First look: Miss SA's Miss Universe gowns

2012-11-21 09:05
She ditched the Miss World pageant earlier this year, but Miss South Africa's Melinda Bam is definitely going to Miss Universe.

The pageant's coming up on Wednesday 19 December in Las Vegas and Melinda's organised to go. She'll be leaving for the build-up on 29 November - which means she won't be here to hand over to the new Miss South Africa who'll be crowned on 9 December.

Instead, she'll be involved in the final preparations for the pageant while side-eyeing the competition which consists of 87 other contenders.

88 countries have entered in total and everyone will be judged in three categories: swimsuit, interview and evening gown. Take a look at Melinda's evening gown:

The dress has been designed by Italian Peter Bondesio, who says he chose the green to complement Melinda's skin tone and eyes. It's inspired by mermaids and made of liquid satin and mesh. The sparkles are bronze and green diamantés.

A week before the actual pageant there's a national costume ceremony where all of the contestants wear a costume that represents their country.  This is what Melinda will be wearing:

It's been designed by a crowd called Go Wild Designs and symbolises South Africa's mineral wealth. Her sceptre's made of meranti wood with an 18-carat yellow gold-plated Protea that's scattered with Swarovski crystals. I don't know what Swarovski crystals are exactly but they obviously cost a bomb.

Her crown's inspired by the South African Coat of Arms - it's yellow gold plated, also with Swarovski crystals - and her shoes look like kickbutt space boots. Very universal I thought.

The national ceremony doesn't usually air on TV, but the pageant always does. It'll very probably be broadcast on Star! on TopTV again this year, but this is still uncertain at this time.

Tashi Tagg is the editor of TVSA
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