In the Spotlight: Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee’s Striking Filipiniana Gown Transformations

Filipino Traditional Dresses

In the Spotlight: Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee’s Striking Filipiniana Gown Transformations

Michelle Dee is a Filipina beauty queen who represented the country in the last 72nd Miss Universe pageant held in El Salvador. Her oozing beauty and personality made her a remarkable contestant in the beauty contest. But before she took to the international stage, let’s examine how often she rocked our traditional clothing. This article aims to showcase her tribute to her cultural roots through fashion in her Filipiniana gown transformations.

Who is Michelle Dee?

Michelle Dee is a Filipina actress, model, television personality, and beauty queen. Earlier in this year’s Miss Universe Philippines competition, Dee attained the crown and represented the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe competition. In her evening gown competition, Michelle nodded to prominent traditional Filipina tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od. Michelle has also showcased her culture and tradition in previous beauty competitions through her stylish fashion.

Filipiniana Gown

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Michelle Dee’s Modern Maria Clara Take

In the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 competition, Michelle awed the audience with her modern Filipiniana gown, which was a nod to the iconic Philippine literature character Maria Clara. The beauty queen took to Instagram to share her take on the modernized traditional Filipina formal wear. Renowned Filipino designer, Francis Libiran, designed Michelle’s gown. The beauty queen shared, “Inspired by our country’s rich heritage and history, this is a modern take on the traditional Maria Clara by Francis Libiran. Made purely of Philippine textiles such as abaca and piña, this ensemble is hand-crafted with bejeweled embroidery, depicting a Filipina’s understated elegance and simplistic beauty.”

Filipiniana gown

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Miss World and Michelle Dee

Before vying for the Miss Universe crown, Michelle Dee was the Philippines’ representative in the Miss World 2019 pageant. The beauty queen also posted to her Instagram with fellow Miss World Philippines representative, Megan Young. Michelle showcased her traditional Filipino formal dress, similar to the ensemble above. For this event, Michelle’s gown was also designed by Francis Libiran. Dee appeared in a red modern Filipiniana while Young attended the event in a single-shouldered blue velvet gown.


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Michelle Dee was also seen wearing a modernized Filipiniana ensemble as she represented the Philippines in the Miss World pageant in 2019, where she finished in the twelfth spot.

Filipiniana ensemble

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The Journey to Becoming Miss Universe Philippines

Before she was officially crowned Miss Universe Philippines in 2023, the beauty queen was very active in garnering votes on her Instagram profile with the hashtag #deepatapos. The beauty queen wore a custom Filipiniana dress infused with national and global colors for the Autism movement. She has come a long way in promoting and advocating the said awareness and strongly incorporates it with the clothes that she is wearing.


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Despite speculation about her national pageant win, Michelle got the title and represented the country. However, months later, Filipino pageant fans rallied behind her in her journey for the 72nd Miss Universe crown. Though Michelle couldn’t secure the win, Filipinos are still certainly proud of her and her representation of  Filipino traditional dresses in her beauty competitions.


Indeed, fashion is a way to pay homage to your culture and roots. It is true, as Michelle Dee has been doing it since the first day she joined the pageant industry. And if you’re interested in wearing traditional Filipino dresses to any occasion, check us out at Barongs R Us for numerous Filipino standard wear options, from male barongs to feminine Filipiniana dresses, sets, and gowns. So, make your traditional Filipino ensemble dreams come true with us!

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