“Lucy, nakalunon ka ng light bulb (Lucy, you swallowed a light bulb)!” Marco Protacio shouted at our special model as she stared straight into the camera, her gaze so lambent, yet it could bore a hole right through that lens.
Protacio, the hotelier-turned-hospital executive and now kibitzer in our fashion shoot for Randy Ortiz, was spot-on.
Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez was simply radiant. Hers is more than a beautiful face.
“Lucy glows from within just like a rare lustrous pearl,” Protacio says. “It’s as if she’s just swallowed a light bulb. She is not just fair-skinned, she’s luminous!”
And—while she’s never been a professional model, she can model the clothes elegantly, with utmost class, especially if they’re done by her longtime friend, Randy Ortiz.
But being a model is the least of the roles Lucy has played the past two decades since she married the heartthrob actor, Richard Gomez.
She is wife, mother to their only child, Juliana, who at 18, is drawing a following herself; a lifestyle columnist of Philippine Star; and has served as representative of the fourth district of Leyte since 2010.
What is amazing is, she seems a natural in all these roles, with strong “people skills,” no airs, so down-to-earth.
A fashion designer can’t ask for a better muse. She’s more than a muse to Randy. She and Richard are family to the designer, who’s celebrating his 30th year in fashion on Nov. 26, with a fashion show at The Peninsula Manila.
That night of the shoot, two Saturdays ago, in Randy’s cozy, modern home, Randy recalled, with hilarity, the afternoon he met Lucy in a Makati mall two decades ago.
Richard was introducing him to the woman he would marry—“Si Lucy Marie!” Randy remembered the sight of this beautiful woman alighting from the motorcycle driven by Richard.
“Ang puti-puti, and she was wearing short shorts.”
What began was an enduring friendship with the handsome couple, one filled with romance and laughter.
Richard chose Randy to design Lucy’s bridal gown for their wedding in Lucy’s native Ormoc, Leyte, that was beamed on nationwide TV.
The whole country watched that wedding, and a good percentage of the country’s brides that year, and the year after, must have copied Lucy’s ultra-feminine bridal gown with spaghetti straps. The Randy Ortiz wedding gown for Lucy emboldened many a Filipino bride to bare her shoulders—and much skin later.
So effortlessly and graciously, Lucy has become Randy’s muse, her beauty, stance and mien so perfect for Randy’s feminine and romantic style.
She is his design statement, especially in the elegant, pastel terno she walked the State of the Nation (Sona) red carpet on. In the annual Sona, she is a paparazzi magnet, and the Randy Ortiz terno in cool lavender or pink or blue, with soft draping or rosettes, has become iconic.
Why does she love Randy Ortiz’s designs, we asked her over the adobo dinner Randy served after our shoot.
“Because he brings out the woman in you,” she said. “His clothes are so feminine, you feel them.”
For his part, Randy had Lucy in mind when he designed this 70-piece collection—the allure of femininity exuded in the significant details: the rich fabrics, the intricate embroidery and beadwork, the minute additions that spell a difference.
Yet they are wearable and comfortable.
His multifaceted designs echo Lucy’s multifaceted character and their multi-hued friendship: sweet, feminine, enduring yet so down-to-earth. Full of humor and hilarity.
Not many know that Lucy is kalog (jolly)—there was no dry moment at our dinner.
The relationship between the designer and his muse is enviable because it’s beautiful. Other fashion designers derive their genius from angst.
In Randy’s case, it comes from the gaiety of life and its ties that bind.