Francis Libiran talks about the change of color choice in Rabiya Mateo’s coronation turnover gown for Miss Universe Philippines 2021: “She’s not really there to compete—she’s there to pass on her legacy.”
While the Miss Universe Philippines crown has been passed, the legacy of the queen remains. Rabiya Mateo, a true queen that exuded grace and effortless elegance, made her farewell walk as Miss Universe Philippines in no other than a Francis Libiran gown that exuded unparalleled class. The white embellished gown that had a long cape complemented Rabiya’s body frame beautifully. Simple as it was, it delivered so much impact, especially on the catwalk.
The former Miss Universe Philippines queen has been through it all, so it made sense that Francis Libiran opted for a white gown to symbolize new beginnings for Rabiya. The designer shared that he initially thought of extravagant details and around the colors of red, blue or yellow but changed his mind.
According to Francis, it took him and his team three weeks to finish Rabiya’s gown. On choosing the silhouette, “There was a rush of inspiration instantly coming to mind. Do I create a blue gown or a red one? What style should I incorporate in the gown? Do I have to put in fancy details so I can make her stand out?” For a seasoned designer like Francis Libiran, it’s amazing to see how he’s still always 100% on point when it comes to details.
Aware of how some pageant fans can be critical at times, Francis isn’t bothered by other people’s opinions on how simple Rabiya’s gown may be. “This is a beauty pageant, after all, where eccentric and sometimes outrageous gowns are expected to be seen,” shares Francis.