History has been made today. The Miss Universe crown has come to India after a long wait of 21 years with Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu’s iconic win at the pageant. Back in 2000, Lara Dutta was crowned in glory with the Miss Universe title and today marks a landmark moment for all Indians who celebrate this victory with pride.
We caught up with the ace designer, Saisha Shinde who made Harnaaz Sandhu’s gown for the finale and she shares her thoughts, views and excitement on being a part of this historic moment.
Tell us a little about the outfit and the thought behind the design…
The gown is not your run-of-the-mill silver, it’s a mix of champagne and silver. We didn’t want to give her a gown that’s going to wash her out but one that makes her shine even brighter. We had to make sure that she is Miss India and with that you get a lot of elegance, sophistication and glamour. So it could not be over the top either.
What did you think of how it was styled on Harnaaz Sandhu?
I think the styling was, without a doubt, on point. We wanted to make her look strong and at the same time very modern. This is why we decided on having a centre partition. Bharat Gupta was the stylist on board and he did a fabulous job. I loved the two rings on each hand.
What went through your head when she was announced as the winner?
Just like every other Indian, I was elated. My friends and I had a watch party and we were jumping up and down. The one thing that was going through my mind was that we’ve won Miss Universe and she’s from India and it was a very special moment for me. I remember seeing the pageant in 2000 as a fashion student and Lara Dutta had one and I told myself that one day I will make a gown for the winner of Miss Universe from India and it finally it happened today. So it’s not just a win for India and Harnaaz, it’s a win for Saisha as well.
This moment and the outfit will go down in history, how do you feel about that?
I have been getting DMs on Instagram, calling it the ‘winning gown’ and saying that it will go down in history. I feel so honoured that I got to do this gown, especially for Harnaaz who is an absolutely amazing woman. She’s a girl with a heart of gold. So I feel honoured.