In every beauty pageant, national costumes should never be missing; they highlight the important culture and advocacy of the country each candidate represents.
It’s no secret that national costumes would be presented in various ways: traditional or modern, elegant or bold, simple or surprising. The candidates really dress to impress.
Here are the beautifully made and showcased national costumes that really gave a show-stopping performance in Miss Universe 2023.
1. El Salvador’s Volcanic Glow
Lighting up the stage and El Salvador with their very own Miss Universe, El Isabella Garcia-Manzo, an orange dress with elements of an erupting volcano that symbolizes the country’s rebirth.
Manzo entered with a fierce look before lighting up her headpiece, similar to the rays of the sun. She quickly pulled the string that released the illuminating feathers on her back.
Her glowing costume complemented her radiant smile, and dimmed stage lights showed off her smoking performance.
2. Guyana’s Big Surprises
The biggest national costume came from none other than Miss Universe Gayana Lisa Andrea Narine, with her incredible background props displaying the country’s rich rainforest and wildlife.
While the crowd thought her prop was a big surprise, Narine opened another surprise, revealing her backpiece with a giant lily interpretation design.
Her fauna and floral national costume rocked fairy-core inspiration to a large level, quite literally.
3. Myanmar’s Savings Tree
Ninety percent of Myanmar people practice Buddhism, which is why Miss Universe Myanmar Amara Bo dedicated her national costume to the tradition of the ‘Burmese virtue tree’.
On November 11, Miss Universe Myanmar posted on Instagram the tradition of the virtue tree, in which people donate part of their savings to monasteries during festivals.
While she may have hinted at the costume inspiration, the crowd never predicted her costume design to become the Burmese virtue tree itself.
4. Nicaragua’s Grackle Wings
Shining with black feathers is Miss Universe Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios; her bird costume is inspired by grackles, a black and shining blue feathered bird that is seen near Lake Nicaragua.
She awes the crowd even more by crouching down and imitating a flying grackle; she has fully immersed herself in the dark wings.
In a glimpse, her performance resembles Katniss Everdeen’s Mockingjay costume in the Hunger Games: Catching Fire film.
5. Philippines’ Salute And Tribute
Flying high with the planes is Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee. Michael Barassi was the designer of her golden national costume, matched with Philippine airline wings.
Dee shared on Instagram that her designer, Michael Barassi, used the ‘Solihiya’ weaving technique for the bodice, which is usually done for rattan furniture, while the airline’s inspiration was a tribute to her role as an Air Force reservist.
The added elements, such as the Philippine Airlines and tagline ‘Love the Philippines’, were to promote the country’s rich islands and hospitality culture.
6. Ukraine’s Unconditional Mother
Serenity and peace were embodied by Miss Universe Ukraine Angeline Sunova; her national costume was a mother from the heavens defending a golden baby.
Her national costume symbolizes the Ukraine-Russia war events in which Ukrainian children suffered the most, halting their education and their childhood.
Miss Ukraine’s expression displayed that of an angel, hoping to find peace amidst chaos.
7. Venezuela’s Dancing Devils
Another fierce costume came from Miss Universe Venezuela, Noela Voigt; her red feathers with a touch of gold and devil mask were inspired by the popular dancing devil festival.
Miss Venezuela danced her way to the stage, fluttering her costume, which was handcrafted and embroidered with dazzling gold jewels.
As previous Venezuelan candidates’ costumes were larger, the crowd still praised her simple yet shimmering costume; it was classy and fitting enough to showcase Venezuelan folklore.
Flawlessly flaunting and elegantly strutting their national costume made them a fan favorite and showed the whole universe that they have what it takes to be the next Miss Universe 2023.