Sarah Jessica Parker: I shop with my eyes, too
The evening rush-hour traffic around SM Aura Premier in Taguig City on Thursday moved at a snail’s pace. It was 10 minutes before actor Sarah Jessica Parker’s 7 p.m. press conference as the brand ambassador of the mall’s “Love to Shop” campaign.
Not about to miss what many touted as the fashion event of the year, we saw several well-dressed women get out of their cars and start trudging toward the newly opened mall—in high heels, of course.
The mall was not as enormous as we expected and so making our way to the press con venue at the upper ground mall atrium was a breeze. We simply followed the click-clacking stilettos.
We passed newly opened stores—some of which had waiters standing at the festooned doors, ready to offer trays of canapés and glasses of bubbly to curious window-shoppers.
And, as we neared the press con venue, we heard Parker through the loud speakers mounted along the mall walkway. “I hope very much that this is the first of many visits that I get to make here,” the Hollywood actor said, adding that she had heard great things about the country’s many beaches and islands.
Right in front of the SM Store entrance, a horde of chattering fashionistas, models, random mall goers, photographers, reporters and celebrities formed a human fortress around a small stage, where Parker was seated during the brief and intimate Q&A with the media.
Those not willing to jostle through a sea of designer dresses and sharply tailored suits had to settle for watching the fashion icon on television screens nearby.
Dressed in an elegant black, long-sleeved gown, Parker’s look was a stark contrast to the red chair she occupied and the colorful stage decked with gradient mesh flowers. Those desperate to take a photo of the A-list star hoisted their cameras and phones as high as they possibly could over the heads of people in front of them. They snapped away and hoped for the best. The more resourceful ones grabbed chairs to get a good vantage point.
Parker talked about how different she was from Carrie Bradshaw, the iconic character she played in the hit TV series “Sex and the City.”
Every so often, press con host Joey Mead would remind the audience “to take it down a notch” when they got too excited and started oooh-ing and ahh-ing, such as when Parker said that the one fashion item she could not ever throw away was a pair of old, black, suede Manolo Blahniks, or when she tried to say, “Salamat po,” upon receiving a souvenir from a news network reporter. “Did I say that right?” she asked.
Though the photographers became unruly from time to time, Parker fielded the usual fashion- and SM-related questions with charm and earnestness.
Earlier, she even happily obliged to throw coins around as part of the mall’s blessing.
When asked what she thought of SM Aura and its stores, she simply and candidly said she had not had the time to look around because there were so many people.
“I shop with my eyes, in other ways, too,” Parker quickly added.
“I’m always attracted to cities. I always see the virtue in cities,” she said. “Going around [Manila], there’s so much to see. Your city is so active and alive—there is vibrancy here.”
Among those who attended the event were Gretchen Barretto and her daughter, Dominique, Carmina Villaroel, Raymond Gutierrez, Georgina Wilson, Miriam Quiambao, Ben Chan, Teddy Boy Locsin, Chris Tiu, Victor Basa and Pia Magalona and daughters Maxene and Saab.
At the end of the glitzy gathering, it was announced that Parker donated $100,000 to the SM Foundation for the benefit of impoverished families in Taguig.
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