MGI 2020 Abena Akuaba dons a dress inspired by Philippine Eagle and NYC

Published April 13, 2021, 4:32 PM

by John Legaspi

She looks stunning!

During the entire competition and even after the coronation night, the crowned winner of Miss Grand International 2020, Abena Akuaba from the US, has expressed her love for the Philippines. Apart from training under local beauty camp Kagandahang Flores, she also made an impact in the pageant with her Black Lives Matter-inspired national costume crafted by the Laguna-based fashion designer Dr. Mark Lixcel Lantican. This time, she wore the perfect piece that merges her love for the Filipinos and her fellow Americans. 

Created by Filipino fashion designer Arwin Meriales, Abena stuns with a leather blazer dress, merging the regal beauty of the Philippine Eagle and the twinkling lights of New York City. To make your jaw drop even more, the piece only took Arwin three days to finish.

“The color and the embellishments I put on like the 3D feather leaves and the rhinestone are inspired by the Philippine Eagle,” Arwin tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “I want to share what our National Bird is and it also symbolizes power and freedom. While the dress pattern was inspired by the Twin Tower of New York City because of its architectural beauty.”

It is not new for Arwin to dress beauty queens. But for the particular creation he made for Abena, he wants to take it to the next level and give it an avant-garde touch, something close to his design aesthetic and personal style. 

“I want it to be more classy and with a little avant-garde-like look,” he says. “I made a blazer dress with sophisticated sleeves for her to complement the beauty of her body and the color of her skin.”

Now, Arwin is preparing a collection centering on street wear to be showcased at Los Angeles Fashion Week 2021-2022. With vaccinations happening all over the world, we are crossing our fingers for it to happen!