Object: Evening gown ensemble, Miss Universe
This image has All Rights Reserved.
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
|Title||Evening gown ensemble, Miss Universe|
McGowan, Dawn (costume designer), 1983, Auckland
Television New Zealand (commissioner), 1983, Auckland
|Medium summary||Taffeta, lace and netting.|
|Materials||silk, nylon, Lurex, polyester|
|Credit line||Gift of Lorraine Downes, 2012|
This evening gown was worn by Lorraine Downes in 1983 when she was crowned Miss Universe in St. Louis, Missouri. To date, Lorraine Downes is the only New Zealander to have won the Miss Universe crown.
The dress was designed especially for Lorraine Downes by Dawn McGowan who worked for Television New Zealand's wardrobe department. As Television New Zealand held the broadcasting rights for the Miss Universe pagent, the company was keen to offer assistance to the young beauty queen. McGowan designed both Lorraine's national costume and evening gown.
Aware that Lorraine not only had to look sensational, but also be able to walk with ease, McGowan combined Lorraine's desire for something figure-hugging, with a full skirt that fell from the hips rather than the waist, commenting:
'I felt that a full skirt would be more in the spirit of St Louis - flamboyant... But most skirts fall from the waist and don't do much fora girl's figure, or show off her walk'. New Zealand Woman's Weekly, October 10, 1983.
Feeling 'like a princess' in the dress, Lorraine Downes scored 9.358 in the pageant's Evening Gown competition. Images of her in the gown and Miss Universe sash were beamed to a television audience of reportedly over 600 million.
Lorraine Downes wore the iconic gown again to a Parliamentary cocktail function hosted by New Zealand's Prime Minister, Mr Robert Muldoon. During the function, Lorraine was appointed an honorary travel ambassador for New Zealand for ‘the magnificent public relations job she has done for this country’. On her arrival at Parliament, two marching teams formed a guard of honour as she was ‘escorted, Princess-style' to the top of the Beehive where she was greeted by 200 MPs and dignitaries.
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 27 million digital objects from over 150 content partners across New Zealand
- Yellow Miss Universe gown ensemble - New Zealand Fashion Museum
- CORONATION PAINTING (Evening Post, 22 January 1938) - National Library of New Zealand
- HERE AND THERE (Evening Post, 22 May 1931) - National Library of New Zealand
- Phantom Fortune. (Otago Witness, 07 July 1883) - National Library of New Zealand
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.