Miss Malaysia Universe costumes are typically interpreted the country’s diverse and unique culture. In recent years, the national costumes have gotten more and more creative and we still remember the dress that portrayed a plate of delicious nasi lemak that looks so realistic, donning by Samantha Katie James, in the National Costume segment of the Miss Universe 2017. The display sparked debate across the internet on how Malaysia’s diverse and unique culture should be presented in costume fom.
This year, Miss Universe Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon is donning a Nyonya-inspired costume that drew praise from Malaysian netizens. Many people agreed that the costume seems to tick all the right boxes in paying tribute to the different cultures in Malaysian society.
The Miss Unierse Malaysia 2019’s costume combines elements from Malay, Chinese and Peranakan culture
Taking over three months to complete, the costume best represents the diverse culture that Malaysia have in combining elements from Malay, Chinese and Peranakan. The costume weighs a total of 28kg and is made up of a songket with delicate embroidery and beadwork, headgear with gold aster flowers and wings designed to look like Nyonya batik.
The 28kg costume is complete with trays of kuih-muih including onde-onde
The costume comes complete with an array of Peranakan treats arranged arrounde the gown. On the table, there are a few of local kuih-muih such as onde-onde, kueh koci, ang ku, kueh talam, kueh lapis, kueh sago and auspicious red eggs. On the other side, there’s a traditional basket, the bakul sia.
Everyone was impressed by the design
The costume drew praise from Malaysia netizens and even a netizen from Indonesia was impressed by the design – leaving a comment on Shweta’s post that said “I am Indonesian but I have to confess that this is keren bangeet (very good)”.
Designed by Carven Ong whose previously made a wedding gown worn in Crazy Rich Asians
Kuala Lumpur-based designer, Carven Ong said that the piece was titled “A Peranakan Indulgence.” The costume was inspired by the rich heritage of the Peranakan community and its bridal traditions. The design includes Malay brocade songket and it also has a pair of wings made out of Nyonya kebaya fabric – commonly worn by Peranakan ladies.
Sadly the dress wasn’t voted as the Best National costume
Host Steve Harvey, once again made a mistake that was similar to what he did four years ago, announcing the wrong winner for the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. He first announced the Philippines as winning the award. Shweta had to correct him as she told the host, ” It’s not Philippines, it’s Malaysia.”
The earlier tweet by the Miss Universe official Twitter account, announcing Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhn as the winner has since been deleted. The organisers of Miss Universe 2019 have clarified that Miss Philippines, and not Miss Malaysia, is the rightful winner of the Best National Costume award.