Let’s start by saying Rabiya Mateo’s Miss Universe National Costume was nothing short of spectacular! She wore a pair of red and blue wings adorned with feathers up until her bejewelled bodysuit and matching platform heels to perfectly emulate the Philippine flag.
It was designed by the late Rocky Gathercole, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. Rabiya’s costume is the very last of his masterpieces. Tasked to put the finishing touches on her look was veteran jeweler Manny Halasan. He crafted jewelry and an extravagant headpiece to supposedly complete Rabiya's National Costume.
Unfortunately, the beauty queen was not able to wear these pieces because the weight of her wings alone was close to 25 kilos, her skirt weighed 20 kilos, and the headdress weighed 15 kilos. If Rabiya wore the whole look, she would have to carry a whopping total of almost 60 kilos of additional weight.
On the morning of May 14, Manny shared the details of the pieces he designed on his personal Instagram account (@manny.halsan). The jeweler posted photos of an elaborate headdress with multi-tiered stars intricately embellished with diamonds. Other jewelry pieces, which looked like a pair of earrings and a ring, also bore the same design.
“Looking at the National costume for Miss Universe 2020, I hope to share the vision with everyone. It’s patriotic, historic, triumphant….. victorious. It is not just looking at the beauty of the creation onstage but beyond what the eyes can see. Each part symbolic of the deep culture and history embellished in it. Carved by the blood of heroes and enriched by our own history and heritage. It is not just colors and symbols… it is Filipino," Manny wrote in his caption.
"The stars will align and its alignment will form a constellation. A talent not just sole but connected and recognized in its destined place."
In case you didn't know, Manny Halasan has long been crafting crowns and jewelry for the pageant industry. One of the most notable pieces he brought to life was Catriona Gray’s hand jewelry featuring the golden sun and three stars that she wore during her final walk as Miss Universe, and numerous other crowns for Miss World Philippines.
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