by Kevin Chong
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Francisca Luhong James – Kampungku Wardrobe

The reigning Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 champion, Francisca Luhong James, unveiled the ‘Kampungku’ National Costume and Evening Gown for the 69th MISS UNIVERSE competition that is set to take place in Hollywood, Florida, in the United States. The costume was designed by local couture designer, Carven Ong, while the ‘Francisca’ doll headpiece was provided by Wesley Hilton of Boren Doll.

Francisca Luhong James – Kampungku Wardrobe

‘Kampungku’, otherwise in English, ‘My Village’ was inspired by traditional Malay kampong houses that follow the landscape in villages and rural areas across Peninsular Malaysia. These kampong houses are usually made of timber and built on stilts. The traditional Malay Kampong brings a sense of nostalgia as it serves as a powerful reminder of one’s humble beginnings before embarking on their career in the city.

Models at the Miss Universe Malaysia Event

The kampong house is illustrated in shades of black and white to match Francisca’s batik kaftan dress. The designer claims that the colour scheme is meant to symbolize the sweet innocent memory of one’s youth, while the fabric is inspired by Sarawak’s ‘pua’ ceremonial cloth, and the Orang Ulu and Malay batik print. The look was completed with a headpiece in the shape of a bicycle which was the common means of transportation in earlier times.

Francisca wears a whimsical-looking headpiece by Borneo Doll with an identical gown and a crown that is surrounded by the national flower, ‘Bunga Raya’, woven with ‘mengkuang’ that symbolises her beloved country. The evening gown was designed by Rizman Ruzaini, and inspired by the legend of the beautiful Princess Sejinjang from Sarawakian folklore, who is said to have turned into an island. The ombre turquoise gown was filled with silver gemstones that sparkled brightly as they caught the light and kept audiences in awe.

Elaine Daly Daly, Miss Malaysia Universe Festival Director & Adam Ham, CEO of GCMA

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