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Proudly South African Design Team Behind Miss Universe Dress


On the night of her crowning, the South African beauty wore an original custom-made Biji La Maison de Couture gown for the final stage of the prestigious pageant. According to the fashion design team’s Instagram, the ombré beaded-block fringe dress was a reflection of nature. 

“The inspiration for this gown came from South African’s earth minerals. This gown was entirely beaded by hand using four shades of beads mixed at varying degrees of intensity to create this ombré effect on illusion mesh. It took about 450 hours of hand-beading to complete the look for her.”

Specialising in glamorous dresses, Biji La Maison de Couture was founded in 1990. It’s the brainchild of the couture fashion design duo of Biji and Laura who create bespoke wedding and special occasion gowns.

They pride themselves on “innovative design, exceptional attention to detail and service excellence”.

Not one, but two showstopping dresses

While Tunzi wore a showstopping Biji La Maison de Couture dress for the final stage of the Miss Universe pageant, she also wore a stunning dress in the preliminary stages of the pageant. 

This cape dress, lined with a sequinned African geometric print, elicited gasps and rapturous applause from the audience when Tunzi walked the runway. 

The design house has a special interest in outfits for beauty pageants. 

Biji La Maison’s thread of success

In August, on the night that Tunzi was crowned Miss South Africa 2019, the outgoing Miss Universe, Catriona Gray, also wore one of their creations. Alongside other designers, such as Orapeleng Modutle, Galluzzi e Gini and Anel Botha, they dressed the top 12 finalists for 2019’s Miss South Africa pageant.

In 2018, the proudly South African fashion house earned joint Designer of the World with China at the Miss World 2018 pageant. Worn by Miss World SA 2018 Thulisa Keyi, the winning outfit featured a simple black dress with a striking beaded sleeve. 

On her Instagram account, Keyi paid tribute to the design duo. 

“A huge thank you to Biji La Maison who worked tirelessly on this dress perfecting it one bead at a time. People couldn’t get over the beaded sleeve, it was definitely a showstopper. Thank you for incorporating my Xhosa heritage in this dress so beautifully.”

Biji La Maison also dresses local celebrities. They’ve made a crystal embellished hydrangea feather gown, which TV presenter Bonang Matheba wore to the 2019 Miss SA afterparty. Musician Lady Zamar wore a monarch butterfly-inspired dress for the cover of her latest album, Monarch.

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