Catriona Gray’s evening gown proudly showed off Pinoy culture and heritage as she walked on stage during the preliminary competition.
Her evening gown was created to represent the Philippines, starting from the mythical theme of the dress to the earrings which she designed herself.
A few days before the coronation night, Catriona made her Filipino fans proud as she took her turn on stage in the pre-coronation event in Bangkok, Thailand last December 13.
According to ABS-CBN News, Catriona revealed to reporter Dyan Castillejo that the inspiration behind her gown by Mak Tumang, was themed after the eponymous magical bird of the well-loved Filipino epic “Ibong Adarna.” Mak Tumang is also the designer of her two other gowns for Miss Universe.
“He really took the time and effort. Every single stone was hand-placed, so when you think of that — and it’s how many different tones of crystals, just the effort and love that went into this dress — I feel so proud and so honored to wear it,” she said.
Meanwhile, in an Instagram post last December 14, Mak Tumang explained the inspiration behind Catriona’s evening gown, it was inspired by Filipino mythical creature Ibong Adarna, a magical bird, and the Mikimoto crown of Miss Universe titleholders. He also likened the Adarna bird’s captivating singing to Gray’s own voice, which she uses “to influence, advance her timely causes and both melt and heal hearts.”
In a previous post, the designer also revealed that the Ibong Adarna inspired gown is one of Catriona’s three final dresses that were the result of seven sketches, four prototypes, and with the help of 16 artisans. They took over some 2,712 hours, or 113 days to create the gowns. According to him, the materials used for the gowns in total cost P1,025,091.
For the preliminary round, Catriona matched her gown with dangling earrings which similarly symbolize an aspect of her homeland. She also told ABS-CBN News that she designed the accessory herself, with Tessera Jewelry executing her vision.
If you are an avid fan of Catriona, you would also remember that she wore an eye-catching ear cuff also made by Tessera in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant early this year, which is also inspired by the Philippine flag.
On Instagram, Catriona wrote that the design is “another ode to the Philippines with the Philippine sun and golden South sea pearls, our national gem.”
During the Miss Universe prelims, her overall look gained wide traction on social media and received praises, most especially, for her performance which was widely applauded by the country’s pageant fans.
In the video, Dyan Castillejo asked her, “Who did your makeup?” and Catriona answered with a smile, “Ako. Promise!”