (Burl Ives) sings a lovely rendition of “Silver and Gold.”

Marni Metallic is particularly precious, as there are only 300 limited-edition bottles being sold (well, 299 if you consider that Consuelo Castiglioni is keeping #1). Hand-painted with a lacquered red cap that recalls the Bakelite used to make the house’s signature jewelry, this eau is a festive addition to any woman’s vanity table. The scent inside is the same as the original: a warm blend of bergamot, cinnamon, ginger, and cedar notes.

The pair of platinum- and gold-clad fragrances from Dolce & Gabbana is a luxe way, as the old adage goes, to kill two birds with one stone. In other words, checking off mom and dad, or newlywed friends, can be done in one fell swoop. The One for Women is an oriental floral that combines sweet peach and lychee with heady musk and amber, while the men’s counterpart (silver) features zesty grapefruit and coriander, along with cardamom and tobacco.

As the snowman says, “Everyone wishes for silver and gold,” so one of these bottles should have even the hard-to-buy-for people in your life covered.

Marni Metallic Eau de Parfum, $255,; Dolce & Gabbana The One Limited Edition Collection, $108 (for women), $82 (for men),

Elegant Excess


dolce“It’s not about doing fantastical hair anymore—it’s about simple parts and color,” said Guido Palau about the trend for Spring 2014 at an industry event last night. But there was one exception to the rule, he explained: Dolce & Gabbana. It was there that romance and Romanesque updos reigned supreme—adorning them with everything from almond tree blossoms to antique coins. The final look, he described, is “all the things a girl wants to be at some point.” When the models finally hit the runway to music by Nino Rota from various Frederico Fellini films, and blush-colored petals gently cascaded down from the ceiling in the background, it was, in a word, enchanting.

For all the behind-the-scenes beauty details, read this month’s Backstage Confidential.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo/