Luna van der Linden and Lotte Edwards give a sneak peek into the easy camaraderie of being twins, and divulge their individual fashion and beauty preferences—showing how to tell them apart despite being identical.
The sun was barely rising over the horizon at Panglao Island, and already the Zee Lifestyle team is abuzz with activity. One of the Dream Villas at Be Grand Resort had turned into a boudoir of sorts—the four-poster bed had dresses hanging from its frame, while the comforter was covered with swimwear and accessories.
Despite the early hour, twin sisters Lotte Edwards and Luna Van Der Linden are cheerful and energetic, dancing to salsa music and admiring the outfits that were being laid out for them. The atmosphere is pretty pleasant, considering the good amount of traveling both women had to do the day before just to make it to the shoot—Luna had flown in to Cebu after an event in Boracay, while Lotte just got off a plane from Singapore.
Although identical twins, their individuality extends to their personalities. “Lotte is very feminine and glamorous, while I’m adventurous, spontaneous and sporty,” Luna explains. “As sisters, we challenge and learn from each other. She’s the best twin I could ever wish for.” To this, Lotte adds, “Our personalities are different, but we are also so much alike. Our cores are very similar. We are that close.”
The phenomenon of being twins will always stay interesting since most people will never know what it’s like to have, as Luna phrased, a wombmate. “There is an uncanny connection. I somehow feel what she is feeling,” Luna says. “When she is in pain, I know when to reach out and be there for her. It’s double the pain, but double the happiness too!”
“You’re never alone; you’ll always have that one person who connects with you at every level,” Lotte adds. And what’s the worst part about being a twin? “You’re never truly alone,” she laughs.
Their closeness is palpable as the two sit in for hair and makeup—Luna playfully teases Lotte for her looping playlist, and in return gets offered vitamins for sun protection by her sister. Now and then, they practice posing in front of the full-length mirror. “I haven’t done this in a while,” Lotte laughs. “I might not know how to do it anymore.”
Having modeled in their younger years, the twins are no strangers to the world of photo shoots. “Monch Ceballos groomed us,” Lotte recalls of their early days in the industry. “I’m very thankful for it—I wouldn’t know how the industry works nor the etiquette of the business without him.”
Although Luna continued on that path, Lotte found herself pursuing another passion, albeit in the same industry. “I became a buyer,” she shares. “After that, I realized I had a talent for design. It excited me. I would play around fabric and draping. Eventually, I got formal classes from
Oj Hofer, and with his support and my newfound talent, I opened my own business.”
With her breezy and elegant resort wear, Lotte’s creations were carried in Shangri-La resorts and hotels around the Philippines, and at designer Ana Liew’s SKYE Boutique at Orchard Central in Singapore. “My designs were very fluid and graceful, elegant and colorful.”
In pursuing another career, fashion designing had to take a backseat—Lotte is now the Brand Ambassador at ΟΝΕ15 Marina Club, an upscale marina in Sentosa Cove. “I handle all the events at Asia’s finest marina club,” she explains. “I handle the planning and creative stage, execution, inviting members and guests, and even hosting it. It’s mostly PR work, but I also do the planning of themes, which is really fun.”
Just last year, she brought in Cebu designers Jun Escario, Mia Arcenas and Dexter Alazas for a trunk show at the Singapore Yacht Show. Supporting Filipino talent on the Singapore stage means much to her. “I believe in the Filipino talent. I think it’s world-class and if we all work together—with none of this crab mentality—we can definitely show the world what we’ve got.” In the spirit of giving back, Lotte is an advocate of Style Your Soul, a movement which organized relief operations from Singapore for affected regions and victims of typhoon Yolanda.
Since starting out at ONE15 Marina Club, Lotte has been at the helm of several events and theme parties. “I also launched the only floating bar in Singapore, the Boater’s Bar, on weekends. So far, it has been successful—it’s become a weekend habit for some of Singapore’s glamorous set.” When she’s not busy working, Lotte does yoga regularly.
The position has landed her in what seems to be a beguiling lifestyle, but Lotte takes her work seriously. “Everyday always brings a new challenge, sometimes a welcome one and sometimes one I can do without. But I learn to cope,” she says. What’s one challenge that she usually finds herself facing? “For somebody who handles events and parties, the rain is my number one nemesis!”
“I love that [Luna is] very strong and loves adventures. I live vicariously through her. She always advises me to think positive all the time, and tells me the best is yet to come.” – Lotte
Being a Brand Ambassador in a yacht club where thousands come in from around the globe allows her to meet so many interesting people. “I like learning from them, seeing the world through their well-traveled eyes, learning about their culture. It’s very enriching!” Lotte shares. As a wine connoisseur, she finds meeting winemakers a particularly enjoyable experience. “I love learning about their wines and how each vineyard is different from another. It’s interesting!”
With everything that’s on her plate, she still hopes to be able to return to designing when she can. “I dream about going back, all the time. It’s always at the back of my mind. Maybe someday,” Lotte says, also admitting that her kaftans remain in circulation in her wardrobe. “It’s such a cliché, but they are perfect for Singapore’s humidity. But I guess I also designed them for lazy days when you don’t want to think too much about what to wear but still look stylish.”
