National Costume Battle: The Glory of Thailand and the Grandeur of Indonesia

Both Thailand and Indonesia have been harvesting national costume awards for the past several years in various international pageants. With the current buzz on Miss Universe 2016, it’s not surprising that these two NatCos powerhouses are pitted against each other. Since 2005, Thailand has won 4 times including 2015 with its iconic tuk-tuk dress while Indonesia has won only once and that was in 2014. The odds seem to favor Thailand over Indonesia but this year can be a game changer. Let’s take a more detailed look of these amazing national costumes.

Thailand’s national costume for Miss Universe 2016 is decorated with about a hundred thousands of Swarovski crystals and inspired from Queen Sirikit’s modern take on the Chut Thai royal dress. The costume is paired with matching shoes and jewelry adorned with Swarovski crystals as well. The dress was designed by Hirankrit Pattaraboriboonkul, who was also praised for his tuk-tuk dress, which won Thailand a National Costume Award in Miss Universe 2015.


Indonesia’s national costume for Miss Universe 2016 is a fully handmade gold-colored costume with copper plates and sparkling stone ornaments, inspired by the mythical bird Garuda and the grandeur of the Borobudur Temple of Java. It weighs a whopping 20 kilograms and took about two months to complete the ensemble. Designer Dynand Fariz strategically placed the sparkling stone ornamentation on the Garuda wings to reflect on spotlights, and thus, give off a very shining, shimmering, splendid effect.


I can say that either of these NatCos deserves to win in Miss Universe 2016 especially with the effort and dedication invested in making these masterpieces. Personally, I prefer Thailand’s NatCos better because of its minimalist design and more reflective of the local costume in the traditional sense. If only the Garuda costume was able to match the 100K Swarovski crystals of the Chut Thai, then I would have judged differently. After all, it’s all about the shining, shimmering splendid.




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