By THE NATION
HOSTED BY Thailand 13 years ago, the 2018 edition of the Miss Universe pageant returns to Bangkok this year with the lovely ladies taking to the stage for the finale on December 17.
And this year’s competition is being made even more special as Thailand’s most distinguished designer, Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Narirattana, is underlining her commitment to female empowerment with a collection of stylish swimsuits designed for the preliminary competition as well as two exquisite Thai silk dresses for tonight’s Thai Night Gala dinner.
The custom-made dresses will be worn by Miss Universe Thailand 2018, Sopida Kanchanarin and Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
The other 95 lovely ladies will also celebrate the host country by wearing traditional Thai costumes from 19 leading Thai designers using hand-woven silk created for The Support Foundation under the royal patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the late King Rama IX.
Thai silk has a unique lustre and its sheen comes from two unique blends – one colour for the warp and another for the weft – meaning that the colour changes when it is viewed at different angles and under different lights.
For this special night, Miss Universe Thailand 2018 Sopida Kanchanarin is wearing an elegant silhouette that draws on the gowns in the Sirivannavari Couture Collection inspired by the wardrobe of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. Combining mudmee and praewa silks, the dress incorporates a couture technique that requires skilled craftsmanship and meticulous handiwork to ensure that the identity of the fabric’s unique character shines through. A key detail is the peacock image — a symbol with double meaning as it represents both the Sirivannavari brand and the royal guarantee bestowed by the Queen on high quality Thai silk that the world can trust.
Last year’s winner, South African Nel-Peters, will make her entrance in another royally designed gown. This strapless two-piece is inspired by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s wardrobe and uses solid Thai silk combined with praewa silk. A draping technique is used for an effortless flowing effect with the long skirt created in a Greek style to showcase the unique beauty of the fabric.
For next week’s preliminary competition under the Sirivannavari brand, the Princess has created a collection of colourful swimsuits on the concept “Across the Universe”.
The palette reflects not only the Thai belief in the auspicious colour of the day ranging from red, yellow, pink, green, orange, blue, and purple but also represents the idea of a world united in harmony and peace.
The swimsuits themselves are both one and two piece and decorated with whimsical gold metal embellishment studs. A graphic of the Nebula-inspired pattern is displayed on the scarf.