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Designer turns Miss SA ‘into beautiful African Queen’ with national costume

Her outfit was made by the same designer behind Zozi’s national costume for the Miss Universe pageant

15 July 2022 - 11:00
Miss SA Lalela Mswane's stunning national costume.
Miss SA Lalela Mswane's stunning national costume.
Image: Zahira Amod/Glamfuel

Reigning Miss SA Lalela Mswane's national costume has been unveiled as she prepares for the Miss Supranational pageant finale in Poland on Friday.

The beauty queen's costume pays tribute to her Zulu heritage and was designed by Cape Town-based Lloyd Kandlin, director of The Costume Department. 

Kandlin was also behind Miss SA 2019 Zozibini Tunzi's national costume for the Miss Universe pageant, which she went on to win.

Kandlin explained the idea behind the vibrant and colourful costume, saying it was meant to “turn our Lalela into a beautiful African Queen”.

Her crown, made of beaded braids, “represents the power of black women, whose strength, like Samson in the biblical story, lies in their hair”.

“The idea with the costume was to find a balance in the chaos of our everyday lives, which is why I’ve used a vibrant print, but carefully balanced it in perfect symmetry,” said Kandlin. 

The costume, he said, was inspired by the vibrant colours and designs of South African prints. Kandlin used traditional beading techniques and incorporated a feminine silhouette using a beaded corset and long flowing skirt.

“This is a very special costume. I am not just representing South Africa, I am also an ambassador for the Zulu people and have taken their support, love and blessings to Poland with me as well,” said Mswane.

According to organisers, she heads into the pageant a firm favourite. 

The glittering finale will take place at the Strzelecki Park Amphitheatre in Nowy Sącz.

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