A look at some past Miss Universe Singapore national costumes: Which is your favourite?

Miss Universe Singapore 2018 Zahra Khanum shows off this year's National Costume. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Miss Universe Singapore 2018 Zahra Khanum shows off this year's National Costume. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

This story was first published on Jan 22, 2015, and updated on Nov 29, 2018.

SINGAPORE - Miss Universe Singapore 2018 Zahra Khanum's outfit design holds significance not just for Singapore, but for the rest of the world as well. 

When she takes the stage in Bangkok next month for the Miss Universe pageant, her outfit for the national costumes round will feature 3m-long white dove wings, a peace symbol, and an electric blue skirt emblazoned with a digital print of a handshake above the Singapore skyline. One arm in the handshake features the American flag and the other, North Korea's.

Miss Khanum's outfit was designed by Mr Moe Kasim, who played on the stereotype of beauty pageant winners wanting world peace, basing his design on the historic North Korea-United States summit that took place here earlier this year in June. 

The 48-year-old has designed the Miss Universe Singapore national costume for three years in a row.  

Here are other Miss Universe national costumes from past years:


Miss Manuela Bruntraeger in Singapore's national costume in 2017. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG

Last year, LED lights were used for the first time ever  as part of Singapore's national costume for Miss Universe.

Part of a two-piece national costume inspired by Gardens By The Bay's Supertrees, the 25m of lights would change colour whenever Miss Universe Singapore 2017 Manuela Bruntraeger walked.

Mr Kasim told The New Paper at the time: "Most of the time, when we want to present Singapore at Miss Universe, it's usually a multi-racial costume, but nothing has been done that is architectural or structural."


Miss Universe Singapore 2016 Cheryl Chou's costume  costume was inspired by Peranakan weddings, and the headpiece features 500 Swarovski crystals. TNP PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

​Featuring a 1kg headdress and 3kg backpiece, Miss Universe Singapore 2016 Cheryl Chou's outfit was inspired by Peranakan culture. 

Mr Kasim said, as the Peranakan culture is a mixture of Malay and Chinese, he added elements from the Malay bridal head piece and red balls from Chinese lanterns into the costume.

The costume, which also included about 500 Swarovski crystals, as well as metal and glass, took five months to complete.​


Miss Universe Singapore 2015 Lisa Marie White in the ethnic-inspired national costume designed by local couturier Frederick Lee. TNP PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

Miss Universe Singapore 2015 Lisa Marie White's national costume embodied many parts of Singapore.

The bright red gown features batik motifs, has a cheongsam collar, and is topped with an elaborate 3m-wide headdress festooned with giant orchids.

It was designed by couturier Frederick Lee for Miss White's appearance at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas on Dec 20, 2015.


Miss Singapore 2014 Rathi Menon debuts her national costume during the Miss Universe National Costume Show on Jan 21, 2015. PHOTO: MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION

Miss Universe Singapore 2014 Rathi Menon wore a gold skin-tight suit which appears to be inspired by the five stars and crescent moon on Singapore's national flag. It was matched with gold thigh-high boots.

Venezuelan celebrity designer Alejandro Fajardo Diaz is said to have designed her costume.

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National costume inspired by the Vanda Miss Joaquim worn by Shi Lim, Miss Singapore 2013.

Other costumes worn by Singapore contestants have received some flak over the years, including one designed after The Merlion and another after Singapore's national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.

The costumes, which were featured in the Miss Universe contest in 2008 and 2013 respectively, were designed by local fashion designer Riyan Haffys. He studied fashion design in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle College of the Arts but did not complete his studies.

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 Miss Singapore 2009 Rachel Kum in another orchid-inspired creation.

The 2009 gown which was fashioned after an orchid and designed by fashion student Zhang Xiaoqin, was picked from 10 designs submitted by Raffles Design Institute students.

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 Miss Singapore Universe 2010 Tania Lim wears a silver gown inspired by Singapore's urban landscape.

In 2010, the national costume, heavily inspired by the architecture of Singapore's urban landscape, was created by Raffles Design Institute student Tracy Wu.

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Ms Singapore Universe 2011 Valerie Lim wearing a Peranakan-style national costume.

The 2011 national costume was designed by famous local designer Hayden Ng, who first dressed Miss Universe Singapore in 1987. It was inspired by the Peranakan wedding gown, called the kuah. The costume was also infused with elements of the other races in Singapore.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg