Wildest National Costumes From the 2021 Miss Universe Pageant

Miss Australia Daria Varlamova wowed in a voluminous blue gown with a towering flower headpiece.

Miss Australia participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Australia the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Varlamova’s dramatic ensemble, made by Jonté Designs, featured a semi-sheer bodice with a glittering floral design that paid tribute to Australia’s oceans and native botanicals.

Miss Bahamas Chantel O’Brian rocked a dramatic two-piece covered in beads and feathers.

Miss Bahamas participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Bahamas at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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O’Brian’s national costume featured a sky-high headdress and a billowing multicolored cape with two eyes staring back at you.

Miss Belgium Kedist Deltour looked ready for flight in her feathered national costume.

Miss Belgium participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Belgium at the 2021 National Costume Show.

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Deltour’s ensemble, designed by Roman Vandycke, paid tribute to the flags of both Belgium and Ethiopia, where Deltour was born.

Deltour was adopted by a Belgian family when she was 10 after her mother died and her father took her to an orphanage.

Miss Bolivia Nahemi Uequin Antelo dazzled in a nearly sheer bodysuit covered with glittering birds.

Miss Bolivia participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Bolivia at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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The pageant queen paired her shimmering national costume with a dramatic jaguar headpiece that featured plenty of feathers

Miss Brazil Teresa Santos sported a striking all-red ensemble as she walked the Miss Universe stage.

Miss Brazil participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Brazil at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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Santos wrote on Instagram that her national costume was inspired by the Pau-Brasil tree.

Real pieces of glass and natural rattan were embroidered into the ensemble to reproduce the look of the treetops.

Miss Cambodia Marady Ngin wowed in a red, green, and orange national costume that paid tribute to Khmer cultural art.

Miss Cambodia participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Cambodia at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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Ngin’s costume was partially inspired by Lkon Khol, a type of masked traditional dance that has been performed for centuries.

Miss Cameroon Michèle-Ange Minkata stunned in a multicolored ensemble covered in beads.

Miss Cameroon participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Cameroon at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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Her national costume featured beads of red, green, and yellow — the colors of the Cameroon flag — and was paired with a dramatic feathered backpiece and headdress.

Miss Cayman Islands Georgina Kerford blossomed in a dramatic yellow-and-pink gown that looked fit for a beautiful garden.

Miss Cayman Islands participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Cayman Islands at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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Kerford’s gown was designed by Danielle Alexis and was inspired by wild banana orchids, the national flower of the Cayman Islands.

Miss Chile Antonia Figueroa wowed in an all-white gown covered in beads and ruffles.

Miss Chile participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Chile at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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Figueroa wrote on Instagram that her costume, designed by Kendry Mora, was inspired by the women who offer the sweets of the La Liga commune in Chile.

Miss Colombia Valeria Ayos looked as beautiful as a butterfly in her shimmering yellow-and-purple national costume.

Miss Colombia participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Colombia at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Ayos wrote on Instagram that her national costume was inspired by the yellow butterflies of Colombia, and also pays homage to the Colombian film “Encanto.”

Miss Costa Rica Valeria Rees looked like a butterfly onstage during the costume show.

Miss Costa Rica participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Costa Rica at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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She wore a long-sleeved gown with a mermaid-style skirt, and it was covered in multicolored sequins from top to bottom.

She also wore a silver headpiece with sparkling fringe and giant blue butterfly wings across her back.

Miss Curaçao Shariëngela Cijntje brought the fire to the Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Curaçao participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Curaçao at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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Cijntje’s look was designed by Jorge Salazar Caliz, and was meant to show the effects of climate change on the island of Curaçao — specifically how its coral reefs are being destroyed.

She also wanted the sparkling red-and-yellow bodysuit to show the beauty of the reefs, and the “intense fire that blazes through the veins of the people of Curaçao,” as she wrote on Instagram.

Miss Czech Republic Karolína Kokešová sent a feminist message with her warrior-inspired ensemble.

Miss Denmark participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Czech Republic at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

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As she shared on Instagram, Kokešová said she wanted her look to represent the “heart of a lion.” She wore a faux fur-lined leotard, faux fur boots, and a massive lion headpiece. A shield that said, “Protect women’s rights worldwide,” completed the look.

Miss Ecaudor Susy Sacoto Mendoza honored a fertility goddess with her costume.

Miss Ecuador participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Ecuador at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Designed by Jefferson Vera, Mendoza’s outfit consisted of an intricately designed dress with an exposed bra, a long cape, a headdress, and a spear.

Vera also shared on Instagram that the outfit was made with plant materials, speaking to the need for sustainable and ethical fashion.

Miss El Salvador used her costume to raise awareness for victims of femicide and their loved ones.

Miss El Salvador participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss El Salvador at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Francisco Guerrero created the red-and-white costume worn by Alejandra Gavidia. It was designed to transform her into El Salvador’s Monument to the Constitution.

On Instagram, Gavidia said the red handprints on the gown’s skirt were done by people who have been impacted by femicide, and that the dress was beaten and shot to show how the nation’s society has suffered. Additionally, the chains hanging from her shoulder represent obstacles to justice, while her black-and-green blindfold represents mourning and hope.

