The beauty and the beastly dress: Internet hate’s Miss World gown

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.

READ: Here’s why ‘Maeya’ deserves Miss Thailand World crown

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.

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