For Beautiful, Empowered Queens: The Francis Libiran Universe Collection
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For Beautiful, Empowered Queens: The Francis Libiran Universe Collection

For Beautiful, Empowered Queens: The Francis Libiran Universe Collection

Fashion | December 31, 2021
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Although this year’s Miss Universe has come to a close, we look back at the iconic dresses that were designed by renowned Filipino fashion designer Francis Libiran.

The 70th Miss Universe pageant culminated on December 13, 2021, and I can still feel the rush of creativity evoked by designing the gown for our very beautiful queen Beatrice Luigi Gomez. I’m very grateful that Mr. Jonas Gaffud, the Miss Universe Philippines Creative Director, tapped me and my team to dress Bea for the event. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the privilege to work with a gorgeous, kind, and fierce queen.

Although Bea finished at Top Five in the prestigious event, seeing her answer the question she was given made my heart soar because she did so well. What’s more, she was wearing one of the pieces that I’m very proud of—the Pintados-inspired gown.

Every walk she took across the stage reminded me of why I designed this gown to begin with. And that was for her personality to be reflected through her dresses. I also wanted it to showcase the beautiful culture of the Philippines and the dress truly delivered.

This prestigious event gave birth to a new line: The Francis Libiran Universe Collection. Aside from the two gowns that Bea wore during the pageant, there are several other pieces that I created for Bea for her to choose from. These are made up of elegantly embroidered gowns embedded with hand-sewn, iridescent beads and crystals—symbolizing power, honor, and glamor.

The Red Supernova

During the preliminary rounds of the pageant, Bea chose to wear the red, asymmetrical gown from the collection. It also features linear thread work across the dress—one of the patterns that I often use. Dyed in a deep shade of red, the dress is a symbol of patriotism and valor from our Philippine flag.

Aside from its symbolism from Filipino culture, I named this dress The Red Supernova. It is a dying star—waiting to explode for a new one’s rebirth. I want it to symbolize the rebirth awaiting Bea into a new path after Miss Universe.

The Earth Tribe

Bea wowed the crowd when she donned the gold, Pintados-inspired gown. It has a side cape, which added a regal touch to the dress. This design encapsulates the Visayan tribe’s bravery and honor, as the tattoo patterns are commonly etched on their skin after courageously defending their group.

I wanted the dress to represent Bea’s career before, during, and after Miss Universe: difficult, but attainable and successful with courage, determination, and faith. Moreover, I wanted this unique piece to pay reverence to the Pintados’ valor, and the Filipinos’ resilience.

On the other hand, these are the dresses that were not worn during the pageant, but are just as beautiful and opulent:

The Milky Way

I created a shiny, silver gown for Bea with tassel-like cuts and drapings on the sleeve. The whole piece is covered with beads and Swarovski crystals, since for me, silver embodies success and ambition.

The Milky Way is probably the most known galaxy in the world. Its name came from its unique feature: forming a hazy white galaxy with its over 200 billion stars. And I wanted to associate this with Bea. I wanted her to be famous for her uniqueness.

I created this design for her dress because I know opportunities will come to her as soon as her Miss Universe journey is done. She has already made us proud, and now she is about to enjoy the fruits of her labor.

The Blue Nebula

Bea is equally spectacular with the royal blue version of the red gown she wore in the Miss Universe prelims. It is also tulle-based—complete with delicate beadwork and linear patterns adorned on the piece.

Aside from the fact that this hue is associated with regality, it symbolizes peace, justice, and truth for the Filipinos. Without a doubt, this gown is totally her, because she articulates her advocacies with so much sincerity and conviction just to impart peace and kindness to people.

And so, I named this gown The Blue Nebula. Nebulas are formed from a supernova’s explosion, where new stars are also born. Likewise, I related this concept with the Red Supernova, believing that Bea will forge new endeavors that resonate with her goals and aspirations post-pageant.

The Andromeda Galaxy

Last but definitely not least, I had fun designing her a bedazzled tangerine tulle gown, which came with a bare midriff to show its sensual character. I wanted to highlight Bea’s sexy figure to ramp up her confidence as well.

I named this gown after its namesake in space, which appears to be bright orange in color—Andromeda, one of the main galaxies in the universe. Likewise, tangerine is the color of determination and strong-mindedness and her tenacious personality matches this piece.

Andromeda is the brightest, external galaxy in the universe. My simplest way of explaining why I named this dress as such is because I am positive that Bea will shine brightly because of her strong willpower and dedication.

Beauty and Confidence

This collection is the personification of a beautiful, confident woman—one who takes pride in culture, heritage, and heart. Thus, every dress is tailor-fit for those who are attuned to the queen in them.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude, again, to Jonas, who made this project possible; to Bea, who has been the perfect muse for my creations; to her loved ones and fans for their constant supprt; and to my team, who has been so dedicated to helping me on this journey.

I would love to work with Bea again! But for now, I’ll let her spread her wings and fly to her dream destination. Congratulations, you are truly our Miss Universe!

RELATED STORIES:

An Iconic Dress for a Queen: Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez’s Pintados-inspired Gown

Designing Marian Rivera’s Gown: A Beautiful Representation of the Miss Universe Journey

A Queen in Dignified Elegance: Rabiya Mateo’s Final Walk as Miss Universe 2020

Francis is a Filipino architect and fashion designer. His love for travel, nature, architecture, and patterns is very apparent in his creations. Being in the business for more than two decades, Francis is considered as one of the Philippine’s premier fashion designers and his brand is dedicated to producing original, high quality, wearable art pieces which promote Filipino beauty, artistry, talent, and craftsmanship on the global arena. Francis Libiran’s international success, awe-inspiring designs and creations, and keen eye for detail opened the doors of opportunities to dress some of the biggest stars the world over.
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