The plot thickens. See if you can keep up.
In January 2011, Blake Lively was named the new face of Chanel's Mademoiselle handbag line. In June 2012, she nabbed a coveted Gucci fragrance campaign. To say it's rare for a celebrity to get two high-profile campaigns at the same time is an understatement. It causes a very specific dilemma that designers don't like: Who will you choose for major award shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes?
Those photos are, in some ways, more valuable to the brand than the ad campaigns themselves. Current and future customers watch the red-carpet coverage, read the celebrity weeklies and make their choices - sometimes subconsciously - as a result.
Yet when the time came for Blake's big New York premiere for her film Savages she chose Gucci. Not Chanel. She also didn't attend Chanel's Haute Couture show in Paris at the beginning of July. Sources close to the situation insist there's no rift. "Blake is still an ambassador to Chanel and regularly keeps in touch with designer Karl Lagerfeld," the source said this week. "She was invited to the couture show but couldn't make it because she was promoting Savages. She still wears Chanel whenever she can."
This all sounds plausible. But wearing clothes on the red carpet leads to photos and photos lead to sales. So why would an innocent 24-year-old want to upset a highly influential designer like Karl Lagerfeld? She doesn't. But Blake's life is very different than it was a year and a half ago. When Blake was chosen by Chanel, she was a beautiful up-and-comer on a hit TV show. Her most recent relationship had been with another TV star, Penn Badgley, who played her on-again, off-again love interest on Gossip Girl.
But no one - even Blake - could have anticipated how much her life would change in a year. Not only did she snag the Chanel campaign, but she then landed two of the biggest heartthrobs in Hollywood - Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Reynolds, who some now believe she will marry. This is not the ingenue Chanel inked a deal with.
When Blake was named Chanel ambassador she could not have been more effusive. "A dream come true is an understatement," she said. "I can say that I feel like the happiest, luckiest girl around." Four months later - like a dutiful daughter - she wore Chanel to the Met Gala. A longheld tradition, designers walk the carpet with one celebrity or model who is wearing his or her design. That night the love affair between Karl Lagerfeld and Blake Lively was clear. The 23-year-old had struck gold. And she knew it.
"I will always feel it's more than just a purse," she told the Daily Mail. "It's a quilted case full of lipstick, love letters and the dreams and possibilities that I have always felt every time I see that beautiful CC."
Yet the actress who wore Chanel to almost every event in 2010 and 2011 - including a sequin blazer, semi-sheer gown and feathered peplum - has barely worn Chanel at all in 2012. It doesn't matter how nice Blake is - or how much Karl Lagerfeld likes her - if she's not wearing Chanel, that's a loss to the brand.
All eyes will be on the actress if she hits the Emmys in September. Our advice? Go with Elie Saab or Jenny Packham to avoid a feud.
Any friction at the Emmys will pale in comparison to a walk down the aisle if Ryan proposes. Maybe Gucci could design one half of the dress, and Chanel could design another.
We wouldn't want to be in Blake's shoes. Can you say "elopement"?