In December, Thailand will host the Miss Universe 2018 contest, and on Thursday, Singaporean newspaper the New Paper revealed the dress that Miss Universe Singapore 2018 winner Zahra Khanum would be wearing to the event.
I could describe it, but it’s probably best to just get straight to it because, wow, so here it is:
The dress, designed by Singaporean designer Moe Kasim, consists of a bodice that’s made of a peace symbol over nude material, which is attached to white dove wings. The skirt, when splayed out, is an image of two people shaking hands over a Singapore skyline; one arm wearing the North Korean flag, the other wearing an American flag.
It’s a nod to the historic US-North Korea summit, where President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore this past summer. It’s meant to represent a theme of “World Peace,” according to the paper.
As wild as this dress design is, Khanum told the paper that she found the dress to have a “very serene and calming effect.”
“My first impression of the costume was that it looked absolutely angelic and it truly did embody the essence of world peace,” she said. “It definitely represents something we all need, which is to promote a sense of unity and friendship, rather than hatred and anger.”
Kasim, the designer, told the Singaporean paper that “the toughest part was bringing out the message tastefully through design.”
“I had to consider the political sensitivities and what it all meant to Singapore and to the world community without (creating) any misinterpretation,” he said. While he says that past costumes were themed around race, architecture, and Singaporean icons, this year’s costume is “different.” “It is based purely on an internationally-watched historic event in Singapore’s calendar, which is rather unique.”
In June, Trump became the first US president to meet with North Korea, a move that had national and global significance. He spoke with Kim Jong-un about nuclear disarmament and a general diffusion of tension with Western powers. The summit came on the heels of the two world leaders exchanging threats. Trump celebrated it as a move toward world peace, but he was also criticized for ignoring North Korea’s human rights violations while conceding to too much from the North Korean leader.
Not everyone is thrilled about Miss Universe’s dress, or its implications. Singapore natives commented on Facebook that the dress didn’t reflect the country.
“Has the designer lost all directions or forced to become a political puppet? This is just sad. Hosting a historic event is great, but Is it not embarrassing to keep tooting that horn? Is that really necessary? Nothing about this represents who we Singaporeans are, and it is leaving a really bad aftertaste,” one commenter wrote on the New Paper’s Facebook page.
“Will be the laughing stock of the entire pageant,” another added. “Kinda sad that what we can showcase is our hardware and not our people or culture. The only saving grace is that no one watches MSU anymore.” (The pageant was owned by Trump until 2015).
And the dress is already getting attention from people on the internet. The design, which requires the skirt to be fully, awkwardly fanned out to be seen, is pure, unadulterated meme-bait.
An artist named Jer Bear Teo even posted a photoshop challenge to Facebook about the dress:
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