The time has finally come for Hannah Arnold to strut her stuff on the Miss International stage! ICYMI, the Fil-Aussie beauty is already at Tokyo, Japan, awaiting for the grand coronation night to take place.
The preliminary rounds have just concluded, and Hannah definitely made strong cases for the crown with her performances. Her national costume, in particular, was a breathtaking sight that not only looked stunning, but also carried a deep, personal meaning for her.
Preview Exclusive: Manny Halasan on Hannah Arnold's Miss International 2022 National Costume
Crafted by Manny Halasan, one of her family friends and faithful designers, the beauty queen was swathed in a regal blue and white Filipiniana gown. According to him, the costume, dubbed as "Pamana," was inspired by a Barbie doll gifted to Hannah by her mom when she was younger. "She was very fond of it that while she was retelling [its] story, she was so thrilled and her eyes sparkled," Manny tells Preview.
The patriotic ensemble starred a traje de mestiza, a floor-grazing skirt, and solihiya-patterned lace overlays. Manny says that it was a "product of deep and memorable stories between Hannah and [myself], that was sewn intricately to create this masterpiece. This took 2-3 months to conceptualize and materialize."
Thorough research went into creating the entire look. The panuela, manggas, and tapiz were constructed from piña fabric, and the delicate floral embroideries across the entire gown were intricately handpainted.
Aside from referencing Hannah's childhood, the costume also held sentimental value to the designer. The gold accessories worn with the Filipiniana were crafted in homage to his great grandmother, who passed down her payneta to his grandmother.
"The jewelries and accesories used [were] made of real gold, real diamonds, and South Sea pearls. The tambourine was completed using some of the jewelries of my [grandmother]," he added. These precious materials are popularly regarded as "heirloom jewels," therefore making them a cohesive addition to the "Pamana" theme.
Manny is particularly known for his over-the-top headdresses and accessories (FYI: Our October 2022 cover girl Celeste Cortesi wore one of his pieces for our shoot), but he displayed some restraint when it came to Hannah's costume. "I focused on the traditional payneta and tambourine with additional accessories. They may be small compared [to] my other creations but this is preciously different and very sentimental," he explains, "I [wanted] to reinspire everyone on the art of jewelry-making, and to highlight that the Philippines is one of the countries to reckon in this industry."
Well, needless to say, we are in awe of your creation, Manny! Hannah looked absolutely divine!