Australia’s Maria Thattil to don a ‘Black Swan’ inspired national costume at Miss Universe 2020

21 Apr 2021 | Priya Bhardwaj

Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil revealed her national costume for Miss Universe 2020 live on The Morning Show earlier today where the daily morning show hosts were in a conversation with the Australian queen.  Getting straight to the business, Maria introduced her national costume inspired by the ‘Black Swan’, a mechanical costume symbolising hope, which was unveiled a few hours ago.

A creation never seen before, Maria Thattil’s national costume is a masterpiece that was physically inspired by the 'Black Swan’, a native Australian bird and the emblem of West Australia. The costume is designed by designer Nicole Yeung and was constructed with a total of 105 feathers, 75 hip feathers and 30 upper wing feathers, with each feather being individually hand cut and crafted into shape.

What is so incredible about the costume is the fact that it moves mechanically bringing the magnificent idea into life. Nicola worked closely with engineer Stuart Bryce of Dugite Designs, who was the mechanical mastermind behind the kinetics. The upper feathers spin, run by a small motor attached to my back.



Revealing the costume on her social media, Maria shared the idea behind the inspiration, “The black swan is a symbol of the unexpected and overcoming the impossible. It proved that even large numbers of consistent observations of something can’t guarantee an ability to predict the course of history, and to be open for change.”

Up until the 16th century, Swans were widely believed to be invariably white - the term ‘Black Swan’ originated from a Western belief that it was an Impossible Avian just because it wasn’t accounted for.

Maria also added, “As the Black Swan defied generalised assumptions, similarly, I have challenged many norms in order to stand as Miss Universe Australia, and believe in breaking barriers and expectations of women and people of colour in society.”

The designer Nicola Yeung was attracted to the Black Swan for its bold symmetrical features, the stark contrast between the black plumes, the richly coloured red bills, and the panels of white that are visible when the bird is in flight. The body of black sequins on the bodice imitate glistening water. The wings are poised open, as though about to take flight.



The symbolism of the black swan embodies the true Australian spirit of challenging moulds to be more inclusive and open to all. With a strong message and a mesmerising one of a kind costume Maria might prove to be a strong contender for the Best National Costume.

Miss Universe 2020 will host the National Costume competition on 13th May 2021 with a live broadcast. Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil will represent Australia at the 69th edition of Miss Universe on 16th May 2021 in the United States. The winner will succeed Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa for the title.