The first batch of Miss Universe 2020 memes are all about the luggage of the candidates. Pageant fans call it the "outfit war."
Miss Thailand Amanda Obdam brought 150 outfits. Miss Vietnam Nguyen Tran Khanh Van prepared 200 outfits. Miss Indonesia Ayu Maulida, based on this meme, travelled with more than 50 suitcases.
Our very own Rabiya Mateo, according to her stylists Rain Dagala and Em Millan, also came ready. Because the itinerary had not been sent before Rabiya's departure, Rain and Em anticipated the outfits for all the possible activities.
Rain told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on Friday, April 16, 2021, "We have to send everything. Hanggang, alam mo yun, kung mag-tree planting siya...alangan namang naka-gown siya dun, 'di ba? So hanggang tree planting meron tayong dala. As in lahat ng events, finorecast namin ni Em. So it was difficult pero isa dun yun sa mga fun part, kasi guessing game talaga siya. You'll never know what you'll expect."
A meme claimed that the Philippine bet brought clothes designed by 100 designers, is this a fact? Rain replied that the beauty queen's wardrobe is from "more than a hundred" designers, and their designs were custom-made for Rabiya.
The celebrity stylist said they really wanted to showcase local talents, "We don't want to be a connection-based thing since meron tayong goal to change the game and be more fashion-oriented.
"Parang dapat...let's open the doors to more people who can deliver and evaluate it based on what they can bring to the table. As far as curating, when we posted, so maraming nag-message. We sent them a brief na sinasabi yung process namin."
The selection was a bit meticulous. Rain continued, "Wala kaming binigay na pegs, we want an original design, number one. Number two, we want an original design based on these keywords alone.
"We want something that fits a new-generation queen, something that's figure-flattering, something that's modern and chic. Ganun lang 'yung mga keywords na binigay namin. Tapos the designers send us sketches.
“So kapag sa sketch pa lang, hindi ka na pumasa, try and try until you succeed. Parang nilagyan namin siya ng process na ganun.
"And if you pass the sketch, you update us with the progress para pagdating dito sa Manila… we know that times are hard now for both parties. Huwag na natin paasahin, 'di ba? Or kapag nakuha na yung dress, most likely magagamit."
All the clothes for the pageant were packed in eight pieces of luggage, courtesy of professional organizer and expert Issa Reyes of Neat Obsessions.
Rain was pleased, "Magaling mag-pack si Neat Obsessions. Actually, six na maleta lang yun. Yung dalawa, personal na ni Rabiya."
Pageant fans are most definitely excited to see Rabiya's national costume and evening gowns for the pageant. But about those, Rain was tight-lipped, citing a non-disclosure agreement he signed with the Miss Universe Organization.
He did say, "Ang masasabi ko na lang, ang ganda. Oo, maganda talaga." Only a handful of people have seen the gowns, including him and Em.
About the evening gown, Rain said, "Ako lang, the designer, si Tito Albert, and si Jonas [Gafud] , ang makakakita. Jonas is really careful about it kasi ayaw niyang mag-leak [and] kasi nga maraming chismosa sa pageantry world. Kahit yung handler, hindi pa niya nakikita."
* This story originally appeared on Pep.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.