SINGAPORE – When Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) in 2018 Zahra Khanum appeared on stage in Bangkok for the Miss Universe parade on folk costumes next month, she will feature one of the most important events this year.
In June, Singapore was the site of the historic trust of North Korea and the United States, the first ever between the leaders of the two countries, Kim Jong Una and Mr. Donald Trump.
This meeting is an inspiration for this year's MUS national costume, which consists of 3m long wings of white pigeons, a symbol of peace embedded in bodys and an electric blue skirt decorated with digital handling stamp – one hand has a North Korean flag and the other, an American flag – over the horizon of Singapore.
The eight-year MUS national costume design, 48-year-old Mr. Moe Kasim, was happy to deal with the stereotype of beauty – wanting world peace.
He told The New Paper: "The hard part was delicately designed a message. I had to consider political sensitivity and what all that meant for Singapore and for the world community … without (creating) any wrong interpretation.
"While the summit was concerned with achieving peace, it was natural to go on a topic of World Peace."
Miss Khanum, a 24-year-old diplomat of sociology at the National University of Singapore, said: "My first impression of a costume was that it looked like an absolute angel and really contained the essence of world peace.
"He had a very calm and calming effect."
Kasim, who is the creative director of the "Moephosis Concept", worked with MUSA director Nurlan Osman on the topic and costume took three months.
Last year's MUS winner Manuela Bruntraeger wore the LED Supertree costume, and the winner in 2016 Cheryl Chou was inspired by Peranakan.
He said: "This year's costume is different because there are no more multi-racial, architectural or iconic elements or themes.
"Instead, it is based exclusively on an internationally observed historical event in the Singapore calendar, which is quite unique."
Ms. Nuraliza, 41, added: "This shows the importance of Singapore in mediating peace, not only at the regional level, but also at the global level."
Ms. Khanum said: "It definitely represents something that we need, which is to promote the feeling of unity and friendship, instead of hatred and anger."
The summit took place just before the weekend at MUS auditions in 2018, and she recalls that period as a preparation.
"I have read about world issues every night and I have taken notes. I've listened to what important people had to say about these issues, such as my idols (former US lady) Michelle Obama and (actress) Priyanka Chopra."
And now, a similar effort is in preparation for the Miss Universe Final in Bangkok, which will be held on December 17 at Impact Arena.
She said: "I'm going to a regular exercise and eating healthy, practicing pajamas and expressions on the scene, I also kept the world news to spread my knowledge.
"I hope my efforts will pay off. I'm looking forward to doing everything to make Singapore proud."