Outcry over Miss New Zealand's US dress
Miss Universe New Zealand chose traditional colours for her national costume at the Miss Universe 2010 pageant but her black dress was made in the United States and the outfit has left New Zealand officials "upset".
Contestants opted to don wings, extravagant headdresses and bare as much flesh as possible for the national costume segment of the beauty pageant, currently underway in Las Vegas.
Miss Universe New Zealand Ria van Dyke - who has admitted that she struggled to find enough clothes to take to the event - wore a gown by US designer Sherry Helen America, with only the headpiece and cuffs designed by local designer Natalie Chan.
National director for Miss Universe New Zealand Val Lott said she was disappointed that the dress was not made by a local designer.
"I was very upset about the fact that it was not a national costume. It was just a black dress with bling bling on it."
"Thank goodness we had a headpiece by Natalie Chan." Lott said.
Chan, an Auckland-based designer who provided dresses for Katie Taylor when she entered the contest in 2009, said the design for the headpiece and cuffs features the Silver Fern and was a collaboration between van Dyke and herself.
"I wanted to keep in with the New Zealand theme, but with a fashion aspect and make it stylish and show off New Zealand." Chan told Stuff.co.nz.
"I didn't want her to look like she was a showgirl. In New Zealand, we want to put our best foot forward but we're not showy, showy."
In an interview with magazine Woman's Day van Dyke said she trawled through opshops for outfits in the run up to the contest in Las Vegas.
"Some of the girls have dresses worth tens of thousands of dollars and I'm going to second-hand shops with mum.
"I didn't expect it to be like this. It's pretty disappointing really,"she said.
The winner of Miss Universe will be announced on on August 23 (New Zealand time).
What do you think of the outfits? Is the dress worn by Miss New Zealand chic or cheap? Post your comments below.