Why Fashion and Food? The MEGA Ball 2024 Theme Explained

Why Fashion and Food? The MEGA Ball 2024 Theme Explained


The 14th MEGA Ball promises a scrumptious feast for the senses on Independence Day. Here’s a taste of what’s to come

For MEGA, celebrating the Philippine Independence Day involves the coming together of two popular expressions of Filipino identity—fashion and food. This pair has never been as closely linked as they are today in the museum of trends. Food is more than fuel, and clothes more than cover-up as the two sensory experiences are steeped in both a personal and a cultural moment. The annual MEGA ball, now in its 14th year, creates conversations that speak about the layers surrounding the creative intersection, and how, through culinary craftsmanship, this year showcases the evolution of Filipino culture.

The MEGA Ball 2024

RELATED: MEGA Ball 2024 Unites Fashion and Food in a Spectacular Celebration

Peewee Reyes-Isidro, Editor-in-Chief

As the Editor-in-Chief of MEGA, Peewee Reyes-Isidro has the eye for fashion and a refined palate. Under her direction, the occasion will mirror the pages of MEGA, teeming with designers, creatives, models, actors, artists, and now, chefs—the individuals shaping Filipino culture today. “Both disciplines, fashion and food, require inspiration, creativity, craftsmanship, collaboration, and passion,” she declares. “We don’t have to look too far for signs of food as inspiration for designers. Just look at the colors, prints, and patterns taken from spices, fruits, vegetables, and various culinary ingredients in fashion.” 

MEGA Editor-in-Chief

Flipping through this year’s snapshots will capture the celebration of local Filipino talent in both the fashion and food industries. Reyes-Isidro shares, “At the MEGA Ball, we showcase the work of designers, chefs, and artisans to elevate and contribute to the growth of creatives in the Philippines.”

Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo, CEO of Wildflour Hospitality Group

With more than ten years in the culinary scene as a renowned restaurateur, Ana de Ocampo helms the 14th MEGA Ball as co-chair to recognize the chefs with exacting attention to quality ingredients, rigorous techniques, and innovative concepts that enrich the Filipino food scene. “Food and fashion are both everyday things that we sometimes take for granted, but they are also so steeped in culture and are avenues for artistic and creative expression. These are where Filipinos have proven to excel on the world stage as well,” she proclaims. “This year’s MEGA Ball is the perfect venue to celebrate the intersection of these two diverse disciplines. It shows that they are both art forms that allow for much experimentation, aesthetic and experiential pleasure, and a sense of belonging and community.”

MEGA Ball 2024: A Taste of the Realms of Fashion and Food Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo Wildflour
CEO of Wildflour Hospitality Group

Chelsea Manalo, Miss Universe Philippines 2024

Recently crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2024, Chelsea Manalo will be attending the MEGA Ball as a living representation of fashioning Filipino freedom and pride for the global stage. “Through me, I want to reflect empowerment and inclusivity, and showcase what we can offer here,” she asserts, embracing and commanding the responsibilities that come with the crown. Stepping into her first MEGA Ball, it is clear that Manalo reflects what the publication is heralding for the fashion and food industries; both disciplines have the power to fulfill our most indulgent cravings, and the best part is that the satisfaction is guilt-free. 

MEGA Ball 2024: A Taste of the Realms of Fashion and Food Chelsea Manalo Miss Universe Philippines 2024
Chelsea Manalo on the cover of MEGA’s special anniversary issue

Chef Josh Boutwood 

The main course of the event is where the chefs are the pantheon. The honorees will present their own dishes, each plate’s multiple permutations of flavor expected to hit several pleasurable notes in the brain. Among the honorees is Chef Josh Boutwood, trailblazer in the culinary industry as corporate chef of The Bistro Group and leader of numerous restaurants. His craftsmanship and artistry in the kitchen, to which he serves emotion, culture, and sumptuous food, will be celebrated and marked in the 14th MEGA Ball. 

MEGA Ball 2024: Uniting Food and Fashion for Independence Day Chef Josh Boutwood
Chef and restaurateur, The Test Kitchen, Savage, Helm

The success of the chef is when his hands can follow his mind—consequently sublimating matter into a an excellent taste for the Filipino. That speaks to the fashion industry, as both sectors rely on the individual’s artistic vision to create unique experiences that collectively engage our senses and reflect our heritage. Fashion and food also put emphasis on aesthetics, influencing and influenced by trends and cultural shifts, serving as extensions of our individualities.

“Fashion and food have grown together throughout the decades; the evolution of fashion is much faster than that of food, but we’re catching up in an artistic way,” Chef Josh says. “While they belong very closely together, the MEGA Ball has now brought the two disciplines in one room for one evening, where we can share our interest in the art space and create delicious artworks in the process.”

After this year’s MEGA Ball, guests, designers, and chefs alike will return, hungry for more.


Featured Image photographed by GRANT BABIA. Assistants VICTOR BELINARIO and MONIQUE ROBLES. Creative Chief PATRICK TY. Creative direction by GAL VENTURA & MIA CASTRO. Art Direction by JONES PALTENG. Ad&Promo Supervisor TYRA SANCHEZ. Bookings Associate JOANA FERNANDO. Styling by ROKO ARCEO for (Ana de Ocampo), (Peewee Reyes-Isidro), and (Chelsea Manila) and BITHIA REYES for (Philippe Magalona) and (Angelina Hartshorne).

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