UNCUT: Mak Tumang on what happened to Catriona’s third Miss Universe gown


Posted at Dec 18 2018 10:57 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2018 11:10 PM

UNCUT: Mak Tumang on what happened to Catriona’s third Miss Universe gown 1
Wearing a Mak Tumang creation, Miss Philippines Catriona Gray walks the stage during the final round of the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand. Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has time and again emphasized it took an entire team to realize her and many Filipinos’ hopes of bringing home another crown from the international pageant.

Designer Mak Tumang, whom Gray has credited for his “brilliant” ideas and execution of her Miss Universe gowns, has been one of the driving forces behind the Filipina’s headline-making bid in the competition.

With his muse’s trending and applauded performance, Tumang, too, has earned himself a wide new audience. There has been a surge of inquiries and requests from potential clients, he said, since Gray debuted her first Miss Universe gown in the preliminary competition.


ADARNA: The Blazing Siren The 'Ibong Adarna' is a mythological pulchritudinous bird that could change in several fascinating guises. Its enchanting voice can enable complete healing to anyone who hears it. Some artists liken it to the mythological Phoenix where it recurrently regenerates itself by arising amidst a spectacle of flames and candescence. This makes it a fitting symbol of resilience, rising and rebirth. Catriona has a resilient, tenacious and unwavering spirit. Her voice is truly captivating literally and figuratively. She uses it to influence, advance her timely causes and both melt and heal hearts. Her will-power and burning passion drive her to make every Filipino proud in whatever she does. She is the blazing Adarna! Watch her rise in glory along with our hopes and dreams for our beloved country: the Philippines! Inspired from the Philippine Adarna Bird, Phoenix & Mikimoto Crown #MissUniverse2018 #Philippines #PreliminaryGown

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That gown, inspired by the eponymous magical bird of the well-loved Filipino epic “Ibong Adarna,” was considered by fans and pageant pundits as pioneering, in terms of incorporating nationalistic elements into its design.

The same was the case for Gray’s “Mayon” gown during coronation day. Matching the beauty queen’s signature “lava walk,” the dress, too, resembled lava with its fiery red color.

Speaking with ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo, Tumang spoke at length about the process of creating Gray’s dresses, including their brainstorming, sourcing materials from overseas, and the painstaking execution of hand-placing hundreds of multi-colored stones to complete patterns.


MAYON: Fiery and Lovely Perfection Today, Catriona is coming home. She is celebrating her roots – she is celebrating Albay! The prominent and iconic Mayon Volcano is the penultimate inspiration for this creation. It is dubbed as the ‘perfect cone’ because of its symmetric conical form. Folk tales have it that it was named after the mythological heroine ‘Daragang Magayon’ (Beautiful Lady). Despite its pulchritude is the fact that it is the most active volcano in the Philippines erupting numerous times in the past half a millennium. Catriona can be considered as the modern-day Daragang Magayon. She embodies the Filipina’s beauty, intelligence and burning passion. This lady is definitely on fire! Watch her erupt right before your very eyes and let the lava of grace, goodness and hope flow.

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Tumang, who previously shared on Instagram that he had created three growns for Gray’s Miss Universe bid, also addressed fans’ speculation as to the third dress and why the beauty queen was unable to wear it throughout the competition.

“Supposedly, it was a preliminary option. Dapat gagamitin siya sa Thai night, kaso that night, ginamit ‘yung mga Thai designers,” he said.


@catriona_gray #philippines #missuniverse

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Tumang was referring to one of the pre-pageant events, where the candidates participated in a fashion show highlighting Thai silk used in creations by local designers.

Here’s the full interview of Tumang, where he also talked about his tearful reaction to seeing Gray wearing his creation on the Miss Universe stage for the first time, and what he now looks forward to after the team’s triumph in the pageant:

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