WITHOUT BATTING AN EYELASH
By Maurice Arcache
Spaniards call her “La Preysler,” shouting “guapa” when they see her in person or “la guapassissima Filipina.”
She arrived the night before the Tatler’s visit and was complaining of allergies that were making her teary-eyed. Worried, she told us she should schedule the shoot for the next day.
She did not realize how close to perfect she looked as she sat in her bathrobe having her makeup and hair done by her personal hairdresser and makeup artist, Lola Viray.
Philippine ambassador to Spain Lani Bernardo and his wife Conchitina said Preysler was charming and down-to-earth. Conchitina recalled one evening when she and Preysler, escorted by their husbands, went out to dinner. Upon seeing Preysler, the people in and outside the restaurant chanted “la guapa, la guapa (beautiful, beautiful).” A barrage of paparazzi waited for her outside.
Conchitina said she never saw anything like it before, palanggas.
Aside from Isabel P’s charm and femininity, what makes her attractive is her childlike quality, though her eyes hint of naughtiness. Such beauty and personality enamored her to everyone, particularly the Spanish media.
Magazines gave her such titles as “La Reina del Glamour” and “La Perla de Manila.”
Though people know she is beautiful, they often ask, “Is she nice?” The answer is yes! She is nice, humble and self-effacing.
She is the face of Suarez Jewellery as well as Porcelanosa, for which she did a campaign with actor George Clooney. She is happily married to former Spanish Finance Minister Miguel Boyer, dahlings.
After two years of coordination and numerous phone calls, a short four-day trip to Madrid in the fab Qatar Airways made Tatler’s anniversary cover featuring Isabel Preysler a reality.
For mega photographer Raymund Isaac, editor in chief Anton San Diego, and lifestyle and social editor Maurice Arcache, as in moi, the drive up the driveway lined with cypress was already jaw-dropping.
We were greeted by Isabel’s simpatica house help, Veronica, who spoke only in Spanish. I spoke to her on behalf of Anton and Raymund.
Lola V. and stylists from Armani arrived almost at the same time. We also brought some clothes from the Philippines’ prince of alta moda, Inno Sotto. Isabel said, “I always want to promote the Philippines and help every way I can. Inno is a dear friend and I have always loved his clothes.”
As the long day drew to a close and after seven changes, Anton asked her to pose with her dogs Tessie and Lily, lovingly named after her aunts (her dog Betty is named after her mother), would you believe? She said she and husband Miguel thought the aunts might not appreciate the gesture, but when they asked, the women readily said yes.
In the course of the pictorial, Isabel’s gorgeous daughters Ana (Boyer) and Tamara (Falco) stopped to say hello. Finally, at about nine in a still bright summer evening, we called it a wrap.
To say that this shoot was one of the most memorable we had done in six years would be an understatement. To travel to Madrid and feature one of Europe’s most recognizable faces, famous for her glamour, style and beauty, was a thrill, palanggas. It was a dream come true and, as we said earlier, worth the wait, dahlings.