From all discernible indications, Sarah Lahbati is poised to be the next “It Girl” on the GMA 7 lot.
Richard Gutierrez, her leading man on the soap opera “Makapiling Kang Muli,” has been very vocal about their budding romance.
He whisked her off to a European holiday recently. Sarah’s dad is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the trip allowed the young sweethearts to tour Paris and Mont Blanc in France.
She is acting opposite Richard and Solenn Heussaff in director Peque Gallaga’s comeback film with Regal, “Seduction.” Also in the works is the Topel Lee horror flick “Basement,” under GMA Films.
She is also in the cast of GMA 7’s forthcoming fantasy series “Indio,” top-billed by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Sarah has been named an advocate of Avon’s breast-cancer awareness campaign.
A kid at heart
Sarah insisted that although the biz has pushed her to grow up quickly, she’s still a kid at heart—“just like Chard.”
At home, the 19-year-old miss keeps a collection of stuffed toys and Barbie dolls.
“My closet is full of Barbie dolls, houses, carriages and cars,” she confessed. “Some of the dolls are in Cavite. The others are in our home in Geneva.”
Fans have gifted her with a slew of frog stuffed toys when she top-billed the afternoon soap “Kokak.”
“I’m into vintage clothes, bags and accessories,” Sarah said.
“I prefer simple dresses,” she explained. “Most of my dresses are black, which I find elegant.”
She had to expand her sartorial palette when she joined show biz, though.
She found a fuchsia dress at H&M. A sequined dress is a gift from a friend who lives in Kuwait; a glittery blue outfit, from Topshop; and a metallic number, from People Are People.
She also kept the yellow dress she wore on “StarStruck” for sentimental reasons.
Sarah is fond of jackets, saying, “Even if it’s hot in the Philippines, I still wear coats. I guess it makes me feel secure.”
A fur vest is by Forever 21; white jacket by Rena Lange; trench coat by Zara; sporty blazer by Forever 21.
She got a favorite jacket from a flea market in Paris.
She counseled other young women not to be slaves to fashion.
“Dress your age,” she said. “You can look good without spending so much. It’s wise to invest in timeless pieces.”
A Bench girl, she has a cabinet full of T-shirts and jeans from the local apparel company.
“I prefer simplicity when it comes to casual wear,” she remarked.
She’s a self-confessed shoeaholic. She invests in stilettos by Michael Kors, Christian Louboutin, Steve Madden, H&M and BCBG.
“I have lots of shoes. My favorites are those from Zara and Forever 21,” she said.
She has boots, pumps, heels, wedges and gladiators.
She prefers shopping in Europe because of the great finds there. “Even in the Philippines, I wear boots, to remind me of Switzerland,” she said.
A mix of accessories
Since joining and topping the reality talent search “StarStruck” three years ago, she had to stock up on all sorts of trinkets, bangles and charms.
She usually buys accessories from Mango, Forever 21 and Zara.
A prized bracelet was from Prada.
“I like wearing feathery earrings and lacey headbands, too,” she said. “I also have Indian dream catcher-jewelry pieces. I mix and match accessories.”
She has all sorts of rings, too.
Since she spent part of her youth in Switzerland, she has developed a love for timepieces, too.
She has an Aldo watch, along with an Aquamarine. Some pieces were bought from Europe, too.
As a Bench model, she wears watches from the local fashion brand as well.
She has amassed a wide array of eyewear. “But I only bought 40 percent of the shades; most are gifts,” she quipped.
Among her preferred brands are Dior, Retro Super Future and Ray-Ban. “I like Dior because it’s feminine and suits the shape of my face. Retro Super is glamorous and glitzy. I wear Ray-Ban every day.”
During her recent Paris trip, she got two Givenchy bags, which were added to the Louis Vuitton and Chanel in her collection.
“I got a small tote for casual, everyday use. It looks simple and chic,” she said. “The bigger one is red and gold and studded with crystals. It’s more glam, for formal events.”
When it comes to fragrances, “freshness” is her priority.
One of her faves is Bulgari Amethyste. “It makes you feel as if you’ve just stepped out of the shower.”
She also sprays on Juicy Couture, Mariah Carey’s Luscious Pink, XX Hugo Boss, Benetton, 5th Avenue Nights, Mariah: Butterfly, Diesel Fuel for Life, Bulgari Petits et Mamans, among others.
She calls Juicy Couture, “my happy scent … I can wear it every day, day or night, even for formal events.”
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Photos by Andrew Tadalan