Our very own Miss Universe Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon, 22, definitely won our hearts during the National Costume segment at the recent Miss Universe pageant in Georgia, United States.
A popular segment of the Miss Universe pageant, the National Costume category showcases the unique cultural heritage of the contestants’ home country, in all its glory.
This year’s outfit for our Malaysian beauty queen was designed by renowned Malaysian couture designer, Carven Ong. The captivating costume, named “Peranakan Indulgence” is inspired by Baba and Nyonya heritage with heavy Malay cultural influences.
A worthy mention which caught the attention of judges and the audience was the inclusion of local delicacies such as onde-onde, kuih koci, ang ku (red tortoise kueh), kuih talam, kuih lapis, sago cake and also Chinese red egg, neatly arranged on a table-like design attached to the bodice of the outfit. Look closer and you can even spot the traditional basket, bakul sia making an appearance. (That’s pretty cool!!)
The bodice features woven Malay brocade songket. That’s not all – the costume even comes with a pair of wings showcasing Nyonya kebaya fabric which adds a glamourous touch to the entire outfit!
According to Hype.my, the designer took about 3 months to be complete the outfit which weighs 27 kg! Apart from the national costume, the evening gown designed by Carven Ong also embodies the beauty of Malaysian beaches in a caramel-coloured evening gown embellished with real beads and pearls.
Although this year’s National Costume segment gained much publicity with host Steve Harvey who interviewed Shweta on stage who initially assumed to have made a mistake by mentioning Miss Philippines as the national costume winner. Shweta dealt with the situation with much grace and poise when she said firmly- “It’s not Philipines-It’s Malaysia.” (Yass, Queen!)
However, recent updates on the official Facebook page of Miss Universe Malaysia states that the Miss Universe Organisation has clarified that the winner of the Best National Costume is in fact, Miss Philippines, Gazini Ganados.
Shweta took to Instagram to congratulate Gazini despite the dramatic turn of events. Check out her post below which proves that she truly embodies our Malaysian spirit of humility!
You did your best to represent our nation and will remain a winner in our eyes forever!
*Featured image sourced from The Star