EXCLUSIVE: R’Bonney Gabriel and Rian Fernandez on Her Final Miss Universe Look

EXCLUSIVE: R’Bonney Gabriel and Rian Fernandez on Her Final Miss Universe Look


Concluding her reign with a fiery finish, Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Nola Gabriel dons a Rian Fernandez ensemble for her final walk

The blood of the Filipino runs strong at the final walk of Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Nola Gabriel. Striking the stage in a fiery shade of red, the beauty queen-slash-designer donned a serpentine ensemble with a statement headpiece by Filipino designer Rian Fernandez.

In an exclusive correspondence, Gabriel said, “For this piece, I told Rian I really envisioned something bold and grand. I wanted an avant-garde shape that was fitted on the torso with exaggerated hip [or] peplum details and a large structured mermaid skirt. Since I will no longer be wearing my crown after Miss Universe, I wanted to wear a unique headpiece on stage instead.”

RELATED: Meet Rian Fernandez, the Designer Who Created Gowns For Two Miss Universe Candidates

Flowing talent of FIlipino blood

A work of collaboration from two Filipino designers, the creation incorporated R’Bonney’s design from her worn number during the Miss Texas USA 2022. She further explained, “My design was a red minidress made from a recycled blazer I picked up at Magpies & Peacocks, the nonprofit design house where I was working at the time I made the dress.”

R'Bonney Nola Gabriel Miss Universe Final Walk Rian Fernandez

Highlighting Rian’s intricacy in construction, R’Bonney also stressed their shared heritage as a part of her intention in choosing the designer. “He [is] based in the Philippines and I really love being able to support a designer from my father’s home country. I aim to always represent Filipino talent with the rest of the world. He has made my Miss USA Texas, Miss USA, and Miss Universe gowns, so it felt only right to close out this chapter wearing his design.”

Weaving artistry in the design

Known for his attention to detail as exhibited by his precise and elaborate creations, Rian wanted to make sure that the Miss Universe 2022’s final gown was an iconic piece. “Making her gown takes a lot of inspiration from colors, materials, [to the] look. The inspiration of her gown is an extravagant fusion of the vintage glam look and the art deco design aesthetic. The craftsmanship of this gown is purely hand-embroidered with glass crystals, micro sequins, rhinestones, and Swarovski crystals. Then, it’s adorned with an overlaying tulle, paired with a full crystal headpiece.”

R'Bonney Nola Gabriel Miss Universe Final Walk Rian Fernandez

Seeing their final bow not as an ending but rather a new chapter, Fernandez expressed his excitement to collaborate with R’Bonney in the future. “Making R’Bonney’s final walk dress for Miss Universe is just a beginning to do more, to become more, to achieve more. Definitely, R’Bonney and I will do more projects together after this because we are both fashion designers and we have the same beneficiaries in our own advocacies.”

Special thanks to ANNMARIE PISANO

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