For her part, Luna describes her occupation as, “Currently co-running the Chameleon modeling agency while being a housewife.”Although still modeling herself, Luna also manages models, booking them for events and shows. “More than that, I serve as their mentor,” she shares. “I teach them what I’ve learned over the years. It’s not just about grooming or walking the runway, but more about professionalism and how to handle yourself in public.”
Luna’s modeling experience certainly comes in to play as she poses for the lensman. “I actually enjoy photo shoots the most—from the creative aspect and the makeup, to playing with the lights and complex poses. But what’s important to remember, and I always tell my girls this, is that we shouldn’t be too critical of ourselves. In the end, we are all God’s beautiful creatures, flaws and all.”
With that in mind, Luna is actively pushing the Chameleon Modeling Agency into molding better talent. “The Chameleon Modeling Agency handles a number of beauties who all practice professionalism,” she shares. “We’re hoping to get our name out there for more collaborations
with top Filipino designers at the upcoming Manila Fashion Week, and we would like to participate in the Singapore Fashion Week more actively.”
Like Lotte, Luna is in a field that requires her to be extroverted, something she clearly excels at. “Meeting new people—models, designers and promoters—and being part of the creative aspect of the fashion world,” she enumerates as the things she enjoys most about her job. “It’s not all glitz and glamour, it’s a lot of hard work too. But then again, that’s the fun part.”
In between work, Luna remains on the move by subscribing to different fitness regimens. “Almost everyday is gym day, so I’m always in my sportswear. On any given day, I do yoga, boxing, running, skateboard, tennis, wall climbing—sometimes two things in one day.”
Their similar industries allow them to work together on some projects, an opportunity the twins thoroughly enjoy every time it comes up. “Some of the best events I have done were those with Lotte,” Luna reveals. “More recently, we did a fashion show for Fit for Fashion. We usually don’t walk for runways anymore, but it was for a good cause and it was styled by Queen Melo Esguerra in Singapore.”
The busy workload does take its toll as trials come with an active career. “Balancing my work life with my personal life is a challenge. We have to work around each other’s schedule and manage our calendars to make sure there is time for the things that truly matter,” Luna says, referring to Stephane Van Der Linden, her husband of almost six years, and their pets, ragdoll cat Paris and shih tzu Cosette. “In the end, I am aiming to combine a successful career with being a devoted wife. Luckily enough, we share the same passions—diving, traveling and trekking—which keep us closely connected.”
“There is an uncanny connection. I somehow feel what she is feeling. When she is in pain, I know when to reach out and be there for her. There is double the pain, but double the happiness too!” – Luna
Lotte too finds getaways the perfect time to connect with her husband Jason Edwards, and kids, eight-year-old Ethan Curtis and six-year-old Isabella Rose. “Family vacations are always the best! When I bring the kids to new places, they’re like me—they also love to swim, and play in the sand.”
Their close affinity to the sea becomes obvious in how comfortable they both are by Be Grand’s wide, sandy waterfront. “I remember how often we were at the beach when we were growing up,” Luna shares. “I learned to swim because my dad would throw coins into the sea, and we would dive down to get them. She also vividly remembers her tall Spanish grandfather, who she reckons was around 85 at the time, as he sat quietly by the pool. “I think he was either meditating or contemplating about life,” she muses.
With six other siblings in the brood, their childhood memories were ones of fun, as they recall how they developed an early taste for fashion and liked playing dress-up. Lotte adds, “We would dress up in our mom’s clothes and pose in front of the mirror.”
Both girls took up Tourism at the University of San Jose Recoletos, which had been their mom’s decision. “I was more attracted to the Arts, so I shifted to another course. My mom only found out two semesters after!” Luna laughs. “I guess it does somehow match what I do now, since I have dabbled in modeling, interior design and also took up makeup artistry classes in Singapore. All of those speak of my love for art and anything creative.”
On the other hand, Lotte ended up taking Political Science as a secondary course. “It’s pretty different from where I am now,” she admits. “Instead, I went on to open my own business in design, and designing is my passion.”
“I believe in the Filipino talent. I think it’s world-class, and if we all work together with none of this crab mentality, we can definitely show the world what we’ve got.” – Lotte
Although based elsewhere now—Singapore for Lotte and Manila for Luna—Cebu remains very much their home. “Cebu will always be home,” Lotte says. “My mom, my family and my loyal friends are there.”
“We are very lucky to have properties in Cebu, so we usually fly back on weekends and take the car to Mactan and buy fresh mangoes, lechon manok and hanging rice by the road, and hire a boat to go diving in Pandanon, Mactan Wall or any of the nearby sanctuaries,” Luna enthuses. Speaking of Cebu’s food and restaurants, she says, “My husband and I recently discovered a hole-in-the-wall on the road leading to Mactan. I’m not sure what it’s called, but they sell the freshest fish and seaweed at very reasonable prices.”