Miss Finland represented planet Earth onstage.

Miss Finland participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Finland at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Essi Unkuri advocated for the environment with her costume, designed by Merja Thil. The garment featured a leotard covered in blue and green sequins, and a yellow collar that wrapped around her shoulders and extended upwards with silver spikes.

Attached to the waist of her leotard was a semi-sheer skirt that, when lifted at her sides, revealed land and sea made from ruffles and the message, “Let’s Save Our Planet.”

Miss France Clémence Botino chose a daring look that honored a legendary woman from her home country.

Miss France participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss France at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

She wore a bra and underwear covered in crystals, as well as giant feather plumes and bananas extending from her hips. Botino then completed the look with a glittering headpiece, sheer gloves decorated with jewels, and matching sandals.

Designer Manzèl created the look to pay homage to French entertainer and activist Josephine Baker.

Miss Great Britain took inspiration from the country’s national flowers.

Miss Great Britain participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Great Britain at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

April Banbury created the green costume Emma Collingridge wore onstage. It featured a tan leotard covered in green beads, over-the-knee boots, and a matching collar and hat made from leaves and Great Britain’s national flowers: roses, thistles, and daffodils.

As the costume was designed and crafted in Great Britain, it was also meant to show the country’s “respect for the environment.”

Miss Guatemala Dania Guevara Morfin honored two countries in one outfit.

Miss Guatemala participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Guatemala at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Morfin’s costume honors longtime allies Guatemala and Israel, where the Miss Universe pageant is being hosted this year. It was designed by Otto Mijangos

On Instagram, Morfin said her gold leotard, matching accessories, and green embellishments were created using secondhand materials. She added that it was inspired by a Mayan Goddess who spread the word that Guatemala and Israel are “Pueblos Hermanos,” or Brother Peoples.

Miss Haiti wore a stunning outfit covered in crystals.

Miss Haiti participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Haiti at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Pascale Belony dazzled on the runway in her costume. It had a tan, long-sleeved shirt covered in a crystal-embellished overlay, and a colorful striped skirt with a tall slit that revealed her sparkling tights.

The contestant also wore platform sandal heels, a cream-colored necklace, and a tiara-style headpiece with a red, yellow, and blue halo above it.

Miss Honduras Rose Meléndez mirrored her country’s flag.

Miss Honduras participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Honduras at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

With the help of designer Alonso Maximo, Meléndez honored Garifuna culture with her vibrant look. She wore a bedazzled crown with rainbow feathers on top that represented hope, wisdom, intelligence, love, mourning, and more.

There were also snails and pearls attached to her bra and miniskirt to represent womanhood and dried seeds on her calves. The yellow, white, and black fringe across her back is meant to mirror the Garifuna flag, Maximo shared on Instagram.

Miss Iceland added a headpiece that lit up to her runway look.

Miss Iceland participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Iceland at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Elísa Gróa Steinþórsdóttir said on Instagram that the strapless dress she wore during the costume show was inspired by Fagradalsfjall, a volcano in Iceland that erupted for six months straight in 2021.

It was handpainted and created with recycled materials by Kirsten Regalado, who also added a light-up headpiece to create the illusion of flames.

Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu carried an umbrella to represent the multifaceted women of her home.

Miss India participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss India at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Sandhu wore a pink lehenga by Abhinav Mishra. The designer said it’s meant to be a “visual representation of a woman that showcases the Indian Queen,” who is “graceful and strong, nurturing and loving, fierce and bold.”

Both the garment and her matching umbrella are covered in mirrors and embroidery. On Instagram, Sandhu said she felt “a sense of empowerment” while wearing it.

Miss Ireland sent a message in support of nurses like herself.

Miss Ireland participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Ireland at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Designer Call Me Sophia created Katharine Walker’s costume, which included a green bedazzled leotard, tan tights, velvet boots, and flags that extended from her waist. The latter part featured the message, “Fair Pay For Nursing,” which is important to Walker as she’s a registered nurse.

“I am not just representing Ireland on this stage, but every single healthcare worker, the real heroes of this world, who go above and beyond caring for others, those who work through their breaks and work overtime for no extra pay, those who help the most vulnerable through their darkest days,” she wrote on Instagram.

Miss Italy rocked sparkles from head to toe.

Miss Italy participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Italy at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Caterina Di Fuccia sparkled onstage in a strapless silver gown with a red star across its bodice. On Instagram, the contestant said it was inspired by the Stella d’Italia, or the great star of Italy, which is a part of the country’s emblem.

She also carried an oak branch, another piece of Italy’s emblem, to represent “the strength and dignity of the Italians,” and an olive branch to show “Italy’s will for peace.” The look was designed by Aviad Arik Herman.

Miss Jamaica chose a colorful minidress and a matching headpiece.

Miss Jamaica participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Jamaica at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Created by Uzuri International, Daena Soares’ costume included a colorful minidress with off-the-shoulder sleeves, a tiered skirt, and a straight neckline — all of which were made from ruffles. The bodice, however, was covered in multicolored sequins and crystals.

