Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel was among the standouts during the Miss Universe 2022 preliminaries on Wednesday night, January 11, 2023 (January 12, PH time), at New Orleans, Louisiana.
The 28-year-old Filipino-American beauty queen donned a national costume made by Filipino designer Patrick Isorena, who featured the moon and stars in his creation.
The national costume was inspired by the monumental Apollo 11 mission, where American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first two men who landed on the moon in 1969.
An aspiring astronaut herself, R'Bonney shared on Instagram why she picked this bit of history as the inspiration behind her national costume.
She wrote, "On July 20, 1969 two US astronauts became the first humans to step foot on the moon accomplishing one of the most remarkable achievements in human history.
"Fast forward to today and women are involved more than ever in the Artemis program aiming to send the US back to the moon.
"As a Houston native, where the NASA space center is located, I am proud to be from a city working to send the first female to the moon."
R'Bonney added, "The purpose of this costume was to inspire women in all spaces across the universe to dream big, shoot for the moon and achieve something out of this world."
In a separate post, R'Bonney revealed she tried on her national costume for the first time two days before the competition started.
"I tried this costume on for the first time 2 days before check in on the top floor of a parking garage at midnight in New Orleans.
"I received it late and I really wanted to do a photo shoot in it haha [emoji]."
The grand coronation night of the Miss Universe 2022 pageant will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023 (January 15, PH time) at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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