Miss Universe contestant dazzles in sedge mat national costume

By Tan Cao   December 21, 2022 | 07:10 pm PT
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Chau has tried on the sedge mat costume she plans to wear at the Miss Universe pageant for the first time at an event in HCMC.

After wearing the "Chieu Ca Mau" (Ca Mau sedge mat) designed by Nguyen Quoc Viet on Tuesday, the 2022 Miss Universe Vietnam said she is proud to take the colors of Vietnamese craft villages to the upcoming beauty pageant.

Viet's creation surpassed other entries to be selected by judges in June as the national costume for the Vietnamese contestant at the upcoming Miss Universe contest.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Chau, Miss Universe Vietnam 2022, in Chie Ca Mau (Ca Mau sedge mat) by designer Nguyen Quoc Viet. Photo acquired by VnExpress

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Chau, the 2022 Miss Universe Vietnam, in the Ca Mau sedge mat costume made by designer Nguyen Quoc Viet. Photo acquired by VnExpress

The designer said the costume was inspired by a mat-weaving village in his hometown, Ca Mau Province in the Mekong Delta.

The outfit weighing around 15 kilograms is designed in the shape of the traditional Vietnamese attire ao dai.

Viet added a stainless steel frame, bent each piece of the mat over the wearer’s head, and attached it all at the back. He tied a bunch of processed sedges and dyed them like fireworks to add more flair to the outfit.

The sleeves and pants are made of fabric, the outside consists of sedge mats made from raw, environment-friendly materials that overlap each other and stand up like a fan to symbolize wealth and prosperity.

The designer added beads to create more bling and sparkle.

The hat is made of finely woven rattan. On its top is a star symbol with more than 200 Swarovski crystals.

Tran Viet Bao Hoang, who works for the organization responsible for sending candidates to international beauty pageants, said in November Chau spent three weeks in the Philippines with expert Carlos to work on her cat-walking and other skills.

She will go to the U.S. for a week later this month to brush up on her English speaking and communication skills.

She said: "Following extensive instruction, I am now much more confident."

The Miss Universe pageant will be held on January 14 in New Orleans in the U.S.

Harnaaz Sandhu, the 2021 Miss Universe from India, will crown the next queen.

Vietnamese contestants have usually created a strong impression with their traditional costumes at the Miss Universe pageants.

At the 2018 Miss Universe contest held in Thailand, Vietnam’s H'Hen Nie' wowed audiences with the banh mi national costume and finished in the top five, the best ever by a Vietnamese contestant.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Chau wearing sedge mat national costume. Video by VnExpress/Tan Cao

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