The Miss Universe 2023 pageant kicked off with its preliminary competition on Wednesday night — and did so in bold style, with numerous wardrobe malfunctions taking place, ranging from stumbles from high heels to portions of costume falling off completely (thankfully, no exposures of the body).
During the event, the National Costume portion ahead of the final Jan. 14 program, following contestants’ introductions and the viral swimsuit portion of the competition. The costume element is intended for those competing to showcase their heritage, as well as advocate for causes close to their hearts. Unfortunately, the portion also featured an array of wardrobe problems
Miss Finland Petra Hämäläinen dressed for the occasion as a tree in a shimmering green gown and black headpiece, adviocating the end of environmental deforestation. Unfortunately, the pageant queen stepped twice on her gown’s long train.
Miss Mauritius Alexandrine Belle-Etoile wore a flowing red rose-textured dress with sheer sleeves and legs, a silky skirt and floral headpiece and hand flowers, inspired by the country’s French heritage. Unfortunately, she struggled to hold her hand roses and kicked up her heels to avoid the gown’s long hem pooling around her shoes onstage.
Miss Nigeria Hannha Iribhogbe’s feathered ensemble included a flared white skirt and puka shell-trimmed bodice, complete with shell fringe and a red mask-shaped shield. However, her large matching eagle-shaped headpiece was visibly off-centered during her entrance, with a thin string also revealed to dangle from its back head strap.
Miss Panama Solaris Barba donned a statement-making outfit for the event’s National Costume portion: a Virgilio Batista gold, red and blue multi-printed and allover embellished dress, cape and jumpsuit with a matching feathered headpiece, inspired by traditional body painting. However, her outfit’s gold heart-shaped back accent was notably slipping to the side during her time onstage.
Miss Poland Aleksandra Klepaczka wore a red and white sparkling floral gown inspired by her country’s flag. However, the Polish flag she carried behind her became caught on the ground beneath her nude stiletto-heeled sandals on numerous occasions.
Miss Uruguay Carla Romero sparkled onstage in a sheer-paneled jumpsuit paneled with crystal fringe, paired with shimmering platform sandals. Her outfit’s sparkly feather-tufted headpiece, however, required an adjustment so it wouldn’t fall forward during her dancing presentation — which can be viewed in the event’s recording on YouTube.
Miss United States R’bonney Gabriel appeared to struggle to quickly move onstage in her red, white and blue-striped ensemble, which included silver star-shaped back wings and a headpiece shaped like the moon.
The Miss Universe 2023 pageant celebrates international beauty, as well as a range of humanitarian causes from its contestants. Held on Jan. 14 in New Orleans, the event will find contestants from at least 80 countries competing for this year’s crown: a diamond and blue sapphire creation by Mouawad Jewelry, titled “Force for Good.”
The event will be sponsored by fashion, beauty and hospitality brands, including Carnival, Cream Silk, Hyatt Regency, J. by Jacqueline Aguilera, Jojo Bragais, Lazada, Liva, Muba, Portia and Scarlett and Olivia Quido. Miss Ukraine (Viktoria Apanasenko), Miss USA (R’Bonney Gabriel) and Miss Russia (Anna Linnikova) are viewed as top competitors in this year’s event. Judges for the occasion will include actress Jeannie Mai Jenkins and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo.
Harnaaz Sandhu of India is Miss Universe 2022.