Rabiya Mateo is getting ready to conquer the Miss Universe 2020 stage, and she's coming up fabulously. Her newest gown was fully unveiled on April 26, and its motif might be the strongest we've seen yet.
The radiant Philippine flag has proven to be an everlasting muse for pageant gown designers. Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray both wore dazzling gowns drawn from the flag's distinctive colors: Pia famously bagged the Miss Universe 2015 crown in a deep cobalt gown by Albert Andrada, while Catriona's unforgettable Mak Tumang gown was a fiery, molten-lava red. Rabiya Mateo seems to be continuing the tradition with a gown that puts Filipino pride front and center, with a captivating modern twist.
In the newest promotional shot for the May 17 pageant, 24-year-old Rabiya wore a stunning gown in blue, white, and red by designer Kirsten Regalado. Nicknamed the Sunrise Gown, it features a split color scheme in the front with a predominantly blue train, reminiscent of Philippine seas. She wore no jewelry, but it's no issue—the gown's flattering cut beautifully accentuates her collarbones, and the intricacies of the dress are meaningful enough on their own.
Championing traditional Filipiniana attire, the gown features distinctive butterfly sleeves with crisp pleating. It also has three intriguing tiers of texture: The bottom half appears to be chiffon, with sparse beadwork reminiscent of a night sky, while the section around the knees features an embellished net pattern. Lastly, the opulent bodice bears intricate beading, and a prominent v-shaped neckline.
The "V-design is symbolic [of] Victory. The reliability and traquility of blue combined with the energy, confidence, and courage of red defines a modern Filipina," wrote designer Kirsten Regalado in an Instagram post.
Here's to hoping that symbol will come to fruition on the evening of the 17th! Good luck, Rabiya!