YOU VE SEEN THE LAST OF MISS WIL­SON.

In true Pre­view fash­ion, we’re giv­ing Ge­orgina Wil­son a stylish send-off: Step into her bridal boudoir and bach­e­lorette.

Preview (Philippines) - - Front Page - PHO­TOGRAPHED BY MARK NICDAO STYLED BY VINCE UY WORDS BY OWEN C. MADDELA

tTHE NEWS THE WHIRL­WIND

then share it with peo­ple af­ter.”

One-half of “we” is Arthur Bur­nand, a 33-year-old English­man who works at the di­ver­si­fied con­glom­er­ate Swire Group. He is sta­tioned in Asia, han­dling Swire’s busi­nesses out of Hong Kong and Shang­hai, and is some­one whom Ge­orge had known even long be­fore their whirl­wind had be­gun.

“I’ve known Arthur for eight years, but he has al­ways been sec­ond fam­ily. Our re­spec­tive fam­i­lies in Eng­land have been friends for the long­est time. I met him ini­tially at a friend’s wed­ding in Bangkok and we were even sup­posed to be set up back then, but I was in a re­la­tion­ship at that time,” she re­veals.

Arthur made his move by send­ing a friend re­quest and a ton of mes­sages on Face­book, but those vir­tual hel­los were buried deep along with other friend re­quests and mes­sages in Ge­orgina’s ac­count. As time passed, Ge­orgina’s own tra­jec­tory took her from up­start model to in-de­mand in­ter­na­tional host and en­dorser. Arthur was gain­ing ground him­self—first as a straight-out-of-univer­sity trainee for the said con­glom­er­ate and now as a port­fo­lio man­ager.

And as fate would have it, the two were re­united early last year. “I went on a hol­i­day trip to Aus­tralia to visit my god­fa­ther and friends and he was there. When I was with him, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is the guy I am go­ing to marry!’” Magic.

Ge­orgina stuck to her in­tu­ition and felt that things were right. “He was com­pletely obliv­i­ous, but my get­ting to that re­al­iza­tion felt like a phys­i­cal re­ac­tion. A panic at­tack! He had no idea,” she laughs, kinikilig over her own anec­dote.

Arthur did not waste any time pur­su­ing Ge­orgina. In one of their trips to Winch­ester, Arthur’s home­town, Ge­orgina was to re­ceive an of­fer she could not refuse. “He took me out for a walk on the same path he’s walked a mil­lion times be­fore with his dad or by him­self. He was telling me about how much he loves me and how we wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He would al­ways say that—and there I was, just tak­ing self­ies with cows the whole time!

“We con­tin­ued walk­ing un­til we got to a bridge. I was look­ing at swans and was tak­ing pho­tos of them, but when I turned around, he was on one knee, cry­ing. I couldn’t stop laugh­ing hys­ter­i­cally! I was so obliv­i­ous about how it all hap­pened.

“He stopped cry­ing when he saw me laugh­ing. He then said, ‘Please give me an an­swer.’ I said yes, of course!” his is Ge­orgina Wil­son, quin­tes­sen­tial Pre­view girl and per­pet­ual Queen Bee ref­er­ence, at her most vul­ner­a­ble. She is re­clined in bed, bur­rito-ed in crisp white sheets, and clad only in stan­dard-is­sue ho­tel suite terry cloth on this par­tic­u­lar evening. It is a Sun­day and she had asked to be in­ter­viewed a lit­tle af­ter 9 p.m.—the only down­time she could af­ford af­ter spend­ing an en­tire day pos­ing be­fore the cam­era. She is ac­cus­tomed to the long hours a fash­ion ed­i­to­rial en­tails, but her trav­els—you’ll know where she is in the world care of Snapchat—have taken their toll. But her to-do list isn’t all crossed out just yet. Build­ing up at the liv­ing area of the suite is a cel­e­bra­tion—a Ladurée mac­aro­nand-prosecco fête at the Penin­sula Suite of The Penin­sula Manila es­ti­mated to end at 2 a.m. the next day. But right now, Ge­orgina is too caught up with the de­sire to nap (“Just 10 min­utes?” she begged ear­lier) and get this in­ter­view over and done with.

