Miss Universe South Africa, Natasha Joubert, will be wearing her national costume, designed by Gert-Johan Coetzee, while Jolandie Fouche of Jolache Couture is responsible for a number of evening gowns for the 69th Miss Universe pageant takes place in Florida in the United States on 16 May 2021.
- Reigning Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, is the longest reigning Miss Universe because of lockdown.
- The pageant will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
- Miss Universe takes place from 2am to 5am on 17 May 2021 South African time.
- Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.
Natasha will be carrying the children of South Africa with her when she walks onto the international stage at Miss Universe in her national costume, as the fabric wings of her unique gown have been printed with drawings made by young children from Diepsloot and Randburg. The artwork tells the story of pre-school children’s very personal experiences of lockdown and how the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted their young lives.
The children came up with images that truly reflected the regulations of lockdown; some funny, others poignant and meaningful. A number drew the usual pre-school child’s image of the family, only the mum, dad and brothers and sisters were drawn far apart to show social distancing.
We wanted to create something special and proudly South African. We not only created a garment to show off our skills and for dramatic effect, but it also had to be something truly meaningful and represent a cause close to Natasha’s heart. That is why we decided to take sketches from local children, to portray how they currently see the state of world in their own ‘words’. We took their actual sketches, digitised them and printed them on white flowy fabric and created an angelic silhouette for Natasha to symbolise overcoming hardship through guidance.
// Designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee
Interviewed on The Sandton Times Podcast, Gert-Johan Coetzee shared some of the finer details behind the dress.
In December, Cardi B wore one of my pieces from my previous collection called Kraal Couture, and it was quite similar. I think that is my way of unlocking and showing the world what African couture looks like. If you think about couture worldwide, you know what couture looks like on the runways of Paris; you know what couture looks like around the world. In South Africa, we have not completely explored yet, where it could go. So I really wanted to show what South African and African excellent can be like.
// Designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee
Gert-Johan Coetzee also designed Demi-Leigh Tebow (née Nel-Peters) final dress when she handed over the Miss Universe crown to her successor in 2018. Hendrene Mintcher, principal of Toddies Pre-school and Creche in Randburg, one of the schools selected, said the youngsters “put so much feeling into the drawings”.
They came up with images of greeting each other by knocking elbows, of them wearing masks, of social distancing and they showed what they’ve learnt about Covid and the precautions necessary to prevent its spread.
// Principal of Toddies Pre-school and Creche in Randburg, Hendrene Mintcher
It was her first-time designing evening gowns for an international pageant says Jolandie Fouche of Jolache Couture.
Designing for a beauty pageant is very different from any other designs. Pageants are extremely competitive. You have to make sure that your dress will make a lasting impression on the judges for all the right reasons, while at the same time complimenting the contestant and accentuating her beauty and personality. These dresses are something totally different from what you have seen before. Our focus was definitely on structure, hues of colour and a mature elegance. I think South Africa will love what they see and Natasha, with her exceptional radiance, will stand out above all in these unique dresses.
// Jolache Couture Designer, Jolandie Fouche
Natasha revealed her national costume and other gowns at her #DestinyDesigned virtual fashion show to empower and showcase 13 local fashion designers. The Sandton Times reported on the SANDTON DESIGNER SELECTED FOR #DESTINYDESIGNED FASHION SHOW. #DestinyDesigned was Natasha’s Miss Universe South Africa social cause initiative and is close to her heart as she is a fashion designer who started her own company, Natalia Jefferys, in 2016.
My preparations started when I was crowned Miss Universe South Africa last year. I have been looking forward to this event from the moment of my crowning and will carry the Miss Universe South Africa title with pride. I know that I have big shoes to fill following in the footsteps of both Zozi and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
// Miss Universe South Africa, Natasha Joubert
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