10 most elaborate national costumes from #MissUniverse2019

From Brazil's sparkly soccer costume to Vietnam's giant spoon, the contestants tried to represent their countries


Entertainment Desk December 10, 2019
PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2019 created quite a storm on social media this year, from host Steve Harvey's apparent mix-up of Miss Philippines and Miss Malaysia to Zozibini Tunzi becoming the first black South African to win the pageant for her country.

During the national costume portion of the competition, which was filmed two days ahead of the live show held in Atlanta over the weekend, each contestant sported an outfit that represented her country.

Many of the costumes were elaborate and avant-garde, with the majority of the contestants donning large back pieces. As compiled by Insider, here are the 10 most elaborate dresses seen this year.

South Africa

PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Zozibini Tunzi, the 2019 Miss Universe, sported a multi-coloured three-dimensional accessory made of love letters to the women of South Africa. The 26-year-old winner hopes to use her platform to fight sexism and gender-based violence. Tunzi also advocates for natural beauty, according to the Miss Universe website.

Vietnam

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Hoàng Thùy honored her country with a large hat and oversized spoon, which she paired with a sparkly ombre jumpsuit. The 27-year-old founded Women Empowerment (WE), a nonprofit. She's also a model and has walked on runways around the world.

Malaysia

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Shweta Sekhon sported a multi-coloured floral ensemble that featured a dessert table. The 22-year-old hockey player works with charitable organisations to end poverty.

Viewers thought Sekhon won the costume competition because of an interview she did with host Steve Harvey during the show, but Miss Philippines actually had the best costume of the competition.

Philippines

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Gazini Ganados won the costume competition in this silver dress which featured matching bird accessories. The 23-year-old works with organisations to help create eco-friendly buildings.

Tanzania

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Shubila Stanton wore a cross between a gown and armor for the costume portion of the competition. The 23-year-old is dedicated to combating climate change.

Miss British Virgin Islands 

PHOTO: Alex Mertz/Miss Universe PHOTO: Alex Mertz/Miss Universe

Bria Smith looked like a moving plant in a sparkly gown paired with a train made of flowers. The 26-year-old is a speech communications adjunct lecturer for H Lavity Stoutt Community College in her home country, and she also advocates for the cultural and historical preservation of the British Virgin Islands.

#MissUniverse sends Twitter into a frenzy as South Africa takes the crown 

Cambodia 

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Somnang Alyna wore an outfit inspired by Princess Indra Devi, which featured a back piece made of floating statues. At just 18 years old, Alyna has already donated school supplies to over 15,000 students.

USA

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Cheslie Kryst channelled Sandra Bullock from Miss Congeniality in an ensemble modelled after the Statue of Liberty, complete with gold-tipped wings and a torch.

Brazil 

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Julia Horta paid tribute to her country's passion for athletics through a sparkly soccer uniform, which she paired with an elaborate back piece.

India 

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Vartika Singh, stunned in a traditional red-and-gold outfit, complete with a large gold back piece.

Laos

PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe PHOTO: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe

Vichitta Phonevilay walked the runway inside of an ornate elephant puppet. The 23-year-old advocates for education in rural areas.

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