Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has revealed two of the outfits she will be wearing when the 66th Miss Universe pageant takes place at The Axis in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 26.
She also showed off her official national gift, a stunning piece of jewellery made from gold and diamonds, called “The Daisies of Africa”.
Twenty-two-year-old Nel-Peters, a B.Comm graduate, believes she is fully prepared for Miss Universe: “My preparations started when I was crowned Miss South Africa 2017. Just as with the Miss South Africa platform, I understand the responsibility of being Miss Universe and the impact it has on millions of lives.”
Nel-Peters’ national costume, which she showed off at her farewell, has been designed by Malikah Hajee and Lloyd Kandlin and their team at The Costume Department while Anel Botha has designed a number of outfits including the finale gown.
Say Hajee and Kandlin: “We were approached by the Miss South Africa Organisation’s pageant coach and stylist Werner Wessels to create the Miss South Africa national costume. Wessels had a vision of what he thought would be most effective. We then took his idea a step further and created our version of the South African national flower, the protea, which is also the official Miss South Africa emblem. We looked at the elements of the flower and colours and recreated it in a costume form.”
Botha, who is responsible for the Miss Universe finale gown, says she was inspired by what the Miss Universe Pageant is synonymous with – sophistication and glamour in a celebration of young women who are confidently beautiful.
She says: “Demi-Lee’s Miss Universe gown reflects her beauty in a million ways and it also shows off her strength and her beautiful physique. It is a gown that will be remembered!”
At her farewell, Demi-Leigh also showed off another of Anel’s outfits that she will be wearing during the course of the build-up in the US to the Miss Universe finale.
Nel-Peters will be taking a piece of South African jewellery, designed by Miss South Africa sponsors, Jack Friedman Jewellers with input from her, as the national gift to Miss Universe. It is inspired by Namaqualand daisies and the map of Africa and is made with diamonds and gold and includes the artistic technique of vitreous enamelling. A quote by the late Nelson Mandela is engraved on the underside of the piece.
Says Howard Fevrier, CEO of Jack Friedman Jewellers and the founder’s grandson: “We decided that the perfect national gift would showcase not only our precious natural resources, but the talented jewellery designers and craftmanship we have in South Africa. The piece of jewellery will be auctioned for charity to a discerning International audience and therefore needed to be a unique design, and of the highest standard in terms of skill and the complexity required to create it.”
“The Daisies of Africa” will be presented in a wooden box made from one the oak trees that was damaged during the devastating fires in Knysna, near Demi’s hometown of Sedgefield, in June this year.
Sun International and Cell C wished Nel-Peters the best of luck for the pageant: “We know that Demi is well prepared and will do South Africa proud. She has accumulated an impressive list of achievements since she was crowned Miss South Africa including her Unbreakable campaign; raising R650 000 for Knysna fire relief; being the ambassador for Cell C’s Take a Gild Child to Work® campaign and raising awareness for breast cancer. She has also launched her Demi Jeans with Soviet Jeans and participated in the sought-after World Swimsuit Issue photoshoot.”
The 2018 Miss South Africa pageant will be staged next year by licence holders Sun International, in collaboration with Cell C.
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THE COSTUME DEPARTMENT
Owners and the creative team behind company are Malikah Hajee and Lloyd Kandlin.
Malikah Hajee’s career has travelled full circle over the past 12 years, initially entering designing competitions resulting in bursaries and travel opportunities to trade shows such as Milano Unica, meeting top designers such as Zengaand Ozwald Boatang, to designing and producing abroad, publishing in print and media, fashion events, and back to design. Designing and buying for local retailers in South Africa, exposed her to not only manufacturers in both India and China, but also enhanced her technical and business aspect of fashion.
Lloyd Kandlin is an actor, musician, stunt, and stilt performer for stage and film. His creative direction for costume and set design and his ability to imagine amazing unique new characters is magical. Kandlin has been involved in theatre, film and television work since 1994. He started conceptualising and creating costumes from the age of 12. From being only a hobby, creating fantastical costumes, has become one of his primary business directions. Creating anything from comedy acrobatic costumes, on-stage elegant gowns, themed parties to eccentric characters and animal costumes. During the last 20 years, he has refined his costume-making craft for international clients in theatre, film and circus.
Anel Botha is well known for her red-carpet designs, evening gowns and her celebrity wedding gowns. Anel has dressed many of South Africa’s “Who’s Who” including Pabi Moloi, Roxy Louw, Ursula Chikane, Melinda Bam, Nicole Flint, Rolene Strauss, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Andriette Norman, Palesa Mocuminyani, Gugulethu Zuma, Liesl Laurie and Riana Nel to name a few. Anel’s design prowess has resulted in her winning numerous awards. Anel and her team specialise in custom made one-of-a-kind wedding gowns, evening wear and cocktail dresses and are known for their attention to detail, superb fit and quality of her breath-taking designs.
JACK FRIEDMAN JEWELLERS
Jack Friedman arrived in South Africa by boat in 1928 at the age of 20 from his home in Riga, Latvia. He arrived penniless, but he had the jewellery and watch making skills taught to him by his father, and over time built one of the most reputable companies in South Africa. Jack Friedman has always had its own factory where the design and manufacturing take place under the watchful eye of Jack’s grandson, Howard Fevrier. Jack created many collections that are still sold today.