Once, it was said that creating a National Costume for Miss Australia is the fashion world’s equivalent to committing suicide. For years, the National Costume of Australia at Big4 Pageants had been the subject to public derision and mockery. Central to the issue is this question: What is really the National Dress of Australia? Well, the official government website defined it thus far:

While Australia has no single uniform national costume, an Australian national dress style, based on specific local dress styles, has emerged in response to climate, lifestyle and identity. This is reflected in the modern design of dress by emerging and established designers which incorporate particular defining elements.

This definition therefore gives designers a free hand to express their Australian-ness. Whether its a lifeguard costume or a modified aboriginal dress, it is largely up to the public to interpret whether a costume is truly reflective of Australia. But there lies a problem for Australia is one of the most diverse nations on earth. Here’s the list of Australia’s National Costumes this year.



Designed by Natasha Dwyer , this costume pays homage to the gum tree of the outback. It is made up of 500 recycled fabric squares “which have been carefully folded in place to celebrates the soft curves on the Gum tree’s branches”. It also contains recycled rope in the bodice which conspicuously forms the Australian map which makes this costume truly apropos for Renera Thompson as she competes for the Miss Earth 2013 title.



Jason Chetcuti is the designer of this costume which won the most public votes. The Miss Australia pageant asked for the help of Australian designers to create a National Costume for Olivia Wells which is to be used at Miss Universe. It evokes the Australian beach culture through the jewels cascading in the costume. The feathers and plumes represent Australia’s unique fauna.


Julie Sufi’s (chief designer at Belluccio) tribute to the Australian flag, this costume evokes the radiant Southern Cross. The costume also shows that Australia is a full skirted country, bright and expansive. The eye-catching blue canvas, while it is the colour of the country’s flag, also represents the Australian sky. Erin Victoria Holland donned this costume for the Miss World 2013’s Dances of the World segment.