Designer Abhinav Mishra on why he chose a ‘delicate colour like pink’ for Harnaaz Sandhu’s National Costume

Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, brought the Miss Universe crown to India after over two decades, following the legacy of Lara Dutta (who last won it in 2000) and Sushmita Sen.

For the series of rounds that led up to her crowning in Eliat, Israel, Sandhu looked stunning in the best of Indian designer wear that showcased Indian craftsmanship while also being globally relevant. The Chandigarh-born model and actor’s wardrobe for Miss Universe comprised couture gowns, chic dresses, and a dazzling pink lehenga set that she adorned for the National Costume Competition.

Abhinav Mishra, Harnaaz sandhu, miss universe Harnaaz Sandhu’s lehenga for the National Costume Competition in Miss Universe featured intricate mirror detailing. (Photo: PR handout)

For the ‘National Costume Competition’, Harnaaz wore a lehenga set designed by Abhinav Mishra, a B-town favourite. “We are very proud to be associated with Harnaaz Sandhu and we wish her all the very best! It is a moment of great pride”, the designer told He further elaborated on the details of the lehenga, which took 15 days to make, and said: “When we were informed that the national costume will be celebrating the rich and illustrious class of India and the power behind the royal Indian queen, it resonated with our beliefs as we represent the modern women of today who celebrate her inner royalty and grace.”

Mishra also divulged the choice of colour for the ensemble: “We chose a delicate colour like pink to celebrate femininity, however, it holds strength and power, too! We also chose to incorporate our signature intricate mirror and gota patti work to showcase the fine craftsmanship of our country.”

Sandhu paired the lehenga with traditional Indian jewellery with danglers, bangles, a statement ring, a choker neckpiece and a haar, with a multi-stranded matha patti. 

Her ‘Evening Gown Competition’ ensemble was by Pankaj and Nidhi and Harnaaz dazzled in a Rosenthum Orchid couture “crafted in sheer orchid tulle and embellished with molten appliqué detailing” from the designers’ ‘Afterglow’ collection. The Miss Universe opted for dainty drop earrings to complete the look.

For the finale event, she dazzled in a form-fitting gown by Saisha Shinde which featured intricate symmetrical detailing, a deep plunge neck, a thigh high slit and embellishments to complement her eye-catching walk. She styled the head-turning gown with silver platform stilettos.

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