Here are some highlights from Opulence Ball 2023 that further solidified the event as the place to be on Halloween night.
Another Halloween season has come and gone as parties all across the country commemorated the spooky season. Ghouls, ghosts, and creatures of all kinds walked the streets, had a hauntingly fun time, and of course, enjoyed some candy. From Poblacion to the National Museum, the long Halloween weekend was a moment, and we’re still not over it. And when it came to this year’s Halloween parties, there was a different kind of energy with Opulence Ball 2023. It was a night of mythical spectacle at the Marquis Events Place BGC as the country’s top celebrities, most prominent names in fashion, and more entered a world of folklore and imagination, where legends and fantasies come alive.
With the theme of mythology, the return of Manila’s most talked-about Halloween party did not skimp on the theatrics. And while you may have caught a glimpse of it through the livestream, there was so much more going on inside the enchanted venue. Scroll down for some of the hottest and scene-stealing moments you didn’t see.
THE SET UP
One-note and basic were nowhere near the moodboard for Opulence Ball 2023. The whole event had a production value akin to a Hollywood awards night. For starters, every floor of the Marquis Events Place had an installation as every inch of the space was turned into an otherworldly realm with larger-than-life decorations, ethereal lighting, and opulent backdrops. And before attendees posed for photos, they first had to stop by the glambot area just before the red carpet.
As for the red, or should we say black carpet, in light of the typical photowall with the logo adorned across it, Opulence Ball 2023 had three giant pedestals for guests to stand and pose on. The first and third were dedicated to photos while the second was for a video as guests showcased their mesmerizing costumes to the packed media wall with a smattering of interviews on the side. Once all that was done, guests were able to enter the actual event hall. It’s giving the Met Gala of Halloween.
THE COSTUMES WERE COSTUMING
This year’s Opulence Halloween Ball delivered a spellbinding fusion of opulence and mythology, as ancient myths and legends from around the world came together for a night of unparalleled creativity and intrigue. And while many had us turning our heads, especially seeing them up close, some costumes were just on a whole other level. Two guests decided to dress up as The Birth of Venus painting by Sandro Botticelli, with a moving cart, backdrop, and seashell to match.
Andrea Brillantes had everyone talking with her Lilith costume, the first wife of Adam, as she walked the carpet with an actual snake with its handler just off to the side. And not one to be outdone, James Reid, who dressed as Hades, wore a crown made out of black candles. He then set the carpet in a blaze, literally, as his headpiece candles were lit on fire. It’s safe to say people took this year’s ball seriously.
Opulence Ball 2023 was more than just a group of people drinking and partying. There was a whole program to the event. For starters, even before you got inside the actual hall, you had to pass through a decorated hallway filled with lavish furniture pieces and booths from the ball’s partners. Then, once inside, you were greeted by a spacious and imaginative world of mythology set in the modern world. As for the actual program, the ball featured a 20-piece fashion presentation by world-renowned designer and legendary visionary Furne Amato of Amato Couture. The collection had its fair share of fantastical gowns with intricate embellishments, sculptural bodices and cage corsets, and delicate tulle regalia laden with pearls, feathers, and crystals.
Special performances included one from Jaël, a DJ and R&B artist from The Netherlands, and multifaceted producer and Seoul scene standout Ligrye. International burlesque artist Flowerbomb also delivered a mesmerizing performance at the ball. Special awards were given to guests who stood out. The night then ended with a series of DJ sets, whisking guests away into a different enchanting realm through their music.
THE STAR POWER
With all those stars in one place, the Opulence Ball served as a golden (pun intended) opportunity for these famous faces to reunite and catch up with their friends and colleagues. From the It-girl magic of Anne Curtis, Solenn Heusssaff, Dr. Vicki Belo, and Andrea Brillantes in one frame and so much more, the night was packed with moments and interactions. Everywhere you looked there was a celebrity chatting with other stars and having fun on Halloween night.
THEY SERVED FILIPINO STREET FOOD
If you thought Opulence Ball delivered the fantasy, they decided to add one more touch by having an outdoor space adjacent to the party where guests could enjoy some fresh air. In a nice and local touch, they even had a Filipino street food booth where guests could make their concoction of street food and other Filipino childhood treats. Even the gods can’t resist eating fishballs and kwek-kwek from plastic cups.
Photos by Ed Simon and Excel Panlaque
Continue Reading: Seeing Double: These Stars Wore The Same Halloween Costume This Year