From actress Heart Evangelista to model Kelsey Merritt, Philippine fashion’s finest came out to see the unveiling of South Asia’s tallest Christmas tree.
Filipinos are big fans of the festive season and brands know to bring in the Christmas cheer with holiday traditions. For years, Louis Vuitton has welcomed the holiday season in the Philippines in a myriad of ways. This year, the French fashion Maison took over Greenbelt 3 by mounting a 50-foot Christmas tree—55 with the star. The tree is the tallest in South Asia this year, comprising of 120 uniquely-shaped Louis Vuitton boxes to symbolize the spirit of gift giving. The night’s host Joey Mead-King marking the countdown, the tree’s unveiling and lighting brought together the likes of actress Anne Curtis-Smith, style star Camille Co, and Dr. Vicki Belo and Dr. Hayden Kho of the Belo Medical Group, for a night of glitz, glamour, and a sprinkling of holiday cheer, while onlookers gathered ’round.
Prior to the tree’s lighting, guests gathered in the Louis Vuitton flagship store, which opened its new Greenbelt location, the largest in the country, a little over a year ago. Guests indulged themselves to champagne, delicate hors d’oeuvres, and a spot of shopping . They were then escorted through a “fashion walk” where models were on hand to greet them, in order to witness the tree strategically located in the Ayala Malls location. Heart Evangelista, Kelsey Merritt, and Ayala Land, Inc. Director Mariana Zobel de Ayala were spotted chatting with other guests, while fashion designers like Rhett Eala and Rajo Laurel mingled close by. After the light show illuminated the evening, guests moved to a private cocktail party and dinner at Ember. In between sipping champagne and enjoying the restaurants offerings, some of the industry’s finest reflected on the theme of the night: the Filipino Christmas spirit.
With Christmas rituals like Noche Buena and awaiting Aguinaldo or Pamasko, the Filipino Christmas season (the longest celebrated in the Philippines) is undeniably distinct. For family members and loved ones who aren’t able to return home, these traditions transcend the distance and time apart. Actress Heart Evangelista remarks, “Filipinos are very warm. So whenever you’re abroad, you always look for home.” She even shares some of her favorite traditions. “Going around from house-to-house with my family and friends, bringing all the goodies, and eating of course. I also can’t wait for midnight to hit because everybody is very festive—I love that.”
Meanwhile for style star Camille Co, growing up as Filipino-Chinese, she had different traditions growing up. She didn’t grow up believing in Santa Claus, for example. Now, her ways of spending Christmas have starkly changed. She says, “My [family’s] Christmas tradition was traveling abroad. When I got married to Joni [Koro], Christmas was a huge thing for [his Finnish family] because Santa came from Finland.” Now that she has a daughter, Sienna, she wants to make sure she begins new traditions. Asides from now making it a point to travel to Europe for the holidays, she mentions, “I want Sienna to love all the fuss that comes with Christmas and that’s the tradition I want to pass down to her.”
“My favorite Christmas traditions include watching movies with my family, taking it slow with pets, and enjoying food with family,” shares CEO of KSR Venture and multi-hyphenate Katrina Razon, who also DJ-ed towards the end of the night, of her holiday traditions. But aside from going about annual traditions, Razon wants all of us to reflect more about the meaning of Christmas this year. “I’d like to remind everyone to slow down, take some to reflect, and breathe consciously. After two years of a lot of hardship, we should be grateful that we’re still here. We survived and [should] remember those that we’ve lost [during] the pandemic.”
With 45 more days ’til Christmas, as mentioned by Mead-King, this towering reveal was a representation of the real spirit of Christmas: giving. The tree pays tribute to the essence of thoughtful gifting—to appreciate loved ones. In anticipation of Christmas, the Louis Vuitton-clad guests encapsulated what the holidays means to the Philippines: a joyous celebration.
See the stylish attendees who graced the event below.
Ayala Land, Inc. Director Mariana Zobel de Ayala and Louis Vuitton General Manager Philippines, Guam and Saipan, Aymeric Lacroix
Vogue Philippines Editor-In-Chief Bea Valdes, Dr. Hayden Kho, and Dr. Vicki Belo
Patty Ang and Migs Almeda
Ambassador of the French Republic to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz
Photography by Erwin Canlas, Assisted by Riza Rosal