Before passing on the crown to this year's Miss Universe winner, Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere took to the stage her farewell walk in a Swarovski-encrusted scarlet ombre gown with a sweetheart neckline by Filipino designer, Michael Cinco, no less.
In an exclusive interview with Preview, the Dubai-based designer revealed how straighforward the process of creating the gown was. "I was contacted by Miss Universe manager Esther Swan and stylist Marquis Bias," he shares. Michael then discussed the gown with Iris: "We had a phone conversation. She was very sweet. She told me what dress she likes for her final walk."
Michael then proceeded to make sketches and submitted to the organizers. "After they approved it, I immediately worked on the gown and sent it to Las Vegas [a week before the coronation night]!"
Though the French beauty queen never had the chance to go for fitting due to time constraints, she looked radiant in Michael's beautiful creation as the dress fit her like a glove.
Besides Iris, another candidate donned a similar embellished deep red gown by the same designer. Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova shared not only the stage with Iris, but also the same evening gown designer.
It wasn't, however, her first time to work with Michael.
It seems he isn't only a favorite among royalty and Hollywood A-listers. If you recall, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also wore a memorable blue ball gown by Michael when she relinquished her crown to Iris just last January.
Another Filipino designer, Leo Almodal, was also favored by the other candidates in this year's Miss Universe. Both Miss Guam Myana Welch and Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy wore his designs for the evening gown competition.
The Filipino designers are, indeed, winners themselves in the pageant.