It was a proud moment for India when model and actor Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe 2021 in the pageant held in Israel on December 13. Harnaaz is the third Indian to win the title, after Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta.
Sandhu’s performance and personality received an overwhelming response around the world. But it wasn’t just her personality that caught the eye, Sandhu’s final dress designed by famed fashion designer Saisha Shinde received accolades on social media.
Shining like a star, the embellished dress was designed with great love and care by Saisha. For someone who considers himself a pageant nerd and fanatic, winning the 70th edition of Miss Universe Harnaaz was also a dream come true for Saisha. Saisha says: “It feels absolutely amazing to see your dream come true, not only for Harnaaz and India, but also for me, because I remember seeing Lara Dutta win Miss Universe in 2000 and I thought hopefully there will be one soon. day will come when I can design a dress for Miss India.And then she [Harnaaz] wins Miss Universe in my gown. So I definitely have to say it was a moment that I will remember forever. The winning dress is coming for me!”
The last dress was an amalgamation of Saisha’s style and Harnaaz’s personality. “There is a certain expectation of Miss India in an international pageant. She has to look elegant and exquisite and the dresses have to look delicate and graceful, but at the same time powerful, strong, which has become my brand, by the way, now that I switched to a woman,” says Saisha.
Embellished with embroidery, stones and sequins, the silhouette complemented Harnaaz’s personality and T. Harnaaz’s love for sustainability gave true meaning to Saisha’s belief that ‘creating with purpose’. “Harnaaz believes in sustainability, so we used embroidery materials available from us and didn’t buy anything new. Since she is from Punjab, we have also incorporated phulkari inspired motifs into the ensemble. The geometric patterns that are synonymous with the phulkari patterns are given a modern twist.”
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