Every year beauties from all around the world would sashay in costumes that best represents their country’s culture and heritage during the Miss Universe national costume segment. Judging from Miss Universe Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak costume, you can bet we’ll be tuning in on 27 Nov.

Conceptualised by fashion designer, Brian Khoo, the gown that took a month to make has been stirring up quite a storm on the internet since its reveal. In an interview with The Straits Times, the designer revealed that he “wanted to give James (Samantha Katie) something unique and iconic to wear at this year's competition. Nasi lemak is a dish that can only be found in Malaysia and it is a food that can be enjoyed by all”. We can’t help but think that this is another attempt to ensure that Malaysia stakes claims over the dish that is also a well-loved (and contested) by its neighbors.


The gown that will be worn by reigning Miss Universe Malaysia, Samantha Katie James looks so much like the real deal, it even comes with sambal, anchovies, cucumber slices, an egg and white rhinestones to emulate the coconut flavoured rice. Of course, what is Nasi Lemak without fragrant banana wings, oops, we meant “fragrant banana leaves”.


 Aside from being draped in condiments, sambal, ikan bilis and egg, Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 will also be walking down the runway in pair of silky wings made to look like banana leaves. While it is more subdued compared to Lady Gaga’s iconic meat dress, that has not stopped Malaysian netizens from bashing the dress. In a report by The Star, one netizen, Napsiah Wan Salleh commented that the, “dress is relevant in a celebration parade but not in a beauty pageant”.

Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure, things are going to get spicy in the 66th edition the Miss Universe pageant happening in Las Vegas as Samantha Katie James competes with 93 other delegates from around the world including Miss Universe Singapore 2017, Manuela Bruntraeger.

ALSO READ: 10 questions with Manuela Bruntraeger

 For the national costumes segment, Manuela will be wearing a bodysuit created by designer, Moe Kasim, who designed the spectacular Peranakan-inspired outfit won by last year’s Miss Universe winner Cheryl Chou. The award winning designer is going “architectural” this time round, basing his design on the Gardens by the Bay’s supertrees that come complete with LED lights that are sure to make a statement.

While the bodysuit is a refreshing change from the usual pageant dresses, we can’t decide if we like it or not. Do you?

ALSO READ: A look at Miss Universe Singapore 2017