Interview by Nancy Rotenier
With Gossip Girl’s 4th season premiering tonight, star Kelly Rutherford talks about a few of our favorite things—clothes, makeup, accessories—and so much more.
Nancy Rotenier: Did you expect Gossip Girl to be a hit?
Kelly Rutherford: They had the same producers as The OC and were taking it from successful books. I figured it had a pretty good chance.
NR: Do you have a say in your character’s wardrobe?
KR: I have a lot of say in what I get to wear. They bring us wonderful choices, and it depends on what fits, what resonates with the character. We get the Upper East Side, and we get what we’re going for.
NR: Has the show changed your style?
KR: I don’t think it’s changed my style. I’ve lived on the Upper East Side my whole life, so the character made sense to me, her style made sense to me. And having a role to express that? That’s probably the most exciting part.
NR: Describe your personal style.
KR: Casual chic. I have to be able to wash my clothes—I have 2 little kids. To an event, I wear designer and get dressed up, but my every day is very casual, easy. I invest in nice accessories.
NR: What are your favorite stores? Favorite designers?
KR: As far as casual, I shop everywhere from J.Crew to Barney’s to Bergdorf’s. And I love Brunello Cucinelli, they do beautiful upscale cashmere. When it comes to fashion, I don’t limit myself. I try to find classic things. Hermès is the best investment you can make in an accessory or a handbag. I went to Lisa Perry today, who does all of these fun 60s clothes. I love the new Lanvin collection, I love the new Chloe. From Alice + Olivia to Catherine Malandrino, it’s all over the map.
NR: Your most recent purchase . . .
KR: A little black, very “Belle de Jour” Valentino cocktail dress and slouchy gray, wool-looking sweatpants at J.Crew that I’d wear with a cashmere sweater and boots or flats.
NR: Do you have a fantasy purchase?
KR: There are certain jewelry pieces. I love Verdura, Van Cleef & Arpels. I think, “Oh, how fabulous to have a couple of those!” Not so much clothes. Fashion is always changing, and I always looking to buy the thing that will last.
NR: Do you have a go-to look?
KR: In the summer, I wear a lot of white jeans. And then I can do anything—a Petit Bateau striped T-shirt and Lanvin flats or a cashmere sweater and little kitten heels. I love a cashmere sweater with an A-line skirt or a pencil skirt; that’s very sexy and beautiful. Stella McCartney does that so beautifully.
NR: What beauty products won’t you leave the house without?
KR: A base and a sunscreen. I use California Baby Sunscreen. I just started using the Sanitas line of skin care products—the Lemon Cream Cleanser, the PeptiDerm Moisturizing Cream, a face cream called Rejuven-A. Going out, a nice base with a little blush—I use the Stila Convertible Color and Guerlain Foundation (try Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin-Fusion Foundation SPF 20) or By Terry Plumping Fluid Foundation; and a lip gloss or lipstick or even just a lip pencil. I love the By Terry Intensive Hydra-Plump Lipstick.
Buy Kelly’s Favorites [see sidebar below]
NR: Do you wear perfume?
KR: Since I’ve had my children, the only thing I’ve worn is Bonpoint, because it’s alcohol free. I’ve sprayed it in my daughter’s hairbrush after she’s taken a bath and put it in her hair. I love the smell.
NR: What is always in your purse?
KR: Baby wipes are essential, a pair of sunglasses, my phone (iPhone), my datebook, usually a lip gloss or something. I like Make Up For Ever lip glosses.
NR: How do you stay in shape?
KR: I don’t really worry about what I eat. It’s an attitude of “I don’t drink a lot of sodas, I don’t eat too much sugar, I don’t eat a lot of junk,” because I have to have energy. I eat a lot of fruit, veggies, protein, water, iced tea or decaf latte as a treat, or juice. I’m more focused on nutrition than diets.
NR: Do you work out?
KR: I haven’t exercised in quite a while, but when I do, I do yoga. I stroll a lot, go to the park a lot with the kids, go for a bike ride. My lifestyle is pretty physical.
NR: And in your free time?
KR: I will try to read a book, catch up on a magazine, or get reflexology on my feet at the local nail place.
NR: Is there something you know now that you wish you had known in your 20s?
KR: It’s easy to look back and say, I could have done this or that, but it makes us who we are in our 40s. I don’t know that I would be enjoying life as much as I am now if I hadn’t gone through what I did in my 20s.
NR: What is your guilty pleasure?
KR: I don’t really believe in guilt. If you want to do something, you should do it. I just read a book on French women about their different viewpoints on life, sex, marriage, and on being mothers. They don’t have the guilt we have here. Did I do the best I could today? Am I being a great example for my children? Am I providing for my children? Do my children know that I love them? Ok, good, then let’s stop feeling guilty!
NR: What is your favorite quality about yourself?
NR: What is your least favorite?
KR: I think sometimes I’m too nice. I think women in their 40s and 50s are so wonderful; they get over all that stuff and become more authentic. I’m learning to be more authentic.
NR: If you weren’t an actress you would be . . .
KR: I would be a writer, which I may still do.
NR: Is there something you wish you could do?
KR: Maybe learn to play the piano and become better in French.
NR: What is your favorite destination?
KR: I like to be by the sea or the ocean. I love Capri, the beaches and countryside of Italy, France. I love Paris, I love London. I love cities. I’d love to go to Prague.
NR: Are you going to the shows for Fashion Week?
KR: A lot is dependent on my work schedule. I “go” to Fashion’s Night Out, we already filmed it.
NR: How has being on the show changed your life?
KR: Having kids while doing the show, my move to New York. It’s been extraordinary and so much fun to do, and people’s responses have been wonderful—a great time in my life on all levels, personal and professional.
Buy Now: Kelly’s Favorite Beauty Products
California Baby Sunscreen, $18.09
Sanitas Lemon Cream Cleanser, $29
Sanitas PeptiDerm Moisturizing Cream, $135
Sanitas Rejuven-A, $59
Stila Convertible Color, $25
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin-Fusion Foundation, $56
By Terry Plumping Fluid Foundation, $105
By Terry Intensive Hydra-Plump Lipstick, $45
Get the latest on Ed Westwick and Jessica Szohr. Check out our Fashion Week Coverage on the PageDaily Facebook page.