- Miss Universe South Africa, Natasha Joubert, revealed her national costume for the pageant at an intimate event on Saturday.
- Designed by Gert-Johan Coetzee, the dress features beautiful wings embellished with drawings from pre-schoolers, depicting life in lockdown and how the pandemic has changed the world.
- "The children were amazing and came up with images that truly reflect the regulations of lockdown," Natasha said about the costume.
- The Miss Universe Pageant will take place on 16 May in the city of Hollywood in Florida, USA.
Natasha Joubert is getting ready to take on the Miss Universe stage.
The beauty queen will represent South Africa at the international pageant on 16 May in the city of Hollywood in Florida, USA.
But before bidding farewell to her country, the 23-year-old showed off her national costume for the competition at an intimate event on Saturday.
Designed by none other than Gert-Johan Coetzee, the dress features beautiful wings embellished with drawings made by children from the Diepsloot and Randburg areas. The pictures tell the pre-schoolers' stories of life in lockdown and how the pandemic has affected them.
"We wanted to create something special and proudly South African. We not only created a garment to show off our skills and for dramatic effect, but it also had to be something truly meaningful and represent a cause close to Natasha's heart. That is why we decided to take sketches from local children, to portray how they currently see the state of world in their own 'words'. We took their actual sketches, digitised them and printed them on white flowy fabric and created an angelic silhouette for Natasha to symbolise overcoming hardship through guidance," Gert said in a statement to the press.
About the costume, Natasha added: "The children were amazing and came up with images that truly reflect the regulations of lockdown; some funny, others poignant and meaningful. A number drew the usual pre-school child's image of the family, only the mum, dad and brothers and sisters were drawn far apart to show social distancing."
Designer Jolandie Fouche of Jolache Couture is behind several evening gowns Natasha will take with her to the competition.
"These dresses are something totally different from what you have seen before. Our focus was definitely on structure, hues of colour and a mature elegance. I think South Africa will love what they see and Natasha, with her exceptional radiance, will stand out above all in these unique dresses," Jolandie said.
With this being her first time designing for an international pageant, Jolandie explains the importance of having a memorable gown.
"Designing for a beauty pageant is very different from any other designs. Pageants are extremely competitive. You have to make sure that your dress will make a lasting impression on the judges for all the right reasons, while at the same time complimenting the contestant and accentuating her beauty and personality."
Aside from serving as Natasha's national costume reveal and send-off, Saturday's event was also a fashion show that fans could watch online from the comfort of their homes.
The virtual event, which formed part of Natasha's Miss Universe social cause initiative, showcased the work of 12 local designers in a breathtaking fashion show which saw former Miss SA contestants, as well current Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida, take to the runway.