Jaw-Dropping National Costumes: The Miss Universe Contestants Showcase Cultural Splendor

The Miss Universe Pageant 2023 has taken the online world by storm, showcasing a level of grandeur and creativity like never before. The contestants have captivated our attention not only with their heartfelt shoutouts to their countries but also with their awe-inspiring fashion choices. From elaborate gowns to extravagant ensembles representing their nations, these remarkable women have left us inspired and in awe of their remarkable presence.

We have to admit, the inspiration behind the symbolism (included below) as explained by the ladies is giving us Cinna in Hunger Games vibes. However, you’ve got to see it to believe it so we’ve put together 20 of the Best National Costumes worn at the 71st Miss Universe Pageant held recently on Jan 11 that you absolutely must-see.

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#1 Miss Greece, Korina Emmanouilidou

Image source: Miss Universe

This costume depicts the goddess Hera. You’ll notice that Greek mythology’s protector of the family has some peacocks by her side. The eyes aim to turn the all the world’s gaze on this costume.

#2 Miss Netherlands, Ona Moody

Image source: Miss Universe

This look was inspired by a Dutch sweet called stroopwafel. This cookie with caramel is very popular in the Netherlands. The hat is a cup of tea that helps the stroopwafel melt, making it even more delicious.

#3 Miss Ukraine, Viktoriia Apanasenko

Image source: Miss Universe

This Warrior Of Light costume symbolizes Ukraine’s fight for freedom. The Warrior Of Light protects her country like archangel Michael who is guardian of soldiers and considered to be the patron of Kyiv, the capital city.

#4 Miss Argentina, Barbara Cabrera

Image source: Miss Universe

The Goosey Falls are one of the 7 Natural Wonders Of The World. Completely handmade, this creation combines embroidery with crystal rhinestones, beads and fringe in back. The waterfall is represented by synthetic bows.

#5 Miss Great Britain, Noky Simbani

Image source: Miss Universe

In 2022 Great Britain lost its much revered head of state, Queen Elizabeth. Her Platinum reign from 1952 to 2022 inspired this national costume. It pays tribute to the incredible mother, wife and role model.

#6 Miss Paraguay, Lia Aymara Duarte Ashmore

Image source: Miss Universe

This bold look pays homage to the Paraguay flag, the only one in the world that has two national coats of arms. The star in front represents hope and the lion in the back symbolizes bravery.

#7 Miss Jamaica, Toshami Calvin

Image source:  Miss Universe

Meet Green Nanny. She expertly commanded her people in the fight against oppression and for freedom against slave masters. As Jamaica celebrates 60 years of independence, we celebrate this female icon.

#8 Miss Costa Rica, Maria Fernanda Rodriguez Avila

Image source: Miss Universe

Maria is a hummingbird meant to remind us of perseverance, stamina, strength and tenacity. This costume features a recycled corset and wings as a way to protest against disposable fashion.

#9 Miss Kosovo, Roksana Ibrahimi

Image source:  Miss Universe

This costume is called The Red Kerchief. In Kosovan culture, when a woman gets married, a sad house is left behind. No food is prepared for 3 days, sad songs play and a red handkerchief is placed on the daughter’s face.

#10 Miss Belize, Ashley Lightburn

Image source: Miss Universe

This costume represents the first and only Jaguar Reserve in the world located in the luscious rainforest of Brazil. It’s a reminder of the beautiful natural resources found in the Central American nations.

#11 Miss Cambodia, Manita Hang

Image source: Miss Universe

This contemporary design combines those of the prehistoric and Funan eras. This look represents a goddess who educates people to love humans, animals and nature.

#12 Miss Spain, Alicia Faubel

Image source:  Miss Universe

This look represents flamenco, the national dance of Spain. The costume was inspired by the colors of the Spanish flag and is in an ode to the passion and culture of her country’s people.

#13 Miss India, Divita Rai

Image source: Miss Universe

Ancient Romans referred to India as the Golden Bird, symbolizing the country’s vast wealth. This mythical being was the inspiration for Divita’s national costume. Of course, India’s true wealth lies in its deep spirituality and essence of unity and diversity.

#14 Miss Nigeria, Hannah Iribhogbe

Image source: Miss Universe

This look represents Igbo masquerade and embodies the mannerism and significance of Igbo Bird. This African eagle is highly respected for its pride, grace and an aura of confidence as she lays her precious eggs.

#15 Miss British Virgin Islands, Lia Claxton

Image source: Miss Universe

The White Cedar is the national flower of the British Virgin Islands. They are often pink and can be found in clusters throughout the spring and summer. The costume has 5 petals highlighted by the yellow splash in the center.

#16 Miss Nepal, Sophiya Bhujel

Image source: Miss Universe

This costume takes inspiration from shakti, the dynamic feminine principle that is often personified as a goddess. It reminds us of our own strength and reiterates the fact that each woman is a boundless source of energy.

#17 Miss Japan, Marybelen Sakamoto

Image source:  Miss Universe

This look is called Origami Senbazuru or 1,000 paper cranes. It’s a symbol of peace and hundreds of cranes were made sustainably for this dress. The stick is also decorated with cranes and the message is clear: no more war.

#18 Miss Ghana, Engracia Mofuman

Image source: Miss Universe

This woman of wonder costume is an elegant hybrid of royalty and courage. It features golden armor, a ball gown and a trident, depicting the bravery displayed by Ghana’s first and only known female war leader.

#19 Miss Armenia, Kristina Ayanian

Image source: Miss Universe

This costume brings attention to Armenia’s genocide history, something this delegate’s refugee family is all too familiar with. The design shows the resilience and strength of her people and the white carpet throughout is a call for a peaceful future.

#20 Miss Colombia, Maria Fernanda Aristizabal

Image source: Miss Universe

Feel the strength of the Phoenix Queen representing a country of beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sunsets. She emerged from the ashes and was adorned in 1,100 Swarovski crystals.

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