Throwback: Miss Universe Title Holders in National Costumes

Aside from the Question and Answer and Swimsuit segments, another highly anticipated portion in the Miss Universe pageant is the National Costume show wherein the contestants confidently strut either their flashy or modest costumes that would best represent the abundant culture of their country onstage.

Although the most prestigious competition in the universe kicked off 65 years ago, it was only in 1962 when the Best in National Costume Award was given with Miss England, who was wearing a racy version of a Beefeater uniform, as the first recipient.

From the simple traditional outfits worn by contenders in the past stagings of Miss Universe, the designs continue to evolve through the years, as designers and stylists become more imaginative and the delegates willingly take the risk of pulling off fancy ensembles.

If you’re thinking that the National Costume showdown has bearing in the scores that identify who would be the semi-finalists and the winner, you’re wrong. But this doesn’t stop the global beauties to exert their effort and shell out huge amount of money in order to stand out from the rest.

Of course, the Philippine representatives didn’t fail to astonish the universe and make the Filipinos proud as they sashayed in folk costumes inspired by various ethnicities in the archipelago. Apparently, our stunning representatives were dressed in iconic modern ternos.

In fact, we won the award once through the striking beauty of Miss Universe 1994 Top 6 Charlene Mae Gonzales Bonnin who was then wearing an intricately designed Bagobo and Higanon traditional outfits helmed by renowned Pinoy designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno. The ensemble features the native t’nalak materials with authentic Bagobo belt and Higanon headdress.

Browse through the gallery to see how fabulous our previous delegates were in their national costumes.

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