- The Miss Universe beauty pageant has been happening since 1952.
- Each year, contestants wear glamorous gowns, shimmering swimsuits, and other looks to impress the judges.
- The most glamorous looks from competitors reflect changing fashions throughout the decades.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In the world of pageants, the Miss Universe competition is the pinnacle of achievement, which means the fashions featured in it are no joke.
From skin-tight swimwear to elaborate ball gowns, pageant hopefuls have paraded their most showstopping looks across the Miss Universe stage since 1952.
Here’s a peek at some of the most memorable styles from the past few decades.
Miss Argentina 2019 competed in this shimmery, angelic look.
Mariana Jesica Varela, Miss Argentina 2019, turned heads in this glittering, beaded outfit that was complete with a feathery attachment a large, spiked crown.
In 2019, Shweta Sekhon wore an over-the-top ensemble complete with a table.
Shweta Sekhon, who competed as Miss Malaysia in the 2019 Miss Universe competition, paid tribute to Malaysia’s Peranakan culture with this national costume.
Catriona Grey of the Philippines appeared onstage in a striking red gown before her 2018 Miss Universe win.
Catriona Grey won the 2018 Miss Universe title after appearing in mesmerising red dress with galactic vibes.
The gown featured a plunging asymmetrical neckline and was accessorized with sparkly earrings and a bold red lip.
Iris Mittenaere of France was crowned in 2017 while wearing a form-fitting gold gown.
Iris Mittenaere accepted her title in a sparkling gold gown with long sleeves and geometric detailing. She is now a TV host and actress.
Olivia Culpo represented US as the winner of the 2012 Miss Universe pageant.
Before she was a fashion influencer and actress, Olivia Culpo wowed pageant judges in a brilliant magenta gown during her 2012 Miss Universe win.
She skipped jewellery for this look, allowing the dramatic dress to take centre stage.
Leila Lopes of Angola won the Miss Universe title in a head-turning feathered dress.
Leila Lopes wowed audiences with a sleeveless white gown trimmed in feathery strands. She opted for a strapless neckline and small, sparkling earrings to complete the look.
She has also gone on to star in a number of films and host TV shows.
Dayana Mendoza was crowned Miss Universe 2008 in a yellow dress.
Dayana Mendoza, who was Miss Venezuela 2008, was crowned Miss Universe 2008 while wearing a strapless yellow gown that was covered in beading.
Mendoza went on to star in a number of films.
Miss Universe 2006 wore one of the most daring looks in the pageant that year.
Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza of Puerto Rico was crowned Miss Universe 2006 while wearing this nearly see-through metallic dress that looks like it’s made of magical chains.
Mendoza went on to become a TV host, dancer, and actress.
Jennifer Hawkins of Australia was crowned in 2004 while wearing a detailed gold gown.
Jennifer Hawkins appeared on stage wearing a textured golden dress accessorized with a sparkling bracelet and dramatic statement necklace.
The pageant queen would go on to work as a fashion designer and model, appearing on the covers of magazines like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Maxim.
Lara Dutta of India became the first Miss Universe of the new millennium, wearing a slinky red dress.
Her gown featured a modern one-shoulder design and a curve-hugging cut. Lara Dutta paired the dress with a matching red wrap.
Dutta has been in a number of Hindi films and has won awards for her work.
Mpule Kwelagobe competed in an elegant, off-the-shoulder gown in 1999.
Representing Botswana, Mpule Kwelagobe was crowned Miss Universe 1999 in this regal champagne-coloured gown with rhinestone details.
Kwelagobe went on to become the CEO of her own company, the Mpule Foundation.
Sushmita Sen turned heads in a daring black gown when she was crowned in 1994.
Sushmita Sen became the first woman from India to win the Miss Universe title – and she wore a black gown with gold fringe and detailing to pose with her crown.
Angela Visser, Miss Universe 1989, posed in a perfectly draped gown.
Angela Visser looked radiant in a floor-length evening gown decorated with sparkling sequined scales.
She was just 22 years old when she was crowned.
Miss Universe 1987 has donned a sequined evening gown.
Cecilia Bolocco of Chile stunned in a sleeveless gown that featured a cascade of white and gold sequined feathers.
After her Miss Universe win, Cecilia Bolocco went on to work as a journalist for CNN.
Irene Saez of Venezuela modelled a memorable national costume during the pageant.
Miss Universe 1981 Irene Saez was surrounded by ruffles as she showed off the jaw-dropping pink and white dress that’s edged with lace. Her hair was styled in simple shoulder-length curls.
Saez went on to become a politician and was once elected governor of the state of Nueva Esparta.
Miss Universe 1973 showed off her new title in a flowing white gown.
Maria Margarita Moran of the Philippines dazzled in a long gown with cape-like shoulder embellishments and a high neckline.
She’s the second Miss Universe winner from the Philippines.
Georgina Rizk of Lebanon took home the 1971 crown in a colourful two-piece ensemble.
The pageant queen beamed as she accepted her scepter and crown in the company of Miss Puerto Rico 1970.
Georgina Rizk’s outfit was composed of a plunging top made of gauzy blue fabric and beads, along with matching silky pants and a voluminous hairstyle.
Martha Vasconcellos of Brazil stunned in a beaded gown after winning the 1968 crown.
The striking dress covered Martha Vasconcellos in head-to-toe beadwork. She accessorized with gently curled shoulder-length hair and a bright smile.
Along with her crown, Vasconcellos won prizes including a three-piece wig wardrobe and a custom kimono.
After her 1964 win, Kiriaki “Corinna” Tsopei of Greece held court in a stunning satin gown.
Kiriaki “Corinna” Tsopei beamed in a silky evening gown with beaded detailing on the shoulders.
She was the competition’s first Greek winner and went on to become a film and television actress.
Iêda Maria Vargas of Brazil shined in a detailed gown after being crowned in 1963.
The light gown perfectly complements her new fur-lined cloak. Intricate beading sparkles down the length of the dress, and the look was finished off with elbow-length evening gloves.
Vargas went on to become an actress.
Akiko Kojima of Japan wowed in a traditional outfit before winning the 1959 event.
The former Miss Japan opted to compete in a printed kimono paired with a headdress. On her feet, Akiko Kojima wore sandals and tabi, traditional Japanese split-toed socks.
Akiko Kojima was the first Japanese woman to win Miss Universe.
Miriam Stevenson won the title in 1954 in a fringed bathing suit.
Notably, the South Carolina native competed wearing clothing she had made herself.
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