R’Bonney Gabriel served major looks as host of Miss Universe Philippines 2024

The Fil-Am beauty queen detailed her own Miss Universe journey through stunning looks

BY

Before she became Miss Universe in 2022, R’Bonney Gabriel was first a fashion designer. She aimed to celebrate style in a more eco-friendly sense. Though years have passed since she won the crown, the Fil-Am beauty queen continues to use fashion as a tool for storytelling. A testament to that is her appearance at the recently-concluded Miss Universe Philippines 2024.

442569353_1226686331629005_1518362706023105484_n.jpg
R’Bonney Gabriel's looks at Miss Universe Philippines 2024 coronation night (Photos by Dookie Ducay)

R’Bonney was one of the hosts for the local pageant’s coronation night. During the event, she donned looks by Filipino designers that were not only stunning but also an ode to her own Miss Universe journey and the people who supported her the most.

Yellow Rose of Texas

R’Bonney started her hosting duties in pieces by designer Larry Espinosa. According to her, the Yellow Rose of Texas is a symbol of Lone Star Womanhood, which was the inspiration for the gown.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the Texas women who helped me unlock the potential I didn’t realize I had,” she posted. “My first pageant was in 2020 in Texas and this is where I started changing my behavior of sitting in the back of rooms to be unseen, to challenging my fear of public speaking, and eliminating self-doubt. This initiated me on a path where I felt most aligned, and the most rewarding journey. I’ll never forget where I started.”

Beauty In The Storm

For her second look, R’Bonney donned a custom look by designer Ehrran Montoya. The Viva Magenta gown featured the designer’s signature fabric manipulation, which mirrored the challenges her Filipino father faced when he immigrated to the USA.

“My father grew up in Malate, Manila and immigrated to the USA with a college scholarship. He’s fought many obstacles to pave a way for the life, family, and career he wanted in the States,” she wrote in a caption. “He taught me that storms in life can be our greatest teacher if we know how to find the beauty in them.”

The Sweetest Light in My Life

For her final look, R’Bonney opted to wear a piece that celebrates her mother. Another creation by designer Larry Espinosa, the gown featured rhinestone floral details, embodying her mom’s “tough but delicate nature.”

“My mother grew up in a small country town in Texas from humble beginnings and I dedicate this look to her,” she posted. “I’ve never met a sweeter, patient, kind woman in my life. She always allowed me to explore different interest, hobbies, sports, arts and was always by my side supporting me in all my endeavors. She was the one who would stay up late night sewing with me for my high school fashion shows, and the one who took a job with the airlines so our family could travel.”

A Love Letter to the Philippines

For her last look, R'Bonney tapped the designer who created her winning look at Miss Universe 2022. Designer Rian Fernandez crafted a blue halter gown. Its sheer top was adorned with crystals while its skirt featured an ombre effect.

"He made my Miss Texas gown the year I lost. He made my Miss Texas gown the year I finally won. He designed my Miss USA and Miss Universe winning gowns and ultimately, made my Miss Universe final walk gown. Rian supported me from the start when I was nothing, and so did Filipinos," the beauty queen posted. "As a Filipina-American, connecting with my identity has been important to me and I thank y'all for encouraging me to always celebrate the beautiful culture of the Philippines."

Hello, readers! Do you have a story you want us to feature? You can reach us via [email protected] or on Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok.