Few days before the grand finale, the Miss Universe 2012 contestants introduced their countries to the world through their national costume during the parade show held last December 15 (December 14 in the United States). The costume parade is a yearly tradition of the Miss Universe pageant. Now, it makes us think how many times should a country tell the world what it is with an annual parade. Well the girls always come up with something new every year. Some of the costumes are too ethnic and too representative of the country; others dwell on simplicity; and some are just uniquely fabulous.
I am listing 15 ladies who got my attention and awe during the national costume show. I don’t know but 15 is such a holy number in pageants. You would notice that my list is not influenced by the grand feathery costumes of the Latinas nor the tribal style of Africans. It’s completely veered towards beauty, style, and originality.
1. Brazil: Queen of the Jungle
It’s expected. Miss Brazil always wears a wonderful national costume every year, after all the country is home to colorful sequins, feathers, and fabrics. This year, Miss Brazil offers the audience the flora and fauna of the country with the cute little parrots perched on her shoulders. Plus, I love the way she shook her shoulders during her catwalk.
2. Chile: Sexy Napoleon
Miss Chile wore a national costume inspired by the founder of her country, a warrior perhaps. But her costume looks more European than Latin American. As the hosts commented, it’s Napoleon Bonaparte – sexy style!
3. China: The girl inspired by ceramic wares
Isn’t she like a beautiful ceramic ware painted with blue dyes? Her costume is very high fashion, from the head dress to the huge folds on her skirt.
4. Honduras: Las Vegas girl
Okay, Miss Honduras, with her white feathery head dress, bikini, and a mile-long background piece, looks like a performer in the Vegas strip. But why did she enter my list? It’s actually because of the story behind her costume. She is a sea goddess with the sea horse as the centerpiece of her scepter, the white colors, and the coral-inspired back piece. Perfect for a coastal country like Honduras.
5. Indonesia: The Garuda lady
Indonesia has such a fantastic, varied culture, not to forget the vastness of its natural wonders. Similar to the name of its football club and the name of one of its airlines, Miss Indonesia’s national costume is an eagle inspired by the Garuda, a large mythical bird that appears in Hindu and Buddhist culture, two of the largest religions in Indonesia.
6. Israel: Little Gold Riding Hood
Miss Israel landing on the list of best national costumes comes as surprise. The local organization in-charge of Miss Israel seems not to pay much attention to the parade of nations as the costumes of their representative during the previous years were flops. But this year, Miss Israel strikes us with her golden costume – simple yet elegant. It may not tell much of her country but the beauty covers it up.
7. Malaysia: The uninvited wedding guest
Miss Malaysia’s national costume is actually an ethnic dress injected with a twist. Isn’t it reminiscent of Maleficent from the Sleeping Beauty? It makes you imagine Miss Malaysia barging in a wedding ceremony saying, “Is the party over?” Then she walks down the aisle of sits down. She can also be someone who trespasses and asks aloud why she isn’t invited.
8. Netherlands: Walking Windmill
When Miss Netherlands went out to the stage, I was so sure she’ll be on my list. Fabulous and shining body piece, moving “windmills” as she walked, and the colors of the Dutch flag, one would surely say it’s Netherlands when she comes in.
9. Panama: Exotic beauty
Forgive me when I say I was not influenced by the feathers of Latinas. I actually was, but only for Miss Panama. Panama has been on the lists of best national costumes annually. This year, she’s still on it.
10. Peru: All Hail!
Now, we have another of those old school army shots. But this time, with Miss Peru, it’s the combination of military costumes and regal costumes. Absolutely amazing.
11. Spain: Gothic-inspired
I never thought Gothic culture ever reached Spain, did it? Oh well, Miss Spain’s national dress this year is teeming with red and black, my favorite color combination. It’s because it’s fierce, wild, and sexy. Perhaps the country grew tired of the Flamenco dresses each year and came out with something new. They succeeded.
12. Thailand: The evil within
Another combination of red and black. The subtitle above speaks for itself. ‘Nuff said.
13. Uruguay: Sunny Vegas girl
Another Vegas performer in Miss Uruguay. It’s one of the best national costumes in this best list. The costume exudes happiness, joy, and delight. Perfect for sunny Vegas.
14. USA: The Liberty
It’s the Status of Liberty moving! Miss USA Olivial Culpo nails it! There was technical problem though as the hosts said there’s going to be a surprise in the costume but as she walked the runway, there was not. Oh well, it’s still fab.
15. Venezuela: The Chocolate(y) Girl
All ready for the holidays as Miss Venezuela brought in holiday edition chocolates! It’s unique, very original, and looked good on her but it was barely a national costume and more of a personal costume. Miss Venezuela’s family owned a chocolate factory and the creators of the costume said it got inspiration from the chocolate factory. It failed at being national costume but rocked as Christmas dress. Better try one.