Many Singaporeans have outwardly expressed what they thought about the Miss Universe Singapore outfit donned by 2018's representative, Zahra Khanum.
The designer of the dress, Moe Kasim of Moephosis Concepts, has since come out to defend his Trump-Kim summit design.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Kasim said he is "happy with the final result".
Channelling Miss Universe mission in the most straightforward manner possible
Kasim worked with MUS national director Nuraliza Osman on the theme and the costume took three months to make.
CNA further quoted Kasim as stating that it was the organisers who told him to “design something based on the Trump-Kim Summit”.
This resulted in Kasim thinking about world peace as the most apparent theme.
Speaking to The New Paper, Kasim said:
“The toughest part was bringing out the message tastefully through design. I had to consider the political sensitivities and what it all meant to Singapore and to the world community... without (creating) any misinterpretation. And as the summit was about making peace, it was only natural to go with the World Peace theme.”
To be fair, world peace is part of the Miss Universe's mission.
Their website elaborates on their mission to create opportunities:
"The contestants and titleholders that have gone through the Miss Universe system are able to cultivate their personal career goals, advocate for humanitarian issues and be a voice to affect positive change in the world."
Kasim further replied to CNA that world peace is also a representation of what Singapore stands for.
Addressing the similarities with Miss Universe Turkey 2015’s costume
Separately, Kasim also addressed comments that pointed out his design as looking similar to that of Miss Universe Turkey in 2015, designed by Ozlem Suer.
Kasim said he had never seen the 2015 Turkish version until it was pointed out, adding that the similarity was "purely a coincidence", as plenty of costumes have been displayed throughout the years.
Kasim also stressed that he is "happy with the final result" and has since asked for the public's support for Zahra.
World peace since time immemorial
As cliched as world peace is as a theme, no one appears to be tiring of it, despite it being laughed all the way to the brink of World War III and back.
Sandra Bullock's movie, Miss Congeniality (2000), acknowledged the world peace mission with a scene, which had several of the contestants in a Miss Universe USA pageant reply "World peace", in response to a question on what society needed most.
Top image via Moephosis Concepts & CNA video