BackArts & Culture » Culture » [Photos] After Bánh Mì, Altar Might Be Vietnam's Next Miss Universe National Costume

Remember the bánh mì dress? She’s dead, and this horrible design murdered her.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must know by now that H’Hen Nie’s bánh mì dress during last year’s Miss Universe season was a hit. After a round of voting, where netizens could pick their favorite national costume design, the delicious-looking outfit by fashion designer Pham Phuoc Dien officially became our national costume for the competition.

Now, we don’t want to downplay Nie’s exceptional beauty, grace and intelligence, but we’d love to think that the bread-acious gown contributed greatly to her final position in the top 5 of Miss Universe 2018, the furthest any representative from Vietnam has gone in the history of the contest. Nie’s success last year makes the task of selecting this year’s national costume all the more crucial.

At the beginning of May, the team behind Miss Universe Vietnam announced their decision to turn last year’s voting idea into a full-fledged competition in which anyone can throw their hat in the ring for consideration. Aspiring designers have until June 15 to submit a design for Vietnam’s national costume this year. The top 5 most loved online submissions will go straight into the final 15 of the voting.

Since the announcement, the local cybersphere has been buzzing with fashion sketches that range from kitschy to classy. Lotus flowers, Dong Son drum, terrace fields, and more: many cultural products and historical costumes have become the inspiration of new designers. Apart from some elegant dress, some rather wacky options have caused a stir, such as one particular sketch submitted by Pham Quang Minh.

Minh’s design is ostensibly inspired by Vietnamese ancestral altars, or bàn thờ in Vietnamese, and all of it accoutrements; incense sticks, an ornate ceramic censer, food offerings and a fruit platter. A golden frame is attached to the shoulders of the dress, making the model appear like a framed photo of your dead relative. This macabre design is currently the front runner in the competition with 52,000 likes, 25,000 comments and 10,000 shares at the time of writing, proving that democracy is, at times, a flawed system.

Sticking to the culinary theme of last year, others have devised elaborate costumes inspired by mì Quảng and cà phê sữa while some were driven by their love for xích lô or Vietnam's rich repertoire of folk tales.

See more zany submissions below and vote for your favorites here:

[Images via Facebook page Miss Universe Vietnam]

Related Articles:

It's Official: Bánh Mì-Inspired Dress Selected As Vietnam's National Costume For Miss Universe

A Bánh Mì-Inspired Dress Might Be Vietnam's National Costume for Miss Universe

What We Talk About When We Talk About Bánh Mì

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