As part of the national costume segment for the upcoming Miss Universe, Miss Universe Malaysia, Francisca Luhong James will be donning a 3D replica of a kampung house designed by homegrown designer Carven Ong who has created outfits for many previous Miss Universe Malaysia winners and Crazy Rich Asians among others.
Francisca is set to don two national costumes named “Kampungku” which are designed to celebrate traditional Malaysian architecture and revive the essence of nostalgia that our traditional kampung exudes.
The Sarawakian beauty will first appear in a black and white kaftan ensemble while wearing a ‘bicycle’ headgear against a matching black and white kampung backdrop that is said to represent the concept of the classic Lat comic book and memories of youth.
She will then go back into the traditional house which will rotate to reveal the coloured side of the house, filled with replicas of chickens and coconut trees, as she returns to stun the crowd and judges with a vibrant orange off-shoulder piece by Ong who designed it with Wescara.
The off-shoulder was inspired by the sunset and is topped with gold ‘kerawang’ beads, as an appreciative nod to Francisca’s Sarawakian heritage, as well as donning a headpiece of a Borneo doll by Wesley Hilton.
Being the first Dayak woman to be crowned Miss Universe Malaysia, the 25-year-old of Orang Ulu Kayan-Kenyah and Iban descent will represent Malaysia in the upcoming Miss Universe competition.
Speaking to Malay Mail, Carven said that design was to show the uniqueness of the Malaysian traditional house, “I want to bring our unique kampung to the world to show them how unique our Malaysian traditional house is.”
As this is the second year where we are unable to balik kampung, Carven also wanted his creation to give off a sense of nostalgia as we all are longing for our kampung.
The entire ensemble that weighs 55kg took Carven three months to complete.
The ‘interior’ of the house was built as a fitting room with a mirror to help Francisca change into the other costume smoothly.
“I will be very happy if Francisca makes it to the top 10,” Carven added.
Francisca will also don an evening gown designed by well-known designer Rizman Ruzaini who was inspired by the Sarawakian folklore of Princess Sejinjang.
Watch the creation process of the “Kampungku” costume here:
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