Miss Universe New Zealand is copping flak from officials back home for not wearing a dress in the “national costume” category made by Kiwis.
Contenders in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant, currently underway in Las Vegas, strapped on wings, extravagant headwear and bared as much flesh as possible in the national costume category.
But stunning NZ representative, Ria van Dyke, wore a black gown by US designer Sherry Helen America, with only her sparkling silver fern headpiece and cuffs designed locally by Natalie Chan.
National director for Miss Universe New Zealand Val Lott said she was disappointed that the dress was not made by a Kiwi.
“I was very upset about the fact that it was not a national costume,” Ms Lott told NZ news website, Stuff.co.nz.
“It was just a black dress with bling bling on it.
“Thank God we had a headpiece by Natalie Chan.”
Auckland-based designer, Ms Chan, said she’d worked with Ms van Dyke on her accessories.
“I wanted to keep in with the New Zealand theme, but with a fashion aspect and make it stylish and show off New Zealand.” Ms Chan told Stuff.co.nz.
“I didn’t want her to look like she was a showgirl.
“In New Zealand, we want to put our best foot forward but we’re not showy, showy.”
In an interview with NZ Woman’s Day magazine, Ms van Dyke said she’d trawled through local thrift stores searching for clothes to take to the competition.
“Some of the girls have dresses worth tens of thousands of dollars and I’m going to second-hand shops with mum,” she told the women’s magazine.
“I didn’t expect it to be like this.
“It’s pretty disappointing really.”
The winner of Miss Universe will be announced on August 23 (local time).