Wau! Miss Universe Malaysia takes national dress way up high into the sky

They gasped, then could not but gawk.

From tail piece to headgear, the national costume just got hotter, fittingly revealed by Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 Deborah Henry in Sunway Lagoon yesterday.

The costume, carefully crafted by local fashion designer Amir Luqman using songket fabric, resembles a Wau Bulan, the magnificent kite popularly flown in the northern states of Peninsula Malaysia.

Amir explained that all the elements of the wau are represented by the dress, from the hummer of the wau, the waist, and the eye of the kite, which is a flower-embroidered bustier made from Royal Terengganu Songket.

“Whereas the wing is represented by Deborah’s hand movements when holding the tail piece,” he added.

The traditional hand-woven fabric has been crafted around Henry’s 32-24-35 body like a second skin to truly arresting effect.

The theme of the wau for the national costume was suggested by some fans of the Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation’s facebook page, revealed Henry.

“We got into a bit of the debate with fans over which national symbol should be used to create the costume. In the end we chose the wau, so to certain extent this [dress] is created by the fans as well,” she said with a smile.

Amir said he took three months and RM380,000(!) to create the dress.

Henry was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia in January, and is now undergoing an intensive training before the finals of the Miss Universe 2011 competition scheduled to take place in Sao Paolo, Brazil in September.