Sunday 19 January, 2020

The Miss Universe Jamaica costume debacle rages on!

Miss Jamaica Universe Iana Tickle Garcia (Photo courtesy of Miss Jamaica Universe)

Miss Jamaica Universe Iana Tickle Garcia (Photo courtesy of Miss Jamaica Universe)

The Miss Jamaica Universe organisation has come under much scrutiny this past couple of days for its use of the infamous 'White Witch of Rose Hall', Annie Palmer as our country's national costume at the Miss Universe pageant held in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend.

The all-white costume adorned with feathers and rhinestones was worn by Miss Jamaica Universe 2019, Iana Tickle Garcia at Friday night's National Costume Competition.

Following the reveal, social media was up in arms. Read more here.

This left the Loop Lifestyle team with some questions.

But before we answer these questions, here's a look back at the costumes that made us proud.

Flashback: Miss Jamaica Universe costumes we love

Where is the creativity? Why do we see replicas of a monotonous concept every year? Who’s responsible? When did Carnival and Annie Palmer ever go together? Why was the costume depicting the White Witch of Rose Hall an all-white showpiece accentuated with rhinestones and feathers? Is it a true representation of Palmer? 

Every year we see the same high-sheen fabric with sequin/lace embellishments and very little pizzazz - save for feathers and rhinestones.

Please, Uzuri International, make it stop! This is your call to action.

Though the designs worn by beauty queens past were merely good enough, if you’ve failed to acknowledge the room for improvement, you’ve failed.

When you have costumes so outrageous that the insider.com did a breakdown, one can’t help but wonder what are we lacking?

Thankfully, Miss Jamaica Universe 2007 Zahra Redwood made the cut with her rasta-inspired get-up that bore red, gold and green from her crown to the sole of her feet.

We're not the only competitors who could use a pep talk, either. There are several other nations that should also be taking notes. Alas, let’s start at home.

Here are a few pointers for creating provocative and substantial costumes…

Reference a global hot topic, particularly one that includes The Rock or was influenced by The Rock and make a costume out of it. It really isn’t rocket science.

Coffee beans? Rum barrels? Even Miss Universe Canada got it right with a hemp costume. Where was our hemp hurrah?

Seek young designers from EMCVPA or HEART Trust/NTA etc and include them in the design process. Make it symbiotic, so both parties learn while creating a mod masterpiece.

Get creative; think outside of the box, or don’t bother doing it at all.

Stay on top of the trends, keep the focus current; this way the costume outlasts the competition.

Plan ahead! Start constructing the ideas, so we don't get "hurry come up" costumes.

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