New Zealand’s first Miss Universe’s dress on display

August 26, 2013 - New Zealand

Fashion and beauty pageants go hand-in-hand and once gain the twain met at Wellington’s Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which has exhibited the historical ball gown donned by the country’s first-ever Miss Universe Lorraine Downes. 
 
To mark the 30th anniversary of the former beauty queen’s Miss Universe win in 1983, the fabulous dress, worn during the final rounds of the international pageant, will be on display for public viewing till the end of January, 2014.
 
Designed by Television New Zealand’s wardrobe designer Dawn McGowan, the taffeta, lace and netting made midnight blue evening gown features a body hugging top and a full skirt which sways down the hips. 
 
Teamed up with a finely embroidered pair of lace gloves, the exhibited ensemble also includes the model’s official Miss Universe crown, sash and trophy.
 
The Auckland-based, 49-year-old Lorraine Downes is now a well-known television personality in Australia.