The gown includes local children’s perceptions of lockdown and the pandemic through their own drawings
Miss Universe South Africa, Natasha Joubert, has revealed some of the outfits she will be wearing when the 69th Miss Universe pageant takes place in Florida in the US on Sunday, May 16, when our own Zozibini Tunzi will crown her successor at the end of the event.
Twenty-three-year-old Joubert, a B. Comm graduate, believes she is fully prepared for Miss Universe: “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.”
Joubert’s national costume, which she showed off at her Miss Universe farewell as part of her #DestinyDesigned virtual fashion show, has been designed by designer to the stars Gert-Johan Coetzee while Jolandie Fouche of Jolache Couture is responsible for a number of evening gowns for the pageant.
Joubert will be carrying the children of South Africa with her when she walks onto the international stage 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.
Explains Coetzee, who also designed Demi-Leigh’s final dress when she handed over the Miss Universe crown to her successor in 2018: “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.”
The Miss Universe pageant takes place on May 16 in the US (02h00 to 05h00 on May 17 SA time). The reigning Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, who was crowned Miss South Africa in August 2019 and who, because of lockdown, is the longest reigning Miss Universe, will crown her successor at a glittering event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.