Miss World Thailand received a chorus of digital boos from pageant fans Tuesday for a “traditional costume” designed for Thailand’s most-adored beauty contestant to wear on the global stage.
No one seemed to blame 22-year-old Nonthawan “Maeya” Thongleng, who modeled the gown at a press junket, despite trashing the gown online.
“Maeya is so beautiful, but her dress is shaped like a chicken coop,” Cha NiTan said, “Please change it.”
The traditional outfit was designed by Ruen Chao Sao boutique, who took inspiration from traditional looks of the 1800s spiked with a Western, Victorian-era skirt.
We’re talking about Maeya, the Southern beauty who was warmly welcomed by the press and internet for bringing a fresh change in Thailand’s pageant culture, where fair skin and a Eurasian heritage have often proved an advantage.
But yeah, they really hate the new dress.
“She’s got great stuff, but what did you put her in?!” Danai Danai said.
Designing a dress to represent subjective notions of “tradition” is always perilous. Last year’s Miss Universe competition’s traditional raiment was attacked as “cheap.”
Is there any chance of a designer do-over? Maeya seemed to imply as much in comments made after the runway catastrophe.
“There may be a change from the outfits you’ve seen,” she said in Manager. “I want everyone to trust in what I do.”
Maeya will represent Thailand at the Miss World contest on Dec. 14 in London.