Reigning Miss South Africa Liesl Laurie leaves South Africa on Thursday to compete in the 65th Miss World competition which takes place at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China PR on December 19. South Africa’s Rolene Strauss will crown her successor at the end of the event.
It is the first time that she has travelled out of the African continent.
Contestants arrive on November 21 and have a jam packed schedule, competing in Miss World challenges, ahead of the grand finale. Contestants will be judged on tasks including Top Model, Talent, Multimedia, Sports & Fitness and Beauty with a Purpose.
Laurie, the 23-year-old Eldorado Park beauty, will be representing South Africa against 123 other countries in the competition which is watched worldwide by just short of one-billion people.
At the Miss World pageant, Laurie will be wearing gowns created by Bloemfontein-designer Casper Bosman, who also designed some costumes last year for her predecessor Rolene Strauss.
Bosman says of his creations: “My theme for Liesl’s Miss World collection is South African Goddess. All the pieces my team and I have created have an underlying fantasy element to them. We have played with a lot of feminine tones for all the main looks for the pageant, including the national costume, top model gown, designer of the world gown and Christmas evening gown.”
Bosman says he designs differently for a pageant: “It’s important to create a show- stopping look with a unique flair. A pageant dress does not need to be practical; it is about creating the perfect silhouette and shape on stage.”
He reveals that Laurie’s national costume will be one of the most expensive ever seen on stage and uses gold and copper in its design: “It has been a very daunting
and exciting process to create this amazing piece of art with the talented team at Jack Friedman Jewellers who designed the Miss South Africa Palesa crown. It is definitely the first time that a jewellery designer and fashion designer have collaborated on a project like this. Making a national costume for an international pageant is a very challenging task. It has to not only reflect our country’s diversity but also needs to reflect the country’s unique background and traditions. In essence it has to mirror and reflect what a true South African represents.”
Liesl believes that she is fully prepared for the pageant: “My preparations started when I was crowned Miss South Africa and I know that I am ready for the international stage. I feel confident and ready to take on whatever lies ahead. I have faith that in my 30 days in Sanya, China I will show the world the beauty of our special country. We are the country of love and ubuntu and I plan to showcase this every day.”
Liesl’s official Miss World gift is a piece of Robben Island fence where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated with a framed picture of Madiba by artist Marc Alexander.