Ever since our Miss Universe Malaysia 2017’s “nasi lemak” dress was unveiled, it has raked in both positive and negative feedback from Malaysians.

The dress, donned by Samantha Katie James and designed by Brian Khoo, was deemed “unique” and “creative” by some, while others think that it is a tad too much and could have been designed differently.


One Malaysian decided to take on the task to come with his own rendition of the “nasi lemak” dress.

Photographer and video director Rafil Thazali designed and shared his own version the evening gown on Facebook, and it quickly became a hit among netizens.

Source: Rafil Thazali

“Being a local Malaysian myself, I observe how our mak cik packs our favourite nasi lemak by cupping the rice and sambal etc. So I made this design backwards to give a pouring motion as though the delicious nasi lemak is served on our plate.” Rafil Thazali said of his design.

“The main items such as banana leaf (cape), sambal (sleeve & waist deco), kacang/nuts (abdomen), rice (skirt), ikan bilis (headpiece) and egg (inner skirt) were positioned as precisely as I can to resemble the neat presentation of our favourite food.” he added.

Rafil Thazali explained that the dress will be incorporated with local fabric elements like songket, kebaya lace, saree silk, and a “Chinese red element” to represent the different races in Malaysia all coming together in harmony.  He also hopes that his version of the dress will be chosen to be worn by Samantha Katie James at the Miss Universe 2017 beauty pageant in Las Vegas on 26th November.

Source: Rafil Thazali

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