Friday, July 12, 2013

StyleXstyle's Interview: David Gandy & Bianca Balti

“The Light Blue Ads are now so famous, but when I filmed that first one back in 2007, I had no idea how big it was going to be.” - David Gandy

The dream-like Mediterranean setting of Capri, the glittering blue water, the seductive gaze between two lovers... it's always the same story, with the same man. But each time, there is a renewed sense of allure.

We're describing, of course, Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue fragrance campaigns, which have starred British supermodel David Gandy since 2007. It was the campaign that catapulted him into model stardom, putting a name to "the white pants man" that was creating a stir in the entire industry.

In the third installment of the Light Blue campaign, shot again by iconic fashion lensman Mario Testino, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana enlisted one of their current favourite Italian beauties, model Bianca Balti, to star opposite Gandy as his leading lady.

“Together, their eyes match the colour of the water, that beautiful endless blue that is the Mediterranean surrounding Capri. Watching it is to dream of plunging into that refreshing sea and feel the sun on the skin, to feel totally free, relaxed and at peace.” - Dolce & Gabbana

It's a match made in modeling heaven - Gandy's crystal blue smouldering eyes, perfectly chiseled jawline and to-die-for physique are a natural complement to Balti's almost retro-like beauty of understated femininity.

See their chemistry onscreen in the latest Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue commercial below...

The fragrance itself comes with a legacy of 14 fragrance awards, and was featured as one of the most groundbreaking scents of the century in a recent exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

Evoking the spirit of a Mediterranean summer, the Light Blue fragrances are breezy, fresh scents with luscious notes of green apple and Sicilian citron, making it a great go-to choice for a summer romance.

How did these two models handle acting as lovers? styleXstyle got an exclusive interview with the two stars of the new Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue campaign, who told us what it was like filming the campaign, their ideal holidays, pretending to be sexy, and why aspiring models should look for another job.

What does Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue mean to you?

David Gandy: Light Blue Pour Homme is stimulating, fresh and masculine.

Bianca Balti: Light Blue Pour Femme is invigorating, sensual and iconic.

Tell us about the making of this new campaign. What was it like working with Mario Testino, and of course, with each other?

DG: It is always the same with Mario. He is amazing to work with; he is really fun! People always ask me who my favourite photographer is and I have to say it’s Mario Testino. He has a lot of respect, a lot of fun. He always looks after everyone and has an amazing crew. Although we didn’t have the best weather at the beginning he kept everyone’s spirit up and never seemed to panic.

BB: It was the first time that I worked with Mario Testino. He is such a lovely guy and an amazing photographer and he makes everyone feel comfortable. I feel very privileged that I got the chance to work with him. I remember the first time I saw Mario’s photographs I felt so inspired and since I became a model I always hoped to work with him. Now the dream came true!

DG: Bianca is fantastic, her sense of humour is hilarious and we spent a lot of the shoot laughing together and having a great time. I met Bianca before when we shot Dolce & Gabbana Optical Collection campaign and got on very well with her. She is so easy to work with. I feel she brings a new edge to the campaign, a real true Mediterranean influence which translated so well in the campaign images.

BB: David is such a nice and professional guy. During the shoot we laughed a lot so I think it made us very comfortable with one another and after a while it started feeling like we had known each other for ages. And he’s got such an amazing body!

What are some of your favourite scents, and how does Light Blue fit in?

BB: Strangely enough, my first-ever fragrance was Light Blue! When I was about 11, I received it as a gift and since then I don’t think there’s been a single day when I wouldn’t wear a scent.

As a child going on holiday with my family, they always used to take me to the mountains; I will never forget the scent of the forests surrounding the mountains. Equally I love the sea, the warm breeze, and the beach because they remind me of freedom of my first holiday with my friends. Fragrances that feel natural to your skin, like the sun and the wind bring back many memories. It’s the freshness and lightness of the fragrance that bring the best moments back to me.

DG: Light Blue Pour Homme is a perfect combination of fresh but robust ingredients which makes it really masculine. It is incredibly wearable during the day or the evening. Light Blue Pour Homme almost gets better throughout the day as I feel the smell gets mellower. Light Blue Pour Homme has been my signature scent for six years now and I never tire of it.

What have been your favourite shoots or shows you've worked on?

DG: Of course, the first Light Blue shooting. It was the first time I had shot something so important and also my first time shooting with Mario Testino. I don’t think anyone wanted to admit during that time, but we knew we had shot something that was very special, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

BB: My favourite memory from my career is the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda fashion show in Taormina. It was like a dream come true! The most influential people from the fashion industry were there to enjoy the beauty of that amazing little town. Everybody was walking around the streets dressed in stunning clothes and extremely happy to be there, so it looked like it was a holiday rather than a job. The show in the San Domenico hotel was just unbelievable and the dinner in the amazing garden of the hotel made me feel like I was a princess from Disney cartoons.


David, tell us about your personal style. Who are your style icons and men you look up to?

DG: I am quite a utilitarian dresser, taking influences from Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.

Would you describe your style as more British or Italian influenced?

DG: I think my style is very British as I feel most comfortable in a three-piece suit, which many men do not understand. Putting together a suit, tie, and shirt combination is the easiest thing for me to do, but unfortunately, it isn’t always the most practical for what I do.

I like that the Dolce & Gabbana look has many facets. Here in Capri, the look is very effortless, relaxed but stylish at the same time. On the other hand, Dolce & Gabbana suits are the sharpest and most masculine of any designers and I’m very lucky that they fit me off the peg - they never have to be adjusted. I think whatever the look, Dolce & Gabbana knows how to make you feel your best for any occasion and confident, as I do when I’m on the red carpet in Dolce & Gabbana.

Where’s your favourite place to holiday?

DG: For a long weekend, it would have to be the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Capri will always be associated with my first campaign for Light Blue. I love coming back to the light blue turquoise waters, rocks and caves. Ever since I started my career, I have shot a lot in the Amalfi Coast and Capri. It almost feels like it meant to be. I love this part of the world and I would truly love to have a house in this part of the world. It’s like nowhere else on earth! I find the setting, people and whole atmosphere magical.

When you're not modeling, what else is keeping you busy?

DG: I’m starting my own charity next year in a partnership with Comic Relief called the Blue Steel Appeal. This will raise money solely from ideas within the fashion industry. I’ve also just started a production company that is investing in British films.

BB: I don't have much time off work so when I do, I tend to spend as much time as possible with my daughter, Matilde. I pick her up from school so we can go to the park and play. In the evenings I read books to her and watch cartoons. I want her to be proud of me when she grows up. I want her to realise how hard I worked but still made every effort to spend as much time with her as possible.

What advice do you have for young aspiring models?

DG: [jokingly] Try and be beautiful!

BB: A lot of models are not beautiful in a way you would expect them to be. It’s about being photogenic and lucky, because there are so many beautiful girls that don’t become famous so if it happens, let it happen. But if it doesn’t, don’t force it. Otherwise, just study and get a better job! [Everyone laughs.]


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