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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2016 National Costumes: Part One

Coral Queen: Miss Universe Australia Caris Tiivel

The 65th Miss Universe Beauty Pageant is just getting started with the Finals occurring on January 30th in the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila Philippines. Even though we are almost a month into the new year of 2017, this will be Miss Universe 2016 (as opposed to Miss Universe 2017). 85 contestants from all over the world are scheduled to compete and the first batch of beauties have already begun to arrive in Manila this past week, with official events starting next week on January 14.

In the lead up to the next few weeks of pre-Miss Universe Finals events, it's time to take a Sneak peak at one of my favorite parts of the Miss Universe pageant...THE NATIONAL COSTUMES!!! Because it is Miss Universe, the costumes have gotten, well, a little more "creative"...less traditional and more "Victoria's Secret" sexy-ish (at least for some!), using A LOT of artistic freedom to interpret a nation's culture, iconic monuments/people/architecture, etc. to design some not-so-traditional "National" costumes.

I have done a little web investigating (OK, A LOT!) and so far I have gathered 19 national costumes that will be worn by the Miss Universe 2016 contestants. So...let's take a look, starting with Miss Universe Australia:

Miss Universe Australia Caris Tiivel: This jumpsuit-and-overskirt-combination look was reportedly designed to resemble Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The very beautiful Caris Tiivel "Miss Universe Australia" said that she hoped it would pressure politicians in Australia and overseas to address coral bleaching (we'll see about that darlin'!). The costume features a beaded jumpsuit to represent the colors and textures of the coral and an overskirt of 100 meters of fabric to portray the ocean's waves. It was designed by Perth native Steph Audino. It has already gotten "mixed" reviews from the internet with someone saying it looked like "leftover Christmas tinsel". Ouch. In case you're wondering, this was the fun and fab costume last year's "Miss Universe Australia" wore:

Miss Universe Australia 2015 national costume depicting Dame Edna and the Sydney Opera House designed by Timothy Cubbo

Miss Universe Austria Dajana Dzinic: Dajana's national costume for Austria is...inspired by the 1965 Academy award winning film "Sound of Music". Naturally! You can almost hear "The hills are alive...with the Sound of Music!" while the lovely Dajana twirls around. The beautifully printed costume was designed by Aviad Arik Herman, same designer of Miss Universe Sweden's costume. I love the obviousness of this and it's very high kitsch factor but I still cannot get over last year's Miss Universe Austria's national costume:

Miss Universe Austria 2015 in national costume depicting Austrian singer/superstar and Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst

Miss Universe Bolivia Antonella Moscatelli: This festive and colorful costume was created with the help of the Association of Folkloric Ensembles of Oruro (ACFO) and designed by Monika Siles with help from Marcelo Anteza who created the feathered headdress as well as 20+ people who aided in creating the ensemble. The costume represents the allegories in the 18 types of dances in the Carnival of Oruno and is entitled the "Allegory of the Carnival of Oruro". The carnival is a religious festival dating back more than 200 years that takes place in Oruro, Bolivia. It is one of UNESCO's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The cost of making the costume: $1500--quite cheap for such an elaborate costume!

Miss Universe Bulgaria Violina Ancheva: This costume is supposedly inspired by Kukeri, an ancient pagan tradition when men parade on the streets and perform ritual dances dressed in handmade costumes. According to the tradition, the scarier the outfit, the better with the goal: To chase away the evil spirits of winter. The look features a a leather belt and huge copper bells attached to it in the front and back. This could be very "Game of Thrones" hot. Let's hope there are fab boots and a headdress to go with it.

Miss Universe Finland Shirly Karvinen: Happy Finnish Christmas! Shirly's costume celebrates a Finnish Christmas/Santa Claus Fantasy Diva. The Joulupukki is the tradition Finnish Christmas figure and it's a Santa Claus with a looooong "Billy Goat"-like beard. I'm thinking this is the Finnish "Victoria's Secret" Fashion Show version of this...maybe?

Miss Universe Guatemala Virginia Argueta: Miss Universe Guatemala's national costume is inspired by the Quetzal bird. It is designed by Guatemalan designers Cesar Portillo along with Juan Francisco Arevalo. The pre-Columbian-inspired design is made of feathers, Swarovski crystals and a bustier made of molded glass. 

Miss Universe Guyana Soyini Fraser: Miss Universe Guyana's national costume is entitled "The Coconut Queen" and was inspired by a painting at the 2016 Guyana Coconut Festival done by Courtney Douglas (left photo). I think it's fun and quite COCONUT cute! 

Miss Universe Hungary Veronika Bodizs: Miss Universe Hungary's national costume was designed by Peter Mero and features the prominent red color, featured in Hungary's flag and flower-influenced folk costumes. Like many other "Miss Universe" costumes, it plays with a lot of creative freedom when it comes to iconic Hungarian motifs and especially, it's famous embroidery...

There is also a "hint" of these "wedding" headdress of the past in her National Costume. I think it's kind of festive, sexy as well as a creative way to show Hungarian culture. At least, it was NOWHERE close to this polyester costume mess from by "Miss Universe Hungary" back in 2010:

House of Goulash: Miss Universe Hungary Timea Babinyecz at the Miss Universe 2010 National Costume presentation

Miss Universe Indonesia Kezia Warouw:  This gorgeous golden costume was designed by Dynand Fariz, president of the Jember Fashion Carnaval as well as the JFC creative team. It took two months to create. The theme is "Unity Nation" and inspiration is the iconic Garuda Bird. The Garuda bird represents sovereignty of Indonesia and symbolizes grandeur and glory with its golden color. Those gold feather wings deserve an award right now! I am still at a loss at how these things get transported from country to country and WHO PAYS for the excess baggage fees???

Miss Universe Korea Jenny Kim: Jenny Kim is wearing a traditional Korean Hanbok ensemble featuring very elaborate flower embroidery, bold colors and beautiful headdress/wig.

Which ones are YOUR FAVORITES so far???
Stay Tuned for Part Two!......

3 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2016 National Costumes: Part One "

Anonymous said...

You also know that Hungary's costume has red chili peppers... that make paprika.... which is known as Hungarian right?

Lili said...

Love the workmanship of Korea.

Wanda Prasetya said...

Indonesia is best national costumes!