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Rabiya Mateo Wore a Gorgeous Sheer Dress Inspired by the Barong Tagalog

This dress almost didn't make it in time!
Rabiya Mateo Wore a Gorgeous Sheer Dress Inspired by the Barong Tagalog
IMAGE instagram/paolomigueldesigns
This dress almost didn't make it in time!

Miss Universe 2020 is fast approaching and we're obviously excited to see who will get to take home the crown. But as we wait in anticipation, we're closely keeping tabs on our very own Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo and her stylish journey for this year's beauty pageant.

Her style team Rain Dagala and Em Millan sent Rabiya off packed with eight luggage full of local designer pieces—more than a hundred outfits, if you're looking for a number. But apart from meticulously forecasting the possible events Rabiya would need a cute outfit, her stylists also combed through a number of designer-led sketches based on sartorial goals they've set for Rabiya.

Rain shares in an interview that they wanted pieces fit for "a new-generation queen, something that's figure-flattering, something that's modern and chic." For young designer Paolo Miguel, that meant dressing Rabiya in a Barong Tagalog-inspired piece. He calls it the "Dear Mama" dress.

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Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo Barong Tagalog dress
PHOTO BY instagram/paolomigueldesigns, Layout by Merlito Pabatao

Rabiya's Dear Mama dress was meant to highlight the beauty queen's natural glow and gorgeous morena skin. Hence, he chose a bright canary yellow midi dress that strikes a balance between "sweet, dainty, and sophisticated chic," the designer says. "We wanted to use yellow to symbolize joy since rooting for our Queen brings happiness to a lot of people in our country."

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Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo Barong Tagalog dress
PHOTO BY instagram/paolomigueldesigns, Photo taken by Henrique Jose of Soriano Studios

The dress also carries a piece of an iconic Filipino aesthetic: the Barong Tagalog. It even bears the same intricate embroidery and sheer look of the Barong Tagalog. Now, it's no easy feat to create this dress since it was masterfully beaded by hand and was never fitted by Rabiya! Paolo shares in a post that they were most careful with the fit and it actually took them longer to finish the dress. In fact, they almost didn't make it in time!

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PHOTO BY instagram/paolomigueldesigns
Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo Barong Tagalog dress
PHOTO BY instagram/paolomigueldesigns
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Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo Barong Tagalog dress
PHOTO BY instagram/paolomigueldesigns

Hiccups aside, the result was a stunning creation that gives a nod to a traditional Filipino outfit, modernized to fit a contemporary queen. Rabiya completed her look with a matching pair of yellow heels adorned with flowers to further highlight the femininity of entire OOTD. So cute!

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