The inspiration behind the dresses Vietnam’s beauty queens wear at Miss Universe 2020
Nguyen Tran Khanh Van, who is Vietnam's representative at the ongoing 2020 Miss Universe, has won massive support from fans back home for her attempt to introduce her country to the world, especially through the way she has dressed.
Many fans even said that Van has brought ‘the whole country’ to the beauty pageant, as several of her costumes were inspired by Vietnam’s features like water lilies and terraced fields, to name a few.
Van was crowned Miss Universe Vietnam 2019 at the final night of the beauty pageant in the central coastal city of Nha Trang in December that year.
The 25-year-old woman is currently the ambassador of One Body Village, an organization that supports, rescues, and helps girls who are exploited, sexually abused or in danger, Miss Universe 2020 introduced Van on the pageant’s website.
One of Van’s most famous costumes at Miss Universe 2020, which is taking place in the U.S. state of Florida, was the ao dai, which is Vietnam's traditional costume, titled 'Ken Em' she wore for the national costume round on May 13.
Nguyen Tran Khanh Van presents 'Ken Em' in Miss Universe 2020's national costume round in the U.S..
The costume consists of a cocoon-shaped cover and a white ao dai which pays tribute to Vietnam’s silk weaving industry.
The ao dai set was also ranked among the 15 most spectacular national costumes at the 69th Miss Universe by online beauty pageant magazine Missosology, and the 20 best Miss Universe 2020 national costumes by Yahoo Lifestyle SEA.
This image shows Nguyen Tran Khanh Van in a set of ao dai, which is Vietnam's traditional costume, titled 'Ken Em.' Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Besides the costumes made for the competition, Van has also prepared well for her appearance at sideline events.
One vivid instance was the high-slit dress imitating water lilies, a famous flower in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.
“The dress designer drew inspiration from the water lilies from Dong Thap Muoi [an inland wetland in the Mekong Delta],” Miss Universe Vietnam explained on its verified Facebook page.
“The pink flower is associated with the life of the people in southern Vietnam, with its edible branches popularly used to make local salads."
An artwork explains the inspiration of a dress Nguyen Tran Khanh Van wears at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Nguyen Tran Khanh Van is seen in a dress inspired by Vietnam's water lilies at Miss Universe 2020 in Florida, the U.S.. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Van also chose another ao dai for her appearance at a dinner with other Miss Universe 2020 contestants on May 12.
In the dress influenced by Vietnam’s national flower, lotus, Van is expected to present the gorgeous and gentle beauty of Vietnamese women.
The beauty also completed her looks with a lotus-shaped handbag.
An artwork explains the inspiration of an ao dai Nguyen Tran Khanh Van wears at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Nguyen Tran Khanh Van is seen in an ao dai at Miss Universe 2020 in Florida, the U.S.. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
“Ao dai and lotus, the symbols of Vietnamese culture,” Van wrote in an Instagram post about the outfit.
Those were only a few pieces in the 'wardrobe' Van carried in 15 suitcases she brought to the contest.
On May 11, Van donned a green and yellow dress inspired by the beauty of terraced fields in northern Vietnam, with the beaded upper part paired up with a fringe skirt below.
The dress was accompanied by a face mask of the same theme.
An artwork explains the terraced field theme of an outfit Nguyen Tran Khanh Van wears at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Nguyen Tran Khanh Van is seen in a dress inspired by Vietnam's terraced fields at Miss Universe 2020 in Florida, the U.S.. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Van has not only presented her country’s traditional values at the pageant, but the beauty queen from Ho Chi Minh City has also cleverly showed the dynamic vibes of the city where she lives to the world, and of course, through an outfit of hers.
At a rehearsal on May 11, she wore a multicolored outfit to showcase the colorful and bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
An artwork explains the inspiration of an outfit Nguyen Tran Khanh Van wears at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Nguyen Tran Khanh Van is seen in a dress inspired by Ho Chi MInh City's street vibes. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
During the pageant, Van seems to have a good bond with other contestants, as she invited Miss Universe Malaysia and Great Britain to try the pajamas that middle-aged women in Vietnam often wear at home.
The trio had a fun time filming a TikTok video in the clothes, which attracted more than 2.5 million views.
A photo captures Miss Universe Vietnam, Miss Universe Great Britain, and Miss Universe Malaysia in Vietnamese pajamas while the trio enjoy a moment together at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
Apart from fun moments and competitions, Van remembers her mission.
“I can’t wait to meet the judges today to show them who I am and the mission I am passionately pursuing. Fighting for these young girls has been the privilege of my reign as Miss Universe Vietnam,” Van captioned a post of her wearing an outfit she called “the most special” as its patterns were drawn by children at One Body Village.
“I want to send this message to all survivors of sexual violence in the world: you are strong, you are beautiful, and you are not alone."
A photo shows Nguyen Tran Khanh Van in a outfit with patterns drawn by children from One Body Village, the organization which Van is currently an ambassador for. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
The final of the 69th Miss Universe will take place at 8:00 pm ET at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, and will be live-streamed on the contest’s YouTube page.
An artwork explains the inspiration of a dress titled 'Dawn,' which Nguyen Tran Khanh Van wears in the evening gown round at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
A photo shows Nguyen Tran Khanh Van in a dress celebrating the national flags of Vietnam and the U.S. at Miss Universe 2020. Photo: Instagram @khanhvannguyen25
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Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News
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