At the ongoing Miss Universe pageant in Florida, US, gowns designed by two Dubai designers have been front and centre.
The 69th edition of the annual competition, which was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held on Sunday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, and will crown the 2020 winner.
Furne One (pronounced o-nay), a 20-year-old Filipino designer who has dressed many Hollywood and Bollywood stars with his Amato label, was tasked with creating two looks for his country’s contestant Rabiya Mateo.
Miss Universe Philippines debuted the first look, a bright yellow tulle gown, at the preliminary round of the contest held at the weekend.
One, who was asked to dress winner Mateo after he designed swimsuits for the Philippine national contest in 2020, says the Swarovski crystal-encrusted dress, complete with a cape featuring heavy beadwork, was inspired by “the radiance of the Philippine sun.”
He tells The National that “Yellow is the colour of joy and celebration. And a hope for a new tomorrow,”
One, who has created another gown for Mateo for the finals on Sunday, says it was a challenge to put together the looks because of travel restrictions.
He says that “I couldn’t travel to the Philippines, so we had all our fittings over Zoom and that took much more time and effort.”
Another celebrity favorite, Michael Cinco, had his designs worn by pageant contestants.
Miss Romania Bianca Tirsin wore a butterfly-inspired gown from the Filipino designer’s spring/summer 2021 collection on Saturday. The gown was made of French sequins and Swarovski crystals.
Miss Czech Republic Klara Vavruskova wore a butterfly-inspired dress from Cinco’s spring/summer 2021 collection with an elaborate cocoon-style ruffled shoulder the same night.
Cinco is most excited about the dress he made for Miss Canada Nova Stevens, which will be unveiled at the finals on Sunday.
Cinco explains that “She is such an inspiring woman, and her journey as a refugee from Sudan to winning the Miss Canada crown is nothing short of amazing. so we have created a dress to celebrate that. It’s our message of strength and hope.”
Cinco and Stevens met when she travelled to Dubai in April.
Cinco said that the dress Stevens will wear at the finals will have “a mermaid silhouette that accentuates her figure and highlights the colour of her skin. It will come with a voluminous hemline with cascading pleated tulle. It’s very couture.”
Cinco, who started his eponymous label in Dubai 18 years ago, has dressed other Miss Universe contestants before, including Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach who won the title in 2015, and Miss France Iris Mittenaere, who was crowned in 2016.
On Sunday night, the competition will crown the 2020 winner, who will be Miss South Africa and current Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
Later this year, a new pageant will be held to crown the winner of the year 2021. The details have yet to be confirmed.