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This Miss Universe Dress Is Inspired by Malaysia’s National Dish

Nasi lemak, but make it fashion

When the Miss Universe pageant takes place in Las Vegas later this month, one contestant will be dressed up as the national dish of Malaysia. Samantha Katie James, who is representing the country, has acquired a gown that bears a striking resemblance to nasi lemak, a rice dish wrapped in banana leaf. The rice is cooked in coconut milk, and additional ingredients typically include fried egg, cucumber slices, fried anchovies, peanuts, and sambal. Designer Brian Khoo pretty much nailed it.

A dish of nasi lemak Wikimedia Commons

It’s quite impressive, but as far as food-themed pageant dresses go, this one might not the best to make an appearance on the stage this year. At the Miss Grand Thailand pageant in July, Taweeporn Pringjamrat, representing the province of Chanthaburi, wore a dress that captured the pure essence of durian, which grows in the province. The dress took three forms to depict the exterior and interior of the fruit.

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