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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ Miss Universe 2023 bet Michelle Dee flew high to clinch the pageant’s Best National Costume title with her aviator-themed ensemble, the Miss Universe organization announced on Friday, November 24.
Dee garnered the highest amount of fan votes on the official Miss Universe app in the National Costume category.
The Filipina beauty queen showed off her national costume on the Miss Universe stage on November 17 (Manila time). Her national costume is a tribute to her role as an Air Force Reservist, and an attempt to promote the country’s tourism industry.
Dee wore airplane-like wings that transformed to show an elaborate mural displaying different aspects of Filipino culture. At the center of the mural was the Department of Tourism’s slogan, “Love the Philippines.”
She topped her outfit off with gloves, a captain’s hat, and a bodysuit, which were all woven into the solihiya pattern, a design most commonly seen in the country’s tropics.
Designed by Michael Barrasi, the national costume drew mixed reactions from netizens as they questioned how Dee’s costume represented the Philippines.
Apart from the Best National Costume award, Dee clinched several other special prizes, such as the Voice for Change award for her advocacy on autism acceptance, inclusivity, and empowerment, the Spirit of Carnival Award, and Miss Universe’s fan vote.
Dee ended her Miss Universe 2023 journey in El Salvador in the Top 10. – Rappler.com