There’s something immensely special about art spurred from the creative purity of a child’s mind. Now those creations will dress Natasha Joubert, hugging her across the international stage at the Miss Universe Competition. The world will gaze upon Natasha in the gown of our nation with the same child-like wonder that the creations were made with.
The child artist’s canvas, usually paper, or for the rebellious youngling, walls and duvet covers has definitely seen an upgrade. It is the brilliant mind of designer Gert-Johan Coetzee that has allowed for the child creator’s rainbow imaginings to exist on a soft, white, flowing fabric surface. The angelic wings of the dress dance with digital prints of the Crayola-medium artworks, and they tell a story too.
“I’m so excited about this dress because, for me, I love creating clothes with a story behind [them],” Coetzee gushed when expressing the inspiration behind the uniquely gorgeous garment.
The story behind the idea of our smallest South Africans drawings making a big feature was spurred by a two-fold desire. Firstly, to showcase the view of the world from the pre-school child’s gaze and secondly, to present the impact that Covid-19 had on their budding lives. The dress by nature is perfectly fitting for its wearer, as children’s well-being, especially for those in need, are a cause lovingly rooted in Natasha’s heart.
“They came up with images of greeting each other by knocking elbows… wearing masks,” the principal of Toddies Pre-school and Creche in Randburg expressed.
“We took those [drawings] cut them up and printed them digitally on the fabric,” Coetzee explained the artistic process. He went on to express in a video revealing the gown, that it was about sharing the story of hope, positivity and the “triumph of coming out on the other side.”
Coetzee was also the creative behind Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters dress when she crowned her successor at the Miss Universe Competition in 2018.
As for the powerful queen Natasha Joubert, glowing expressions and beaming energy were undeniable in both the video story and in her comments regarding the artwork. The #DestinyDesigned virtual fashion show caught her smile hugely present as she marvelled at the dress.
“I have been looking forward to this event from the moment of my crowning and will carry the Miss Universe South Africa title with pride,” she announced on Instagram. Indeed, we salute our queen with just as much pride.
Additionally, Joubert noted that she knows she has “big shoes to fill.” This is in reference to our former and current South African lion hearts who championed the Miss Universe titles. Zozibini Tunzi is an especially historic title-holder, hailing the longest reign in history, crowned in Atlanta Georgia in 2019.
Joubert will grace the Hollywood, Florida stage in the US with a glorious South African glow, and dressed in a story of our nation on May 17th.
This marks the 69th Miss Universe Competition.
Pictures: @natasha_joubert and @official_misssa