Lotte in turn mentions, “Anzani. The view from up there is amazing, and they serve really good wine. They have Quinto do Zambujeiro, my favorite wine. The food is always good, and you know that everything they serve is fresh.”
Their common favorite in Cebu is still the beaches. Both sisters would choose a tropical holiday over an adventure somewhere cooler, which explains their excitement about the shoot being at the Be Grand Resort in Panglao. “Something about the sound of the waves refreshes me,” Lotte confesses.
Luna found her second stay at Be Grand Resort equally enjoyable as her first time during the Christmas and New Year season, commenting about their friendly staff and the amazing facilities. “It’s beautiful,” Lotte adds. “The rooms are spacious and very chic. The staff are very welcoming and hospitable, and the seafood they served was mouthwatering.”
Having just opened the previous year, Be Grand Resort has become a preferred getaway place in Panglao, just off Alona Beach and tucked away in its own private cove. Its well-appointed rooms and a man-made river connecting the luxurious villas have all the makings of an indulgent beach holiday.
“It’s a perfect island paradise,” Lotte quips, also citing Boracay as another favorite. With those tropical vacation spots in mind, sunscreen and other skin protection products rank high on her list of travel essentials. “I also always bring my hats. They’re specially made in Ecuador and are perfect for any outfit.”
Both women are fond of wandering and Luna names Prague and Santorini as the next destinations on her list, while Luna shares that she’s always wanted to see the pyramids in Cairo.
The dynamic between the two is interesting to watch, their contrasting personalities actually somehow complementing each other. “Luna is the crazier one. She always love adventures and brings me for the ride,” Lotte shares about growing up together. “There was always some mischief everyday, and we never had a dull moment.”
That obviously didn’t come without a share of sibling squabbles. “My favorite memory of growing up with Lotte would probably be the fighting and the making up,” Luna laughs.
The differences they see in each other have actually become what they appreciate most now. “I love that she’s very strong and loves adventures. I live vicariously through her,” Lotte admits. “She advises me to think positive all the time, and tells me the best is yet to come.”
On Luna’s part, “Lotte’s very generous, direct and frank with me. She acts like my older sister, even though I was born ten seconds ahead of her.” She shares the best advice that Luna ever gave her: “Marry him.”
Both equally fabulous and hardworking, committed to career and family, and definitely empowered, the Delima twins may live separate lives in different cities but somehow stay connected. Despite being apart, that special bond that only twins share remains undoubtedly strong. After all, when you start your lives as “wombmates,” there really is no cutting those ties.
Everyday beauty regimen?
Luna: Sports. Sweating it out.
Lotte: I wash my face every night, even if I’m very tired. I always wash my face to let it breath while I’m sleeping.
A beauty product you can’t live without?
Luna: Chanel Les Beiges sheer powder.
Lotte: Tweezers. Grooming is very important.
Your favorite beauty look?
Luna: Dark eyes, dark red lips, dark hair and tanned skin.
Lotte: Curly big hair, dark smoky eyes and nude lipstick—dramatic and yet the nude lip gives a good contrast.
Whose beauty look do you admire?
Luna: J.Lo because she’s the best. I saw her at one of her concerts and she was amazing. She can get away with any look.
Lotte: J.Lo because she can just about get away with any look.
What looks makes you feel sexiest?
Luna: Tanned skin
Lotte: Red lipstick
Your personal style?
Lotte: Very experimental. I like mixing styles, trends and looks. I accessorize and dress to have fun and be myself.
Most used item in your closet?
Luna: Recently, I wear a lot of hats in different styles, shapes and colors.
Lotte: Not surprising, I suppose, but I wear my kaftans and other designs all the time.
Oldest thing in your closet?
Luna: I change my wardrobe regularly, so I guess the oldest thing I have in my closet is my wedding dress for obvious sentimental reasons.
Lotte: I still have stilettos from decades ago. They are good brands, so I can still actually wear them.
Your power outfit?
Luna: I don’t have a particular power outfit, but I believe that if you put a woman in the right shoes, she can conquer anything. So I do have power shoes—when I wear my YSL Tribute heels, I feel I can do anything.
Lotte: A suit from YSL. It’s all black, with slim pants.
Luna: Chanel and YSL
Lotte: Valentino and Balmain
Favorite local designers?
Luna: John Lasala, Oj Hofer and Jun Escario
Lotte: Oj Hofer and Jun Escario
Favorite place to bargain shop?
If you were a fashion accessory, what would you be?
Luna: A hat, because it’s functional and pretty.
Lotte: I’d be a watch. You need it everyday, and the style always represents the wearer.
Best fashion advice you’ve received?
Luna: Be yourself and dress like a proper lady.
Lotte: Try not to wear brown with green—you will look like a tree.
by Shari Quimbo photography Jon Unson stylist Blaq Mafia makeup Lola Ley and Sumie Belbachir hair Jesse Egos locale Be Grand Resort Bohol
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, June 2016. For back issues, subscribe via Magzter.