Thank­fully, what­ever en­ergy she has re­gained from her short break pierces through. Not only is Ge­orgina up­right at this point; she is smil­ing—and not just with her eyes like art direc­tors or pho­tog­ra­phers usu­ally ask from her. And her speak­ing voice, that un­mis­tak­able sexy, low regis­ter, is pep­pered with a few lilts here and there. It is un­like the way we hear her usu­ally talk: ei­ther with au­thor­ity when asked to name the things she finds cool or with sharp­ness while send­ing top model wannabes out of com­pe­ti­tion.

Surely, some­thing’s up—and for the first time, she is al­low­ing any­one aside from close friends and kin in on the news. The afore­men­tioned cel­e­bra­tion is ac­tu­ally or­ga­nized in Ge­orgina’s honor—her own bach­e­lorette party hosted by Ray­mond Gu­tier­rez and at­tended by her equally gor­geous friends. Sis­ter Jess Wil­son, cousin Mar­tine Ca­ju­com, de­signer Boom Sa­son and Sun­nies Stu­dios part­ner Bea So­ri­ano-Dee were among the first to ar­rive. Less than an hour later, the rest of her fa­mous friends, in­clud­ing Anne Cur­tis, Solenn Heussaff and cousin Isabelle Daza, join in on the fun. Sur­prise! Our cover girl is get­ting mar­ried and rather quickly. Ge­orgina is set to fly to the United King­dom for the cer­e­mony at the end of April and wed ex­actly the time this is­sue is re­leased.

But any for­mal an­nounce­ment about the wed­ding or the en­gage­ment was never made through the usual chan­nels or even on so­cial me­dia—some­thing Ge­orgina ad­mits to be her own do­ing.

“I wanted to keep things pri­vate af­ter shar­ing my pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships with other peo­ple for more than a decade,” the brideto-be ex­plains, re­fer­ring to her very pub­lic re­la­tion­ships with ac­tor Richard Gu­tier­rez back in 2005 and scion Borgy Man­otoc more re­cently. She adds, “But it’s not like a crazy se­cret—I just wasn’t shar­ing the news, and when peo­ple found out, it was cool with me.”

Fur­ther­more, she ad­mits that the buzz gen­er­ated by the re­la­tion­ship up­dates of her friends served as the per­fect blan­ket for her own pri­vate mat­ters. In 2015, her friend Bea So­ri­ano and long­time beau Eric Dee tied the knot in Jan­uary, while Solenn Heussaff went pub­lic with her en­gage­ment to boyfriend Nico Bolz­ico in this mag­a­zine a month af­ter. Late last year, Belle an­nounced her en­gage­ment to Adrien Sem­blat. The whole time such engagements and wed­dings were in the news was when ma­jor de­vel­op­ments were un­fold­ing in Ge­orgina’s per­sonal life.

THE WED­DING

Ge­orgina thought her­self the anti-bride grow­ing up and ad­mits to be­ing the girl who wanted to achieve more ca­reer-wise be­fore set­tling down. More­over, she pos­sesses a take-charge at­ti­tude when it comes to the things she wants, be it the choice of hair and makeup for a shoot or the kind of work she wants to add to her re­sumé. Fash­ion in­sid­ers—this mag­a­zine’s staff, in­cluded—know about her work ethic and de­mands so well. And so it comes as a shock to learn that Arthur and Ge­orgina are hands-on in pre­par­ing for their wed­ding at the end of April, in a DIY kind of way.

“It’s so funny how we’re both plan­ning it and we’re su­per in­volved. Be­cause we don’t have a plan­ner, each task is so spe­cial. Every­body in the bridal party is help­ing us with so much stuff. For ex­am­ple, when I see the lights at the venue, I can say, ‘My cousin did that.’ Liz [Uy] is ar­rang­ing the videog­ra­pher, the bridal dresses are be­ing han­dled by Mar­tine, an­other cousin fixes the flo­ral ar­range­ments. When I get to see ev­ery­thing to­gether, I don’t know how I will not cry the whole time be­cause ev­ery­thing is spe­cial! Ev­ery­thing has mean­ing and is not con­trived.”

