August 18, 2010

Miss Aussie Costume Controversy

The unveiling of the Miss Australia national costume for the Miss Universe pageant has caused quite a buzz - some calling it tacky, others calling it perfectly Australian. The 'national costume' part of the pageant is an important moment when the audience sees each contest for the first time representing their country. The national costume is meant to reflect the contestant's country and to display that country's unique character. What do you think of the outfit: fashion fail, or fashion fabulous?

Nation Barfs Over Miss Aussie Costume
One critic calls it 'a national joke,' another 'a travesty'
By Emily Rauhala| Posted Jul 30, 2010

The first problem: High-heeled Uggs. The second: Everything else. The outfit designed to represent Australia at next month's Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas is being blasted as "a travesty" and "a national joke," reports the Telegraph. The ensemble combines Ugg heels with a one-piece bathing suit, a multi-colored flamenco-inspired skirt, and a lamb's wool shrug. The skirt "looks like it was made from discount fabric bin scraps," says one fashion editor.

Miss Universe hopeful Jesinta Campbell, 18, defended the costume. "An Aboriginal artist hand-painted my swimsuit, which is the base of the outfit, which is very special," she says, adding that the bulky shrug is "very Australian — very Outback." The overall look, she says, is "incredible." Incredible, eh?

Miss Australia's fashion: What's all the fuss about?
Hilary Alexander, the Telegraph's Fashion Director, sees the positives in Miss Australia's controversial attire.

Starve the lizards! The Aussies have got themselves into a real tizzy over the new Miss Australia costume. Now, as a Kiwi - or one from Australia’s market garden - as our neighbours often refer to New Zealand, I should be busting a gut over the rather bizarre outfit which seems to be about as popular as a dingo’s breakfast, Down Under.

But I have to confess, I rather like it. I agree the skirt is ‘iffy’, a bit of a ‘bitzer’ and looks as if it would be more at home in a bar in San Fernando rather than Sinny. But the sheepskin shrug is bang on trend, the Ugg boots are as quintessentially Australian as Aussie Rules, and having the ‘togs’ hand-painted by an Aboriginal artist is a master-stroke.

Don’t get your knickers in a knot, all you Bruces and Sheilas. It’s only fashion. Just be thankful she doesn’t look as camp as a row of tents.

[Note: the pageant will be held Aug 23 in Las Vegas.

To view other National Costumes, click here.

Click here for more about controversies with national costumes]