Miss Cayman Islands Monyque Brooks’s national costume at the Miss Universe competition includes more than 80,000 crystals in a dress inspired by Smith Cove and by the seas surrounding her Grand Cayman home.
The dress, designed by Cayman-based designer Kenzie Rose Brown, consists of more than 30 yards of individually designed and hand-cut high-performance Neoprene layers of “waves” on a fully wired cape skirt.
Brown, whose brand is called K. Rose Cayman Islands, said in an email to the Cayman Compass that the design of the skirt allowed the wearer “to bend and change the flow of the waves to her liking (and allowed me to ship it across the world in a reasonably sized box).”
She said the thousands of crystals adorned the dress “just as the glints of sun make our own Caribbean sea glimmer and shine.”
Brown added that the inspiration for the shape of the skirt “was our own Smith Cove.”
“In recent news,” she said, “Smith Cove was fought for and protected for future generations on this earth to enjoy, from developers planning to privatize this unofficial landmark and build condo housing.
“The sea is such an integral part of every local, and ‘local-ish’ person alike … this is where Monyque lives!”
A layered tulle underskirt on the costume reflected sea spray or rougher water, the designer said.
The costume’s silver-green shimmering paillette sequin appliqué on the bodysuit, which also included synthetic gems and thousands more hand-placed crystals, was inspired by Cayman’s national tree, the Silver Thatch Palm, Ms. Brown explained.
Ms. Brown also designed a tiara for Miss Cayman’s national costume. The tiara is covered in synthetic gems and crystals to resemble sea glass “and all of the lost sunken riches that are rumored to lie in our waters,” the designer said.
Top 10 list
Clearly, the outfit made an impact on its global audience, as it was listed in Yahoo.com’s Top 10 Miss Universe costumes.
Ms. Brown said she was “beyond thankful” and honored to have been chosen as the designer and producer of “such a prestigious symbol of national pride on an international level.”
The designer was among the millions who watched the Miss Universe pageant, which was held in the Philippines, on Sunday night.
“It was very special to see something that I put so much heart and hard work into on a world stage. It made it even more special to know who was wearing the costume – a young woman of true beauty inside and out. I guess we made a dream team.”
The K. Rose Cayman Islands fashion brand, established in 2015, specializes in avant garde evening gowns, statement wear and costuming, Brown said.
Iris Mittenaere, Miss France, was ultimately crowned the winner of the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier was the first runner up and Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar was the second runner up.