Wearing the Philippines: How Catriona Gray’s national costume went above and beyond

The costume called ‘Luzviminda’ includes a lot of different elements in an attempt to fully represent the country. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

By Amanda T. Lago/rappler.com – On stage, Catriona Gray’s national costume looked heavy, to say the least.

At the Miss Universe 2018 national costume show, the woman who stunned the world with her lava walk seemed significantly slowed down – though every bit as graceful – as she wheeled her enormous costume down the runway (which unexpectedly turned out to be carpeted, making it that much harder for her to carry her costume).

The ensemble itself looked like a magnificent mishmash of designs: a patterned bodysuit, a beaded headdress, a molded brass belt, various fabrics on her thigh-high shoes, and a brightly-colored lantern as backdrop.

In the past, Filipina Miss Universe candidates wore relatively more streamlined, elegant ensembles. Many chose to go the Maria Clara or terno route, others decided to wear Maranao-inspired outfits, some decided to channel the colorful sarimanok.

They were costumes, yes, but they were still wearable outfits – and the prettiest ones, with some adjustment, would not have looked out of place in a high-fashion editorial.

By comparison, Catriona’s costume looked infinitely more complicated – but perhaps in that way, more representative of a country with many various cultures, languages, and ethnicities.

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