Whether you’re a fan of the competition or not, there’s no denying how much fun it is to see all the national costumes at the Miss Universe pageant. This segment offers a chance for contestants to show off what makes their country unique, in an outfit that truly represents their culture. And with nearly 100 women from around the world — from the US to South Africa, Chile to Thailand — this year's outfits truly were a sight to behold.
Over the years, it's become tradition for contestants to go way over the top in larger-than-life gowns, capes, jewelry, and beautiful headpieces. And many even bring (or wear) interesting props that represent their nation. Take 2015's Miss Thailand, for example, who wore a tuk-tuk costume in a nod to her country's most popular mode of transportation.
The level of creativity was no different this year, with outfits that were all at once beautiful, glamorous, and even downright bizarre. Miss Indonesia Bunga Jelitha's costume featured a monkey on the back of her head, to call attention to her country's wildlife. And Miss Costa Rica Elena Correa's outfit was so over-the-top, she was almost difficult to spot amongst her sequins and feathers.
Of course, we all had our eyes on Miss USA, Kára McCullogh, to see how she would rep this great nation of ours. And she didn’t disappoint. McCullogh, who works as a scientist for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, proved she also has a creative side by dressing as a giant atom, complete with nucleus and glowing, swirling electrons.
The rest of her outfit had a Wonder Woman theme, with a glittery blue bodysuit, spandex leggings, arm "armor," and a red cape. She topped it all off with a jeweled headpiece and big, gold earrings.
Other standouts from the the 2017 Miss Universe pageant were Miss Venezuela, Miss Myanmar, and Miss South Africa, among dozens of others. But the winner of the costume contest was none other than Miss Japan. Her gown, as she demonstrated live on stage, was convertible. Basically, she spun in a circle and turned a short black dress into a long, checkered kimono-style gown, complete with huge fan and pretty headpiece.
Take a peek below for some of the most amazing looks.
Miss Cambodia By Sotheary wore a gorgeous, traditional outfit for her national costume.
See what I mean? Miss Costa Rica Elena Correa's look was all sorts of splendid.
Miss Indonesia Bunga Jelitha's outfit was cool and traditional from the front, but featured quite the surprise once she turned around.
Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett, who made it into the top three, looked stunning in her sequined, feathered outfit.
Miss Japan Momoko Abe won for best national costume, and I have to agree... it was pretty cool. On stage, in front of an amazed Steve Harvey, she spun in a circle and transformed her look from a short black dress, to this kimono.
On the left we have Miss Malaysia Samantha James, who wore an outfit that represented the national dish of her country. Love those leaves.
Miss Myanmar Zun Thansin had an impressive look. See what I mean about props? Sometimes they're taken to such a level, that a contestant will walk out on stage carrying an entire table.
Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, a favorite during the show, wore a sarimanok inspired-costume by Val Taguba. That's a legendary bird of the Maranao people, who originate from an island in the Philippines. Pretty cool, right?
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who went on to win the Miss Universe title, looked like a straight up Victoria's Secret angel in her winged, pink outfit.
Miss Thailand Mareeya Poonlertlarb was a favorite for the title, and for good reason. I mean, look at her costume! The look, which was designed by a local Thai artist, Prapakas Angsusingha, perfectly showed off her heritage. And she even learned a traditional Thai dance and puppetry act, to go along with it.
Trindad And Tobago
Miss Trinidad and Tobago Yvonne Clarke looked absolutely stunning in her orange feathers, and amazing teal head piece.
Miss USA Kára McCullogh in her incredible atom/Wonder Woman costume. It even lit up!
My fav from the night was definitely Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago, who looked incredible in this impressive, metallic ensemble.