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Miss Universe 2023: Michelle Dee honors the PH and military reservists with her national costume

By Camille Santiago Published Nov 17, 2023 10:49 am

Michelle Dee has her wings spread wide, ready to take flight.

Ahead of the national costume competition, the 28-year-old actress shared a glimpse of her airplane-inspired look for the preliminary competition on Friday, Nov. 17 in El Salvador.

Sharing an Instagram reel, Michelle wrote: "In the grand tapestry of the Philippines comes a National costume as stunning as its archipelago. Behold, Sergeant Michelle Marquez Dee, Miss Universe Philippines, adorned in the nation’s pride and heritage," the caption read.

The costume—which has a hand-painted sculpture, adorned with Cordilleran loom fabrics, hydraulic mechanisms, and LED lights—was created by Michael Barassi, who also designed some of her pre-pageant looks in El Salvador. It was inspired by Michelle’s role as a military reservist in the Philippine Air Force and the beautiful sights of the country.

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A post shared by MMD (@michelledee)

"With each thread woven into the “solihiya” pattern, an iconic design used in the tropics of the Philippines, it embraces her body flawlessly — unfolding the story of the islands’ unity and artistry. "

"Rising from her back, wings bear the colors of the Philippine flag and a mural of it’s most breathtaking sights while parading the country’s official tourism slogan: #LoveThePhilippines. Crowned with a captain’s hat, this is a salute to her role as an Air Force reservist and to our boundless adventures awaiting in the skies!"

"This National Costume represents the Philippines itself — resilient, radiant and ready to embrace the Universe!"

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A post shared by Michael Barassi (@barassimichael)

Speaking about the costume, Michael said in an interview with MEGA the costume is a tribute to the country's rich and majestic scenery.

 “We are a country endowed with rich and majestic scenic spots. It always entices people all over the world to fly to the Philippines and feel the warmth of Filipino hospitality,” he said.

The 72nd Miss Universe finals night will be aired and streamed live on A2Z Channel 11, Kapamilya Channel, Metro Channel, and iWantTFC, on Sunday, November 19, at 9 a.m. (Philippine time). 

Same-day replays will be available at 9:30 p.m. on A2Z, Kapamilya Channel via Sunday’s Best, Metro Channel and iWantTFC. Replays will also be aired later in the week on the Metro Channel.