The wed­ding will be cel­e­brated in a tra­di­tional Eng­lish man­ner. On Fri­day evening, the Di­azes and Wil­sons are or­ga­niz­ing a “We got en­gaged re­ally quickly,” Ge­orgina ad­mits. “That ex­plains the se­crecy, too. I didn’t want to have to ex­plain things and hurt peo­ple’s feel­ings in the process. I wanted it to hap­pen nat­u­rally and

de­s­pe­dida de soltera din­ner. The wed­ding rites will be held on Satur­day at the par­ish in Arthur’s home­town. The church will be dec­o­rated by the friends of Ge­orgina’s fu­ture mother-in-law, and the of­fi­ci­at­ing priest is the same one Arthur had been a sacristan for grow­ing up. Sun­day is re­served for pub lunch. Ge­orgina es­ti­mates ev­ery­one to be hun­gover from Satur­day, for which the next day’s menu is “ev­ery­thing fried, York­shire pud­ding, the works!”

Ge­orgina is wear­ing a cus­tom Monique Lhuil­lier when she walks down the aisle, a gift from Vicki Belo that is be­ing fin­ished in the de­signer’s ate­lier in Los An­ge­les as of this writ­ing. On Fri­day evening, she will wear a March­esa dress, and for Sun­day, an­other Monique Lhuil­lier. She has also been re­ceiv­ing dresses as gifts, in­clud­ing an Al­tuzarra and a few pieces from her Aus­trali­abased friends. “I lit­er­ally need four more days to be able to wear ev­ery­thing,” she says.

She is still con­tem­plat­ing on shoes. “I still might buy ad­di­tional pairs, but I am plan­ning to wear sin­gle-strap Miu Mius with all my dresses. But we’ll see about that.” Liz is help­ing her select jewelry to go with her wed­ding week­end looks.

Arthur and his 15 grooms­men are wear­ing tra­di­tional morn­ing coats, which are very typ­i­cal of their board­ing-school dress code, but it is the bridal en­tourage’s out­fits that will prove to be the per­fect ac­cent to the af­fair.

“Be­cause we’re hav­ing a tra­di­tional Eng­lish wed­ding, the girls in the en­tourage aren’t walk­ing down the aisle. I’d like for ev­ery­one to be in neu­trals—white, cream, beige. I ac­tu­ally wanted—and I’m not sure who will fol­low this—the girls in ’90s-style slip dresses, like Kate Moss in Calvin Klein. Let’s just say my brides­maids have a mind of their own so ba­hala na sila.”

Fly­ing in for the wed­ding are Ge­orgina’s sis­ter and maid of honor Jess; cousins Belle, Ava and Mar­tine; friends Bea, Anne, Solenn and Liz; Ge­orgina’s child­hood best friend Tasha; and two of her best friends from Lon­don.

The guest list is a bit of work, with the cou­ple man­ag­ing their best to bring the num­ber down to an op­ti­mal fig­ure. Ge­orgina says they are cap­ping it at 200 max—and that’s al­ready be­ing cut­throat. She ex­pects a lot of com­edy to go down on her wed­ding day, largely be­cause of the mix of Eng­lish and Filipino cul­tures from within the said list.

“Filipinos don’t RSVP and switch seats on the day of the event. That’s not cul­tur­ally rude for us, whereas the Eng­lish find that of­fen­sive. But I’ve briefed Arthur. I’ve switched my name around at wed­dings in the past and yes, I’m half-Eng­lish and half-Filipino!” she laughs. Yes, she is let­ting some things go.

THE CHANGE

It’s true what power love holds: Even women with cool-as-ice ex­te­ri­ors like Ge­orgina now talk pas­sion­ately about things that usu­ally spill out of a Valen­tine greet­ing card.

