Miss Universe contestants try on ao dai
16:06′ 19/06/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – On their second day in Vietnam, competitors in the Miss Universe 2008 pageant tried on the traditional Vietnamese dress, ao dai.

Over 50 girls who came to HCM City on the first two days were measured and tried on ao dai, which were designed by four Vietnamese designers, Vo Viet Chung, Thuan Viet, Sy Hoang and Lien Huong.

Each designer is in charge of taking body measurements and preparing ao dai for 20 competitors. Thuan Viet said on June 18 he got measurements and tried ao dai on 11 candidates from France, Indonesia, India, El Salvador, etc.

He said most of the girls were very beautiful in Vietnamese ao dai because they have standard body measurements. “Miss India was the best in ao dai,” he said.

These ao dai will go to the stage with competitors on the night of June 24 in HCM City in the ao dai competition.

On June 18, many more competitors arrived in HCM City, including Miss Japan, Miss China, Miss Germany, Miss Colombia, etc.

The final competitors will arrive in HCM City today, June 19, including many Asian beauties, such as the competitors from South Korea and the Philippines.

A welcome party will be held on June 20 in the evening, with the presence of Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori.

Some competitors in HCM City on June 18:

Miss El Salvado and Miss Sri Lanka

Miss Curacao and Miss Costa Rica

Miss Bolivia and Miss Denmark

Miss Mexico and Miss South Africa

Miss Norway and Mis Pueto Rico

Miss Sri Lanka and Miss Switzerland

Miss Turks & Caicos and Miss Dominica

Miss Trinidad & Tobago and Miss Georgia

Miss Greece and Miss Malaysia

Vo Tien


A golden ao dai for Viet Nam beauty


Golden girl: Miss Universe Viet Nam 2008 Nguyen Thuy Lam will wear the specially made Flamingo Dance dress.

HCM CITY — Miss Universe Viet Nam 2008, Nguyen Thuy Lam, will wear a gold-inlaid ao dai created especially for her at a charity show in HCM City next week.

Lam’s Vu Khuc Hac (Flamingo Dance) dress in red and yellow is also beautifully decorated with crystals, pearls, and embroidery featuring 50 flamingoes. Artists used thread inlaid with gold for the embroidery.

Created by young designer Thuan Viet, the dress is decorated with two small flamingoes made of gold.

“I got the idea for the dress from an ao dai of Queen Nam Phuong, the wife of Bao Dai, the last emperor,” Viet said.

Thuan Viet, Sy Hoang, Lien Huong, and Vo Viet Chung have each made 20 of the traditional tunics to be worn by the 80 Miss Universe 2008 contestants at the Charming Ao Dai charity show to raise money for the Nguyen Thai Binh Fund for disadvantaged students.

The show will be held next Tuesday at the Hoa Binh Theatre, HCM City. — VNS

Miss Universe 2008: Profiles
Contestants of Miss Universe 2008 pose at Saigon Factory Outlet Mall in Binh Duong Province during their shopping trip Sunday morning

Eighty contestants from around the globe participated in the pageant’s opening ceremony on Saturday at the Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and had a swimsuit shoot at their New World Hotel Saigon residence.

Thanh Nien spoke to a few of the enchanting beauties to find out about their aspirations.

Promoting her country’s image

At a height of 1.78-meter tall with a flawless complexion, Miss Thailand Gavintra Photijak attracts locals’ attention for resembling Ha Kieu Anh, one of Vietnam’s former beauty queens.

The 21-year-old Public Relations student at

Bangkok University expresses hope that more resplendent pagodas and grand bridges will be built in her country to broadcast the image of Thailand to the rest of the world.

Dynamic beauty

Behind her gentle and charming smile, Miss Belgium Alizee Poulicek has a strong personality and is keen on sports such as horse riding, jogging and aerobics.

Her other hobby includes traveling and discovering new places.

The 20-year-old girl, who is of Belgian and Czech origins, had lived in the Czech Republic before returning to Belgium six years ago.

She hopes to pursue a successful career in media, fashion and acting.

Passion for food

Mexican beauty Elisa Najera, who possesses dreamy eyes, is very passionate about cooking.

Currently studying food processing at university, Najera plans to run a restaurant with her mother, who is a chef, after graduation.

“I will use what I learn from school to make delectable, nutritious and affordable dishes,” she said.

Other contestants

A psychology student, Dasa Zivkovic from Montenegro in southeastern Europe easily creates a good first impression.

She can sing well and said she is mesmerized by Oriental music.

“This pageant is my first major trial and presents a golden opportunity to prove myself, whatever the results may be,” she said.

Miss Egypt Yara Naaom is strikingly beautiful.

At 1.76-meter tall, she is a part-time model who starred in a major film last year.

A senior at the Institute of Cinema in Cairo, the 20-year-old girl dreams of achieving success in set designing.

Paraguayan beauty Giannina Ruffinelli, a21-year-old psychology student, aspires to run her own clinic to help the poor after graduation.

Indian contestant Simran Kaur Mundi, 1.80 meters in height, is a 22-year-old graduate who works with a cinema chain in Mumbai.

She has great confidence in herself and loves listening to music, reading, composing poems, drawing and playing basketball.

Donning ao dai

All the contestants have marveled at the bewitching, demure beauty of the ao dai (traditional Vietnamese dress).

While trying on the outfit to prepare for Thanh Nien’s charity show Duyen dang ao dai (Charming ao dai) tomorrow, Jenyfeer Mercelina from Curacao, an island nation in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea, was so mesmerized with her first ao dai that she did not want to take it off and also asked to try on several others.

The beauty with seductive curly hair dubbed the ao dai “a friendly costume.”

Miss South Africa Tansey Coetzee, who said this was her first trip abroad, called the outfit the “magic ao dai.”

“The outfits fit us perfectly and accentuate our beauty regardless of our nationalities,” she said.

“Whatever the outcome of the contest may be, the memories of this pageant, including putting on the ao dai, will never fade from my mind.”

Indonesia’s representative Putri Raemawasti was also enthralled by the costume, particularly its intricate hand-embroidered patterns.

She ordered famed local designer Thuan Viet to make some ao dais for her and presented Viet with a traditional Indonesian paper fan with her autograph in appreciation of his efforts.

Vietnamese culinary delights

Miss Russia Vera Krasova is so excited about sampling Vietnamese cuisine that she insisted Miss Vietnam Nguyen Thuy Trang guide her around HCMC and introduce local dishes to her.

Krasova’s favorite Vietnamese dishes thus far are pho (beef or chicken noodles), banh cuon (rice flour pan-cake with meat fillings), banh xeo (rice crepe) and lau mam (a hot pot soup of salted fish cooked with vegetables).

The 20-year-old architecture student has worked at a housing and utilities office in Moscow since last year and is also a model.

A total of 80 Miss Universe contestants are staying at HCMC’s New World Hotel Saigon from June 17-24, before flying to Hoi An, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Nha Trang on June 25, 26, 27 and 29 respectively.

The pageant’s grand finale will be held at Nha Trang’s Diamond Bay Resort on July 14.

Reported by Da Ly-Danh Nghi