Contestants from Miss Universe 2018 have unveiled their national costumes ahead of the beauty pageant commencing in December in Thailand.
Japan’s Yuumi Kato will transform from a ninja into Sailor Moon. (Photo: Facebook/Miss Univese Japan)
Japan’s Yuumi Kato will be bringing something old and something new to the competition, in the form of her double-duty costume that will see her transform from a female ninja into anime icon Sailor Moon.
In an Instagram video on Wednesday, Miss Universe Japan showed Miss Kato parading a traditional red kunoichi outfit, before turning around and morphing into the anime schoolgirl's alter ego.
Commenting on her cosplay choice, Miss Kato said this year’s costume represents the "new Japanese culture" of "woman warrior Sailor Moon".
“We all watched Sailor Moon growing up and I loved this character so much,” the model shared on her personal page
National Director of Miss Universe Japan said that she wanted to have a costume that could "express Japan to the world".
Miss Universe Vietnam's banh mi inspired costume. (Photo: Facebook/H'Hen Nie)
Miss Universe Vietnam's bold fashion statement embodies one of the most iconic foods from the Southeast Asian nation.
H'Hen Nie's elaborate outfit features a skirt of banh mi, a ubiquitous Vietnamese baguette sandwich, flanked by two basket "wings". A fun and original consume this will surely garner plenty of attention from fans across the world and the judges, she said.
While the design went against the grain for many, she was quoted by Viet Nam News as saying: "Whether you go to the poorest areas of the North and Central Highlands, or the most exquisite places of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you will find the presence of bread. For foreigners, seeing banh mi and pho (noodles) they will think of Vietnam."
The controversial pick was voted the most popular outfit from six potential choices. Several of the other options were more formal.
The Malaysian creation was inspired by a traditional Malay fishing boat. (Photo: Facebook: Miss Universe Malaysia Official)
Having drawn flak for its nasi lemak and Petronas Twin Towers costumes in the past, Malaysia hopes to sail through the competition this year with a creation inspired by a traditional Malay fishing boat.
The ensemble made a splash on Instagram earlier this month, with Miss Universe Malaysia Jane Teoh explaining that her national costume was based on the bangau perahu from the state of Terengganu.
"It's iconic and rich in Malay culture, making it uniquely Malaysian. Definitely feeling strong, bold and confident donning it," she wrote.
The local designer, Salleh Hamid, made the outfit in six months.
Sophida Kanchanarin from the host country Thailand, takes inspiration from the white elephant, which is an important part of Thai culture. (Photo: Miss Universe Thailand)
This year’s pageant host will grace the stage as "Chang, the Icon of Siam".
A video of Thai beauty queen Ning Sophiba introducing the outfit on Nov 19 shows the dress' white train unfurling into a hood in the shape of an elephant’s head, complete with a collapsible trunk.
Miss Universe Thailand decided on the outfit after a competition, which included other creative submissions such as pieces inspired by Ratchaburi’s floating market as well as Thailand’s Songkran festival.
According to Khaosod news agency, winning designer Theer Phasuk said: “Elephants are a symbol of our nation and have been with us for a long time. Elephants are what foreigners recognise about Thailand.”
In 2015, Thailand drew derision for its tuk-tuk costume, complete with working headlights. The outfit raced ahead of other competitors to be named Best National Costume at the pageant in Las Vegas.
The costume features UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat. (Photo: Facebook/Miss Universe Cambodia)
Miss Universe Cambodia Rern Sinat will have the weight of the kingdom on her shoulders.
Dubbed “The Kingdom of Wonder”, the costume has rich cultural and historical elements, including a headdress in the form of UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, set against the colour of the Cambodian flag.
The Cambodian flag is echoed on the arm hangings, while the dress is also adorned with designs based on the mysterious smiling faces of the Bayon temple and the Romduol, Cambodia’s national flower.
"For me, this National Costume is more than just an attire. It’s a visual and emotional representation of what makes me very proud to be Cambodian," Miss Rern Sinat said.
And some other:
Representative from the Republic of Korea has beautiful complex braided hair.
Miss Universe Laos, On-Anong Homsombath and her national costume.
Miss Universe Panama has a fabulous dress stretching far out from her body.
A colourful national costume from Miss Universe Mexico 2018, the Aztec like costume looks grand and intriguing with so many details added to it.
Miss Universe Puerto Rico dresses in an outfit with claw like hands coming out of it.
Miss Guatemala national costume for Miss Universe 2018.