“I don’t have a long en­gage­ment and I am happy with that. I just want to get mar­ried to him al­ready. I feel like I’ve been wait­ing for so long to get mar­ried to him. Su­per tama ang nararam­daman ko,” she con­fesses.

She adds, “It’s just weird how all of a sud­den I be­came this per­son who is all cheesy and says, ‘When it’s right, you just know.’ But oh my god, what they say is right!”

And she has been do­ing her share in mak­ing the re­la­tion­ship work—geog­ra­phy and fre­quent flyer miles be damned. She flies out to Hong Kong or Shang­hai dur­ing the work­week so they could see each other. It’s a lot of sac­ri­fice for the both of them—she has Sun­nies and her en­dorse­ments, he has his work—but they are both pro­fes­sion­ally driven and happy with the work that they do. “And that’s why this re­la­tion­ship feels right—our lo­gis­tics are surely not sus­tain­able for­ever, but it has come to a point where we don’t even need to dis­cuss it be­cause we re­spect what each other does. There is a sense of com­fort know­ing that we are both mo­ti­vated in the same way.”

She saw a change in her­self, too, es­pe­cially when she be­gan to re­assess her pri­or­i­ties. “Be­fore, I was such a worka­holic, but when he came in, he be­came my pri­or­ity. I’m not go­ing to work dur­ing the week­end—wher­ever I am in the world—and spend it with him. The travel is ex­haust­ing, but there is that ef­fort. With him, I find bal­ance.”

But Ge­orgina be­ing Ge­orgina, she’s not about to let go of her stan­dards where her place in the re­la­tion­ship, or the world for that mat­ter, is in­volved. “I’m happy when I’m with him, but also happy when I’m not with him,” she as­serts. “I’m happy when I’m do­ing my own thing be­cause he is sup­port­ive and em­pow­er­ing. It’s a re­la­tion­ship that al­lows us to grow to­gether with­out los­ing our­selves.

“I don’t want to be known just as some­body’s wife and chang­ing what needs to be changed in peo­ple’s per­cep­tion. Out­side the Philip­pines, peo­ple can do what they want af­ter get­ting mar­ried, whereas lo­cally, peo­ple box them up and say, ‘ O, you’re mar­ried na.’ I don’t feel that way go­ing into this re­la­tion­ship.” She adds, “Yes, I’ve ma­tured in a cer­tain way, but it doesn’t mean that all my other in­ter­ests are dif­fer­ent. I think that’s some­thing I am also debunking to my­self. I thought when I get mar­ried, I’ll be old and su­per ma­ture, like, ‘Oh my god, that’s the rest of your life; you’re set!’ I al­most feared that.”

She once thought that get­ting mar­ried was the sym­bol of the end of fun, but sees the fu­ture oth­er­wise. “It’s gonna be so much more fun, be­cause I have a part­ner. I can­not wait to see the world with him and meet our chil­dren.”

By this time, Ge­orgina’s bach­e­lorette guests are com­plete. Their laugh­ter can now be heard in the cor­ri­dors of the suite as if a sig­nal for the woman of the hour to emerge from her frus­trated nap. We give her time to dress up, but not be­fore ask­ing what she would tell the Ge­orgina who hasn’t met Arthur yet.

“I can tell her a lot about be­ing in this po­si­tion. I thought then that turn­ing 30 was su­per scary, but now I am the hap­pi­est that I’ve ever been. It’s in­ter­est­ing what you fear when you are younger. You’ll find out how crazy you are for fear­ing such things.”

And in a mo­ment of wis­dom, she walks off to her cel­e­bra­tion say­ing, “It works be­cause I com­pleted my­self first. That is im­por­tant to him, too. He is a com­plete per­son on his own. That’s why what we have feels so right.”

TRUE It’s what LOVE power holds: even women with cool-as-ice ex­te­ri­ors like GE­ORGINA now talk pas­sion­ately about things that usu­ally spill out VALEN­TINE of a greet­ing card.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.