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Filipino designs take center stage at the Miss Universe preliminaries

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The creations of Filipino designers took center stage at the Miss Universe 2023 pageant.

The creations of Filipino designers took center stage at the Miss Universe 2023 pageant. Images: FILE PHOTOS

Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Marquez Dee captivated the audience and online spectators with her elegant emerald-green gown created by her go-to designer Mark Bumgarner at the preliminary competition of the 72nd Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador on Nov. 15 (Nov. 16 in Manila).

But there were several other candidates also showcased Filipino fashion on the same stage.

The crowd at the Jose Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador also saw other pieces created by the masterful hands of talented Filipino designers. Among them was the fully sequined and beaded gold gown worn by Malta’s Ella Portelli executed by Louis Pangilinan.

Celebrated Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne Amato, who has already dressed up Hollywood celebrities, had two muses in the competition. Pakistan’s first-ever delegate Erica Robin paraded in a shimmering white halter gown with matching veil, while Egypt’s Mohra Tantawy paraded in a fully beaded gold gown.

Bahrain’s Lujane Yacoub opted for a sparkly powder-blue number with a built-in neck jewelry detail created by Carla Fuentes. The gown also featured a bead pattern in various blue hues to accentuate her hour-glass figure.

Tatiana Beauharnais from Mauritius showed up in a fully beaded green gown with a thigh-high slit and glistening train and cape created by US-based Filipino designer Boogie Musni Rivera.

Another US-based Filipino designer, Kristen Regalado, created a dove gray ensemble embellished with silver beads and sequins for Earlyca Frederick from Saint Lucia.

Even reigning Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel, who hosted the program, tapped Rian Fernandez anew for her wardrobe. The Filipino designer, who made her competition gowns in the pageant’s 71st edition, showcased his signature work of intricate beadwork using metal-encased pieces of crystal in the queen’s outfit.

The preliminary competition, which also pitted the delegates in swimsuit, is an important round for the 84 representatives participating this year. Scores derived from the program will be combined with the ones taken from the closed-door interview to determine the ladies who will advance to the next round.

The 2023 Miss Universe pageant will proclaim Gabriel’s successor at the coronation show in the same arena on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19 in Manila). Dee will try to become the fifth Filipino woman to bring home the crown.


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TAGS: gown competition, Michelle Dee, Miss Universe
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