Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray was the hot topic on social media last night for her signature walk and her symbolic orange evening dress during the preliminary competitions held at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Gray competed against 92 contestants during the swimsuit and evening wear competitions of the prestigious Miss Universe pageant on December 13.
The contestants introduced themselves wearing pieces from American designer Sherri Hill, who had previously chosen Gray as a model for one of her fashion shows.
Slow-mo twirl and hair flips
During the swimsuit segment, fans were amazed at her sharp turns which appeared to be in slow motion and her casual hair flips while walking down the runway.
ang ganda nung slow mo?????????? HINDI TALAGA AKO NANINIWALA NA EQUAL TAYONG GINAWA NG DIYOS TIGNAN NYO NAMAN SI CATRIONA GRAY MASYADONG NAKAKAANGAT https://t.co/gb4ubtdBa6
— CAROLING BANAWA 🤶🏼❄️ (@yanihatesu) December 13, 2018
This was the debut of her much-anticipated “Lava walk,” her recognizable style of walking she had been practicing through her mentor and choreographer Carlos Buendia Jr.
She joined former Philippine representatives of Miss Universe in owning a signature strut such as Rachel Peters’ “Infinity walk” in 2017, Maxine Medina’s “Alta walk” in 2016 and Pia Wurtzbach’s “Tanim-bala walk” in 2015.
The posture, the face and the hips are important aspects in the walk, Gray said in an episode of ABS-CBN’s morning show called “Magandang Buhay.”
“Yung major important aspect lang sa mga catwalk is really the posture and then the face and then hips…and the posture’s easy it’s parang invisible string lang,” she explained.
She then added: “When you walk, you’re giving an aura.”
All the contestants in this round wore outfits from Thailand-based brand Sirivannavari Bangkok.
Adarna from Mak Tumang
Gray’s evening gown is an orange piece with a high slit from celebrity designer Mak Tumang.
Aside from the Bicolana model, Tumang also designed the gowns for several attendees of the grand ABS-CBN ball 2018.
Similar to her national costume, the design of the dress was inspired by the magical bird in the epic poem, Ibong Adarna.
Tumang said on Instagram that it is called “Adarna: The Blazing Siren.” He explained that the creature is often likened to the phoenix, a similar magical bird from Western mythology.
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ADARNA: The Blazing Siren The 'Ibong Adarna' is a mythological pulchritudinous bird that could change in several fascinating guises. Its enchanting voice can enable complete healing to anyone who hears it. Some artists liken it to the mythological Phoenix where it recurrently regenerates itself by arising amidst a spectacle of flames and candescence. This makes it a fitting symbol of resilience, rising and rebirth. Catriona has a resilient, tenacious and unwavering spirit. Her voice is truly captivating literally and figuratively. She uses it to influence, advance her timely causes and both melt and heal hearts. Her will-power and burning passion drive her to make every Filipino proud in whatever she does. She is the blazing Adarna! Watch her rise in glory along with our hopes and dreams for our beloved country: the Philippines! Inspired from the Philippine Adarna Bird, Phoenix & Mikimoto Crown #MissUniverse2018 #Philippines #PreliminaryGown
Tumang previously posted photos of sketches of possible dresses Gray will wear for the evening gown round. He said 16 artisans created seven sketches, four prototypes and three gowns.
Gray’s final attire, however, was not among these options to the surprise of her fans.
The process of choosing the outfit was “fastidious,” Tumang shared. He and his team took 2,712 hours and cost P1,025,091 for the materials.