The contestant completed the look with a jeweled crown that had red, yellow, and green feathers on top.

Miss Korea Jisu Kim wore a traditional outfit for her time onstage.

Miss Korea participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Korea at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Jisu Kim wore a traditional hanbok, made from red fabric with gold designs from top to bottom.

The contestant has a degree in acting and theatrical arts and is also a lifelong golfer. She speaks Korean, English, and German.

Miss Laos incorporated numerous cultural symbols into her outfit.

Miss Laos participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Laos at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

On Instagram, Tonkham Phonchanheuang said her costume was made from red Lao silk and real gold to create “unique patterns of Laos.”

The flower on her back is a Plumeria alba, the national species of Laos, and her headpiece represents Pha That Luang, a Buddhist stupa.

Miss Malta was inspired by her country’s history and food.

Miss Malta participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Malta at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Jade Cini wore a pavaljun, or a decorative street sign, to represent Malta’s traditional feasts, as she wrote on Instagram. Her costume, however, was meant to mimic the Malta Triumphant statue and represent the country’s history.

She said it was created by Christian Caruana and Wendy Caruana.

Miss Namibia was pretty in pink with a daring leotard.

Miss Namibia participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Namibia at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

As Chelsi Shikongo wrote on Instagram, her hometown Walvisbay has the largest solar sea-salt company in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, she wanted her costume to represent “the beautiful hues of pink salt pans and their well-loved flamingos.”

It was created by six artists, including Yashena Textile Accessories, and features a striped fabric worn by the Aavambo people.

Miss Nepal Sujita Basnet was inspired by Mother Nature.

Miss Nepal participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Nepal at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Basnet wore a two-piece set with a cropped shirt and long skirt, as well as a large branch atop her head. On Instagram, she said “ethnic symbolism from Nepal’s ‘Himal,’ ‘Pahad,’ and ‘Terai'” was also incorporated into the outfit.

It was designed by Maharjan Vijay.

Miss Nigeria Maristella Okpala’s ensemble was just as impressive from the back as it was from the front.

Miss Nigeria participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Nigeria at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Representing Nigeria, Okpala wore an embroidered leotard that had a feathered trim, matching the accessories she wore around her ankles.

An oversized backpiece completed the look, which was designed to look like a traditional mask.

Brenda Smith of Panama referenced an iconic mode of transportation from her country with her outfit.

Miss Panama participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Panama at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Designed by Daniel Cortina, Smith wore an outfit inspired by Panama’s heavily decorated “diablo rojo” buses, as she shared on Instagram.

Miss Panama’s multicolored backpiece and bedazzled bodysuit made the outfit look like a glowing version of the buses.

Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira’s outfit stood out thanks to sparkles, lights, and sheer cutouts.

Miss Paraguay participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Paraguay at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Ferreira dazzled in a sparkly minidress that featured sheer cutouts during the National Costume Show.

Designed by Yeruti Acosta Atelier, the outfit was completed with a feathered cape that created the illusion of wings and was embroidered with glowing lights. Ferreira wore a crown as well.

Yely Rivera, who represented Peru, wore a costume that literally glowed.

Miss Peru participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Peru at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Rivera paid homage to her birth site — the foot of a volcano — with her outfit, which was designed by Betopinedo, as she shared on Instagram.

Her floor-length, sparkly dress featured LED lights, turning her into a glowing figure.

“I’m the White Queen of the Andes honoring my flag and my city bringing to the world a message of unity and Peace,” Rivera wrote of her outfit on Instagram.

Miss Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez dressed as a dragon during the National Costume Show.

Miss Philippines participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Philippines the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Gomez wore a costume that was inspired by the Bakunawa dragon, which is famous in Phillippines folklore, as the Philippine Star reported.

Designed by Axel Que, the outfit had a textured cape made to look like scales, a sparkly bodice, and an intricate headpiece that featured a depiction of the moon.

Lalela Mswane of South Africa wowed in an all-white look.

Miss South Africa participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss South Africa at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Mswane transformed into a dove during the National Costume Show because she wanted to represent peace with her outfit, as she shared on Instagram.

Designed by The Costume Dept., Mswane’s white leotard had giant feathers sprouting from the shoulders, back, and arms. A feathered crown and ballet slippers completed the look.

Elle Smith, the 2021 Miss USA, dressed as an Emmy Award for the Costume Show.

Miss USA participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss USA at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Designed by Randall K. Smith, Miss USA’s costume was designed as a “salute to Hollywood,” as she shared on Instagram.

The look consisted of a gold bodysuit that covered Smith’s head and had wings flowing out from the back, a cape, and a ball she carried as she strutted the catwalk.

Luiseth Materán’s costume was inspired by Venezuela’s national flower.

Miss Venezuela participates in the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Contest.

 

Miss Venezuela at the 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show.

Miss Universe

Carlos Perez designed the floral costume Materán wore during the show, which was inspired by Venezuela’s national flower, the orchid, as she shared on Instagram.

She paired her sparkly purple-and-green bodysuit with a flower-shaped backpiece, sparkly tights, and green boots that evoked the look of a flower stem.

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