The story behind Catriona Gray's winning Miss Universe dress

WION Web Team
Bangkok, ThailandUpdated: Dec 17, 2018, 01:40 PM IST

Catriona Gray in her sparkling red dress. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

For the semi-final, Gray wore a form fitting flame orange tapered gown which Tumang said resembled Adarna, the mythical bird of the Philippines.

Catriona Elisa Gray became the fourth Filipina to win the coveted Miss Universe, besting contestants from 93 other countries and delighting her home nation.

Gray wore a sparkling red dress which she said was inspired by a volcano in the Philippines as she was handed the crown amid loud cheering from the audience.

The dress was created by Manila-based designer Mak Tumang who described the choice on his Instagram account.

"The prominent and iconic Mayon Volcano is the penultimate inspiration for this creation. It is dubbed as the ‘perfect cone’ because of its symmetric conical form. Folk tales have it that it was named after the mythological heroine ‘Daragang Magayon’ (Beautiful Lady)," Tumang says in his Instagram post.

Catriona can be considered as the modern-day Daragang Magayon. She embodies the Filipina’s beauty, intelligence and burning passion, he further adds.

For the semi-final, Gray wore a form-fitting flame orange tapered gown which Tumang said resembled Adarna, the mythical bird of the Philippines.

"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," the designer said in one of his Instagram posts.

"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!" Tumang further said in his post.

During the final on Sunday, the 24-year-old singer and model said she wore red because "when I was 13 my mom said she had a dream that I would win Miss Universe in a red dress."

She studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the United States. She holds a Master Certificate in Music Theory. An adventure junkie, Gray is an HIV/AIDS advocate and volunteers as a Teacher's Assistant to the students at an NGO, according to the official Miss Universe website.