Sure, winning gowns are exciting, but farewell gowns are something else! There's a bit of pressure on the outgoing Miss Universe to somehow reinvent her iconic winning look, and one-up herself, if possible. After all, the final walk is a momentous occasion for each and every titleholder, and she deserves to enjoy that last stride dressed in something that the universe will remember for years to come.
We've already looked at some of the most unforgettable gowns worn by the winners during their coronations. Now, we couldn't resist looking back on five jaw-dropping gowns worn during the queens' farewell walks, especially after Zozibini Tunzi wowed audiences worldwide with her beaded African-inspired gown before she crowned Mexico's Andrea Meza as the new Miss Universe 2020.
Here, take a look:
1. Zozibini Tunzi
See what we mean? South Africa's Zozi Tunzi really cannot and will not leave her roots behind–every Biji - La Maison de Couture gown she comes out in represents her homeland beautifully. She's spearheading a sea change in how pageant gowns are done. She's proof that you really don't need to settle for a vague, pretty yet featureless gown. Miss Universe is about intercultural exchange and celebrating diverse beauty, so it makes perfect sense to imbue gowns with meaning.
2. Catriona Gray
Speaking of imbuing gowns with meaning–Catriona Gray and Mak Tumang are specialists in this regard! Catriona's farewell gown– called the Reflection gown–shares some features with her iconic Mayon gown, such as the backless cut, and the flame lick-shaped details on the chest and lower back.
"The creation's inspiration stems from the vision of the Philippine Eagle flying over the flawless turquoise seas embracing our archipelago. Despite its mighty ability to soar up high far beyond the clouds, it could still manage to look down until the point of reflecting itself on the shiny waters. This display of both might & humility is the call each of us heeds," Mak wrote in an Instagram caption.
3. Demi-Leigh Tebow
For the final walk of Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, (now Demi-Leigh Tebow), Gert-Johan Coetzee created this slinky Swarovski-colored sheath dress in a zesty, yellow-green colorway. According to the designer, they were aiming for the gown to appear lithe and liquid, which it certainly did! It took over 100,000 Swarovskis to complete the dress, which comes as no surprise– the craftstmanship and love that go into these gorgeous gowns are immeasurable.
4. Iris Mittenaere
The last two gowns in this list are from none other than Michael Cinco. By now, we're familiar with the designer's preference for this flattering silhouette, where a lavish outerskirt drapes over the hips of an immaculate body-hugging dress. (Miss Canada Marta StÄ™pieÅ„ wore a similar gown by the same designer in 2018). Miss Universe 2016 winner Iris Mittenaere wore one in a dramatic crystal-encrusted red, rivalling the vibrancy of fresh strawberries. Even queens would dream of donning this perfect creation.
5. Pia Wurtzbach
Lastly, we have Pia Wurtzbach in a mesmerizing Cinderella ball gown that echoes the color of her winning garb. The movement of the skirt is reminiscent of ocean waves, while the whimsical crystalwork calls to mind a starry sky. Michael Cinco certainly went all out on this majestic, otherworldly gown!
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