The eighth edition of Miss Grand International is currently ongoing in Bangkok, Thailand and they recently had their national costume show. On March 24, 2021, the 63 candidates of Miss Grand International 2020 showcased their culture and beauty in the national costume competition.
Here are our favorite costumes from last night’s live show. These are listed alphabetically:
Guatemala, Ivana Batchelor – César Alejandro Portillo designed and created this massive costume inspired by the beauty of the San Andrés Xecul church. Colorful and massive, this costume is one of the most impressive in the batch. Most of the time, Latin American costumes are a bunch of feathered confections and that this costume goes against that grain makes it a stand-out.
La Iglesia de San Andres de Xecul is a sad tale of contrasts, on both the interior and exterior. Starkly differing from the drab and cold cathedrals of mainland Europe, La Iglesia de San Andres is a wildly colored and visually-stunning proclamation of faith. Despite the connection of the church with its forceful past, the designs on the facade are distinctly Latin American and more specifically Mayan. Aside from the typical bright colors and designs, many of the figures depicted on the church are also holding ferns, leaves and other plants. This strong connection to nature harkens back to the pre-Columbian era and humans interaction with nature. Imagery of note on the west facade includes angels, corn, quetzals, monkeys, and jaguars.
Philippines, Samantha Mae Bernardo – designed by Patrick Isorena, this magnificent Philippine Eagle costume pays tribute to the national bird.
"AGILA" The Costume is inspired by our National Bird - The Philippine Eagle also known as the Monkey-Eating Eagle or Great Philippine Eagle. It is considered the largest of the extant eagles in terms of length and wing surface, the rarest and most powerful birds in the world. This costume also intend to create awareness because the Philippine Eagle is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat resulting from deforestation in most of its range. Gold as the main color of the costume to represent the magnificent journey of our Queen. And to pay homage to the MGI Golden Crown. Just like gold it is extravagant, wealthy, rich and indestructible, like Samantha - A queen who never gave up on her dreams.
Spain, Iris Miguélez Mendez – this fiery flamenco number by designers Jose Manuel Valencia Cadena and Carmesi Abalorios is made out of over 100 meters of duchess satin and organdy fabric. The skirt’s train is 3 meters long and 2 meters wide with a lavish silhouette that emphasizes every movement of the flamenco dancer. The costume’s bodice and sleeves are embroidered with lace and thousands of crystals, with gold carnation trinkets. The crown, fan and jewels is inspired by the Spanish tradition, a mixture of rays of light, flowers and the folklore that characterizes Spain’s flamenco tradition.
USA, Abena Akuaba Appiah– the Black Lives Matter movement part of the costume is strong in this costume. The costume is a political statement which goes well with the pageant’s “Stop the War” advocacy.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized political and social movement protesting against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. While there are specific organizations such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network that label themselves simply as "Black Lives Matter", the Black Lives Matter movement comprises a broad array of people and organizations. The slogan "Black Lives Matter" itself remains untrademarked by any group. The broader movement and its related organizations typically advocate against police violence toward black people as well as for various other policy changes considered to be related to black liberation. The movement returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. An estimated 15 million to 26 million people participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, making it one of the largest movements in the country's history. The movement comprises many views and a broad array of demands but they center on criminal justice reform.
How about you? Which of the 63 national costumes is your favorite?