hannah arnold national costume

Whoa! Hannah Arnold Had A Barbie Doll Moment At Miss International 2022

She looked like a doll IRL.

Fun fact: The concept of her national costume was inspired by her grandmother’s Barbie doll gift when she was a child.

As kids, it was rare to see a toy or doll that looked like you. Well, except maybe if you had porcelain skin and blonde hair. But thanks to the age of the Internet and demand for inclusivity, the world is slowly becoming a more convenient place to live in—or at least for the most part. It’s the little things like seeing brown-skinned dolls with a button nose or toys that celebrate people with disabilities are some of the small wins most of us often overlook.

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When Mattel released an exclusive Maria Clara Barbie collection back in the 2000s, best believe Filipinos all over the world went crazy trying to get their hands on it. Little did they know that years later, one of the kids who grew up with it would one day represent the Philippines on the Miss International Stage.

Hannah Arnold, the Filipino-Australian beauty queen who recently joined Miss International 2022 and finished in the top 15, decided to look back at one of her core memories as a child—when her grandmother gifted her with a Maria Clara Barbie. Her national costume, a breathtaking traditional Filipiniana garb full of stunning details such as the solihiya print that often remind us of our lola’s wooden rocking chair, the stack of golden tambourine jewelries they would pass onto us as heirloom pieces, down to the choice of cool shades of celestial blue were striking. The designer behind it is none other than Manny Halasan, who is known for his intricately-detailed creations.

Hannah Arnold’s national costume made her look like a living, breathing Barbie doll that’s both delicate yet strong. Entitled Pamana, it was a beautiful tribute to all of our lolos and lolas who shaped (and spoiled) us in this lifetime. We don’t know about you, but it’s an exciting time to witness the evolution of traditional Filipiniana and the national costume along the years, and this is one that we’ll never forget.

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