The possibilities were endless.
A scent that encapsulates Kristen Stewart? One of the most talked about, polarizing, and successful actresses working in Hollywood today. What on earth would that smell like?
But lets rewind.
Seven months is a long time in fashion. When Balenciaga announced all the way back in January that its latest fragrance ‘face’ was to be none other than Kristen Stewart, you could hear the shocked gasps from fashionistas around the world.
Not that Stewart hasn’t demonstrated she knows how to bring the pretty on countless The Twilight Sagared carpet promos.
But Balenciaga’s announcement came before Stewart’s now, infamous, Paris Fashion week, the Met Ball, her full frontal fashion moments at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Snow White and The Huntsmanpremieres, and those astonishing magazine shoots for Elle Magazine (U.S, UK,) Interview magazine and Vanity Fair.
This 22-year-old’s now fully-fledged love of fashion and the “cool shit” designers send her way, probably even surprised Stewart. It certainly surprised her boyfriend Robert Pattinson.
On the subject of Stewart’s growing ease with and interest in fashion, Pattinson remarked to Vanity Fair, “I never saw that coming.”
But the truth is, it wasn’t just fashionistas and editorial Nazis that couldn’t see past the converses on the red carpet, the early twitchiness in interviews, and Stewart’s reluctance to grin idiotically like a pageant blimp whenever someone looking for a money shot decided it was OK to shove a camera in her face.
Adjectives like “grumpy,” “sullen,” “moody” appeared fixed. Bestowed on the actress by lesser minds and — in some cases — perhaps borne out of envy, the dye seemed cast. But the times they are a-changing and, for many, these tired, old perceptions of Stewart have radically shifted.
Packing a more relaxed outlook, possibly due to finally getting more used to life in the frenetic, altitude of superstardom, maturing, or maybe just simply being impossibly loved-up – whatever it is, Kristen Stewart 2012 has embraced an emergent love of fashion, and there’s no looking back now.
Balenciaga and creative director Nicolas Ghesquière have put their faith in Stewart, and now present a new fragrance campaign with Stewart as its “face.” Its name? Florabotanica.
Sounding exactly like a floral, organic hybrid, grown in some future, punky, alternate universe, the promo image is intriguing. Without a cheesy, windswept landscape, sexualized pose, fake tan or beach in sight – first impressions are: fresh, young and modern.
In other words; Kristen Stewart to a T.
The next thing that hits you is the directness of Stewart’s gaze. It drills right through the page, almost jumping off it. Wearing what The Telegraphdescribes as a “structured floral-print dress from Nicolas Ghesquière’s spring/summer 2008 collection,” it’s clear Stewart hasn’t buckled under the pressure of representing a massive brand and become someone else.
Entirely herself, renowned photographer Steven Miesel didn’t so much “capture” Stewart’s essence – as reveal it. Which, is exactly what Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière – and Stewart – wanted.
“She’s so Balenciaga,” Ghesquière said of Stewart to fashion magazine WWD.
For her part, Stewart says working with and getting to know Ghesquière was like “kismet.”
Florabotanica is only the second Balenciaga scent Ghesquière has put his hand to. Ideas for this new line began forming in Ghesquière’s mind in 2008, culminating in the new line today and its surreal images of a colorful, other-worldly garden.
“It’s more narrative, kind of a fantasy,” Ghesquière says. “So when I thought about the fragrance and the character that would visit that garden, I thought Kristen could be the perfect beauty and the perfect personality to represent that.”
Notes include “vetiver, amber and caladium-leaf accord, and a (hybrid) rose, carnation and mint accord,” and to Stewart “There is something natural about it.”
“It’s very alive,” adds Stewart. “I think that as a young person wearing it – considering that I’ve never worn a scent – it kind of puts you on this level of, like, ‘Whoa, check me out.'”
Of her bold stance in the shoot, Stewart told WWD,
“I think that’s kind of perfect for this particular ad. Usually, a fragrance ad would definitely be like,” said Stewart, striking an exaggerated, sexy lounge pose on the couch.
“When I first stood there, I was like, ‘OK, do you want me to show the curves of the dress? Do you want me to stand like this? Like that?’ And they were like, ‘Just be comfortable.'”
And it shows.
Unafraid to call out the appalling, invasiveness of modern day stalkers otherwise known as paparazzi, and those that slate her mercilessly without actually knowing her, Kristen Stewart stands up for herself, telling it like it is – even if that doesn’t compute to others as “cute,” tabloid-friendly or socially expedient.
Often profane, sometimes profound, young yet coming across as such an old soul – the Cali girl Brent Smith brilliantly described as,”a different kind of Hollywood feminine, and not one the public feels it’s ready for” – is finally comfortable enough to play with fashion and publicly explore the shades and sensibilities that make up her relentlessly interesting personality, one that has made her a recognized force in Hollywood.
At just 22-years-old, packing a career that arcs an artistically, rich mix of independent and studio choices, Stewart has managed to create a present and future for herself that now stretches magnificently ahead. A true original, it was obvious all along, Kristen Stewart scents like bold spirit.