Miss India gears for Universe crown in Ritu Kumar ensemble

Miss India gears for Universe crown in Ritu Kumar ensemble

"Ekta, who would perhaps be the first contestant from India to sport a short haircut, is expected to don a Maharani Gayatri Devi inspired royal 60's look at the contest," Kumar said during a fitting session.

Kumar, who has been the official designer for the world pageant since 1998 has created about 40 outfits to be worn by Ekta during the competition, which also includes practice and elimination rounds.

"I have designed around 30 to 40 need-based outfits for her with specific usage of turquoise, gold, burgundy, and bottle green. These colours will portray the rich and exotic traditional heritage of Indian art on a world platform. I have tried to avoid dull colours to give a vibrant and royal look to the attire", says Kumar.

Lehengas, sarees and salwar kameez in fabrics ranging from cotton, shaneel and silk with detailed embroidery on hand printed textile are part of the reigning Miss India's ensemble for the top international beauty pageant at the Atlantis Paradise Island on August 23.

Zardozi work and folk embroidery has also been emphasised on to portray the traditional village art of India on the global stage. 

On whether an Indian outfit will suit Ekta with her short hair, Kumar says she will become a diva with the perfect blend of contemporary and traditional style worth imitating.

"The length of one's hair does not really matter. It has more to do with realism," says Kumar, who has also designed for past beauty queens Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen and Diana Hayden.

Aishwarya, who won the Miss World crown in 1994 contest, was able to stand apart in competition because she wore sarees even during practice sessions.

"I have devised the same mantra for Ekta. If she wears a simple top, I have tried to give it an Indian look through Bandhani prints," explains Kumar.

"There is a wide range of clothes varying in design, fabric and texture found in India. This provides ample scope for us to experiment with Ekta's clothes which most nations would not have access to."

On the other hand, 22-year-old Ekta says it is a dream come true to compete at the contest and also wear Kumar's dresses. "I love her dresses. My mother used to wear Kumar's collection when she was in college and it is a dream come true to wear her outfits." 

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