ELLE chats to Kristen Stewart about being the face of Balenciaga’s new fragrance, Rosabotanica.
How would you describe the shoot?
KS: I always felt like there was this sense of discovery in these pictures especially looking back on them. It was like you have this girl dropped in a very unknown place; and to see her struggle to survive and find herself, who she really is, is interesting. It looks like some vines are starting to grow into her and they are becoming a part of her and she is clearly very comfortable, owning it more. It’s not disarmed, it’s rather the opposite; it’s a little more assertive.
When you were on set were you shooting?
KS: In this particular case? The first few photos for the first campaign were all very frontal and full, you could see my entire face. I wasn’t hiding behind anything really. Now this shoot is sort of a little bit more subtle. It’s over the shoulder, it’s like whoa. I’ve been here in my own world for so long now, who is looking at me? It’s sort of, I don’t want to say aggressive, but it’s like what? Bring it on.
Was this shoot more comfortable than the last shoot?
KS: I mean I liked both. You couldn’t start here – you have to start at the beginning. So it’s interesting to see where it went.
How did you prepare for this shoot? Or do you just go with the flow?
KS: In this case I went with it. I do very much trust who we are working with and I didn’t really know what we were going to do exactly until I got here, which I like. I like being able to navigate through something. In this case there wasn’t too much preparation to be honest. What I like about this is I didn’t have to turn into a different person necessarily. The point was to capture something natural, and with Craig that’s easy.
What’s it like working with Craig McDean?
KS: Great. I’ve worked with him once before. It’s funny, I tend to say the same thing about photographers that I really love working with, but if you ever feel like you’re forcing something, or trying to get the shot, suddenly it’s not fun anymore. I think Craig never lets that happen. It always kind of falls off the truck and Craig is always able to pick it up and polish it and make it a really beautiful thing. You look back and go how did that happen? We’ve just been here for five minutes! He can capture a moment rather than trying to orchestrate something and build it and force it.
Did you like your makeup?
KS: Yeah – I never really think too much about that. I was like so strong eye, lip, what are we going to do today? I’m like yeah whatever you want! It’s good because it’s very much in keeping with the story. The first one was very fresh. It was really clean, bare and in your face. With this one it’s a little bit more lived in a smoky.
What is your personal style and how do you define it? What do you have to say about that?
KS: It’s not something I have to try too hard to do. I have to try hard to answer questions like this. How do you define cool, which is very up in the air. When someone is in their own body, you can feel it in your bones that you like yourself. It’s not about being arrogant – like oh I think I look really great. But if you feel less than great it shows. Don’t try so hard- really simple. It’s sort of the most cliché thing I can say, but you just sort of need to be yourself and go with it.
Do you define your style that way? What do you think is beautiful?
KS: Typically I think people are attracted to – not confidence, but the idea when you don’t question yourself, when it’s clear you’re not worried about what you’re thinking. It’s a curiosity – when everything’s not completely on the surface. You wonder what elements come together to make that. I don’t understand the equation.
Let’s talk about the fragrance – how would you describe the smell?
KS: It’s funny because in my head, the way I respond to both scents is almost kind of the reverse story line because in the first one there was a heat to it. It’s almost like the flowers they chose were crammed together and didn’t necessarily want to get along. It was good – there was a warmth to it. And this one is lighter. It’s a cooler scent. I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t know if it necessarily smells like a rose but it seems a bit fresher. They are both natural which is what I like. It doesn’t smell synthetic. This one is lighter, it’s fresher.
So you’re in this magical but strange garden, should I assume you garden? Do you have a garden? Do you have time to garden?
KS: No – I don’t have a garden. I would like to have a garden. I would like to have an herb garden. I don’t have one of those yet. I could really make good use of that. At this point I haven’t been home enough.
Do you have a favourite flower(s)?
KS: I think the gardenia is my favourite flower. It is my favourite smell. I love it. I don’t think I can identify any other flower scents, but that one I know that one.
Rosabotanica Balenciaga is available exclusively in Stuttafords for R1155 for 50ml.