KUALA LUMPUR • Aspiring Malaysian dentist Kiran Jassal will carry a towering aspiration on her slender shoulders when she lands in the Philippines for the Miss Universe pageant at the end of this month.
One of the Miss Universe Malaysia 2016 outfits is a jumpsuit showcasing the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
Designed by Rizman Ruzaini, the silver and nude-coloured piece has more than 100,000 hand-sewn Swarovski crystals.
There are tower-shaped, laser-cut metal shoulder panels with a crystal-encrusted choker symbolising the sky bridge between the actual towers.
This is embellished with geometric designs representing the country's traditional basket-weaving craft.
Ms Kiran, 20, will be literally carrying the hopes of Malaysia with her, or as one media headline put it, "Petronas Towers will be moving to the Philippines".
"The costume symbolises our Twin Towers on my shoulders.
"It has me bursting with pride because it is the icon that best represents Malaysia," said Ms Kiran.
She said the weight of the costume was secondary to how she feels about being able to represent the country.
Her other outfit at the pageant will be a mermaid-cut evening gown.
A straight-A student, Ms Kiran aspires to start her own orthodontics practice someday.
She is pursuing a course in dentistry.
"We've got something special that has not been done before," said Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation national director Elaine Daly about the costume and gown.
"This is a huge risk but a worthwhile one."
In the 2015 Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Thailand's tuk-tuk dress, worn by Miss Thailand Aniporn Chalermburanawong won the Best National Costume.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK