Kelley Day in modern Maria Clara wins Miss Eco International Best National Costume

Kelley Day Maria Clara National Costume
Kelley Day in her award-winning national costume. Photo credit to Kelley Day Instagram.

The Philippines’ pageant contender Kelley Day has won the Miss Eco International Best National Costume with her modern Maria Clara dress designed by Louie Pangilinan.

The Filipino-British beauty queen wowed the judges and the audience by showcasing the modern Filipiniana outfit during the national costume competition of the Egypt-based pageant held at the Baron Resort Sharm El Sheikh on April 3, 2021 (Philippine time).

Fashion designer Pangilinan explains in his Instagram post about his creation that is inspired by Maria Clara, the heroine of national hero Jose Rizal’s 19th-century novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

LINKS national hero Jose Rizal, Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo

“With the country’s rich culture and history, the iconic attire of Philippines’ mestiza heroine named Maria Clara meets modern age,” Pangilinan said. “It’s a perfect spotlight for this traditional attire to be of style and fashion – the evidence of religiosity and spirituality of Filipinos into a Filipiniana Costume.”

He adds a detailed explanation of the features of the Miss Eco International Best National Costume winner: “The rapid increase of modernity had been welcomed this age. This national dress is embellished with hand-painted art that can flamboyantly (be) seen by far and fully hand-embroidered. Topping it with topical Maria Clara’s bell sleeves premeditated with beads and crystals. Accentuated with tassels made from fibers extracted by hand and worked into fine threads woven together in a loom that makes it one of the exciting styles today, in a unique and quintessential way.

“Summing up the fear of being outdated, the touch of modernity on this Maria Clara national attire still implies purity, innocence and devout – words that define a Modern Filipina,” Pangilinan concluded.

Kelley said her win made her prouder to represent the country in the international pageant and dedicated the recognition to the Philippines.

“It was such an honor to wear this beautiful creation in the National Costume Competition of Miss Eco International,” Miss Eco Philippines wrote on her Instagram. “Winning Best National Costume tonight just made me feel even MORE proud to be representing the Philippines. Thankful for all the hard work and creativity of the team that was behind this. Thank you Miss Eco International for the recognition – this is for the Philippines!”

Kelly aims to duplicate the feat of Cynthia Thomalla who won the title of Miss Eco International in 2018.

The Philippines’ representative in the 2019 edition of the pageant, Maureen Montagne, placed first runner-up.

Eighteen-year-old Filipina teen Roberta Angela Tamondong is the reigning Miss Eco Teen International after winning the crown in Egypt in December 2020.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Kelley Day for winning the Miss Eco International Best National Costume with her modern Maria Clara gown.

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Lorenzo Cruz
Lorenzo Cruz believes that the power of beauty could help the Philippines to rise to the top. He is a travel and fashion enthusiast who loves to explore Filipino culture.