Hit or Miss Singapore Universe

A year ago, the 2008 Miss Singapore Universe contingent received flak for Merlion-inspired costume.



You can read more about this story here and here.

Fast forward to 2009…

(I suspect) In attempts to counter the less-than-friendly responses, the organizers gave the public control over the selection of 2009’s costume.

The result was an online voting competition open to National Service (NS) men, which was recently mentioned in the papers.



Students from Raffles Design Institute submitted their sketches and concept writeup for voting.



The intentions were good.

In fact, rather brilliant, if the objective was the get a greater buy-in from the population and fuller support for the final costume chosen.



Some designs are quite impressive.


And for the students participating, its good exposure for them.

(Who wouldn’t want to say that they’ve designed the costume worn by Miss Singapore at an International competition, viewed by millions?!)


The presentation of idea, sketch and concept had a significant impact on my opinion.


Take for example, winning design by Chiang XiaoJun. The sketch, I like… the colours and visual concept looks pleasant. But with spelling mistakes like ‘Singaporian’ and grammar mistakes… ‘that is what most proud about of my country’?!

Not a very proud “Singaporian” moment.


  1. ummmm…. i am a singaporian myself and also a designer, although i have spent all my designing life abroad. honestly i hope half of those designs don’t make it through because they were kind of horrendous!!! i love that some of the designers took the orchid as their concept but some of those designs were SO literal! the rest were just pretty scary.

    i guess i don’t have a lot of credit to critique on this… i myself am more pret a porter designer but more casual and a little avant garde, so i know nothing about evening wear. but DAMN i would be embarrassed to have some of those dresses on my portfolio!!! eeks!!!

    i also read some of those concept explanations. what? fail fail fail. if i had to sit through a panel of judges for barneys and bergdorf goodman with explanations like that, they would put me on the designer blacklist for ever.


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