Rachel Peters has been particularly vocal about trying to keep the element of surprise. As she trained for the upcoming coronation night of Miss Universe 2017, the 26-year-old beauty queen has kept mum about how she plans to play her cards in the Las Vegas competition—it’s her winning strategy, she told Preview, which of course only made sense to keep others from copying.
However, an upsetting news broke recently that her supposed evening gown for the finale was leaked online. Rachel then took it to Instagram Stories to express her disappointment, but despite the unfortunate incident, she ended her message with a confident and positive note. “To whoever leaked pictures of my evening gown, thank you for teaching me a lesson about being more careful who you trust. Not sure what your intentions were but no matter what, you’re not dragging me down,” she wrote. “At the end of the day, it’s not about the dress you wear, how you walk, or the element of surprise. What’s important is that you are kind and true to yourself—that’s when a girl truly shines.”
We couldn’t agree more, Rachel!
With or without the element of surprise, we believe that Rachel’s got this in the bag. And if you need more convincing that our Miss Universe-Philippines 2017 has what it takes to bring home the crown, we had a quick chat with the designer of the now-controversial evening gown. In an exclusive interview with Preview, Val Taguba assures us that this unfortunate online leak will not steal the thunder away from Rachel once she walks onstage to represent the country.
IMAGE Courtesy of Val Taguba
Can you take us back to the beginning of your relationship with Rachel?
“We hit it off sensationally since day one of the Bb. Pilipinas competition. I was referred to her by stylist, Ton Lao, who I can never say no to. And the moment I opened the door when she knocked at my atelier, I knew we have a winner.”
How did she ask you to design her evening gown for the Miss Universe competition and what was your reaction?
“As soon as she won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title, we just looked at each other's eyes and promptly knew the task ahead—to go for the Miss Universe 2017 crown!”
How was the collaboration with Rachel during the designing process? Did she have specific requests?
“Rachel is every designer's dream. She has an international model's body structure and a global mindset that lets you be. Not to mention that she is very passionate about everything she does. And yet, she generally leaves everything to me as she trust me enough, which is truly liberating for a designer.”
What style direction did you have in mind while designing her evening gown?
“Rachel is competing in the most prestigious international beauty pageant, [so we were thinking] global. We wanted a look that transcends nationality, and is therefore luxurious and timeless.”
What are your thoughts on the leaked photo of her evening gown?
"It is both sad and exasperating, but hopefully, it won't steal the thunder when Rachel finally walks onstage in that gown to represent us all...It will be sleek and glittery, and it will truly highlight her best assets."
Are you excited to see Rachel in her evening gown? We sure are!