Singapore’s Miss Universe national costume draws mixed reactions for Trump-Kim summit theme
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( - December 3, 2018 - 1:02pm

SINGAPORE —  The national costume of Miss Universe Singapore 2018 Zahra Khanum has gained mixed reactions and has inspired memes from netizens since it was unveiled last November 29.

The costume, which includes dove wings and an expanding skirt digitally printed with shaking hands that featured the North Korean and the American flag, has been both praised and criticized on social media for its political theme.

“Wow, turns out to be a meaningful costume. Super creative,” a netizen said of the dress that was conceptualized in June when US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

The garment has also inspired a lot of memes.

“Ugliest costume to (represent) Singapore ever,” another netizen commented on the dress designed by Singaporean costume designer Moe Kasim.

In an interview with The Straits Times, Kasim said it was the pageant organizers who decided on the theme and he was merely asked by the organizers to execute. 

"When the organizers told us that this year's theme is the Trump-Kim Summit, honestly, I was a little hesitant at first due to the political sensitivities. But in the spirit of promoting world peace, friendship and unity, I accepted the challenge,” Kasim said in the interview.

In a Facebook video posted by The New Paper, it is claimed that Miss Singapore pageant organizers decided on the theme because “Singapore has been doing well politically and has been making friendships.”

The costume, which reportedly weighs around two kilos, allegedly took three months to get finished and is expected to be paraded by Khanum during the national costume competition on December 10 in Pattaya, Thailand.

Miss Universe 2018’s coronation night will be on December 17 in Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand. — Video from Facebook/The New Paper

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