Deciding which costume H’Hen Nie, Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, will don at the International Miss Universe 2018 pageant has not been an easy task, so the Miss Universe Vietnam organization has turned to the country’s citizens for a helping hand.
The call for public feedback on the final design to represent Vietnam’s national costume at the international beauty pageant was officially announced on the television program “H’Hen Nie - Road to Miss Universe” on Sunday night by the organizing board of Miss Universe Vietnam.
The winning design will be worn by Nie at the Miss Universe pageant on December 17, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Public voting will account for 40 percent of the final decision and will be open on Miss Universe Vietnam’s Facebook page, Instagram account, and YouTube channel from now until 11:59 pm November 5.
A certificate and award of VND10 million (US$430) will also be presented to the designer of the costumer which wins the popular vote, while a lucky voter who selected the winning choice will be randomly chosen to win VND5 million ($215).
The six final designs chosen for the vote were narrowed down from a pool of submissions by fashion designers in a competition held annually since 2016.
Sunday night’s event revealed the six shortlisted outfits modeled by H’Hen Nie herself.
Each of the finalists came up with a distinct ensemble inspired by Vietnamese culture, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, lanterns, ancient towns, five tigers in Hang Trong traditional paintings, feminism, and banh mi (Vietnamese bread).
“Hoa dang sac Viet” (Vietnamese Lantern) with E De ethnic minority’s typical patterns and traditional back basket by Nguyen Vu Hung and Thach Thanh Dat was considered as a well-matched outfit for H’Hen Nie, who is its original inspiration.
|“Hoa dang sac Viet” (Vietnamese Lantern) by Nguyen Vu Hung and Thach Thanh Dat|
Nguyen Dang Thanh Nhan got the idea for “Ngu ho” (Five Tigers), which conveys the message of strength, bravery and personality of a beauty queen, from the Hang Trong traditional paintings in Hanoi.
“Nu quyen” (Feminism) by Pham Minh Phuc exploits the dragon image of the Nguyen Dynasty to symbolize feminine strength and power. Each of the costumer’s accessories were handmade by the designer himself.
“Pho co” (Ancient Town) by Nguyen Dinh Thuan was meant to infuse Hoi An’s ancient culture into a costume highlighting the city’s iconic lanterns and Cau (Bridge) Pagoda.
“Thang thu” (Elevating Fall) by Nguyen Duc Hai was inspired by traditional Vietnamese lanterns, using a yellow halter dress to represent the moon and honor the beauty of Vietnamese women.
|“Thang thu” (Elevating Fall) by Nguyen Duc Hai|
But catching the most attention from the six was the “banh mi” design by Pham Phuoc Dien, a costume which pits H’Hen Nie as a banh mi vendor carrying a tray of bread around her waist.
Social media feedback from the country’s netizens has been extremely polarized.
Many have showered the banh mi-inspired ensemble with praise, while some complain that it looks “odd”.
Meanwhile, some creative online citizens took the opportunity as the perfect chance to have some fun themselves.
Facebook user Quang Thai was quick to introduce some parodies of the “banh mi” design, arguing that there are many other iconic Vietnamese delicacies deserving the limelight.
Here are the six official designs modeled by H’Hen Nie:
|“Pho co” (Ancient town) by Nguyen Dinh Thuan|
|“Nu quyen” (Feminism) by Pham Minh Phuc|
|“Ngu ho” (Five Tigers) by Nguyen Dang Thanh Nhan|
And the “banh mi” parodies: