IT was labelled boring last year, but now our national costume is being compared to that of a circus performer.
The bodysuit inspired by Aboriginal culture for Miss World Australia Jessica Kahawaty has been given the thumbs down by leading fashion experts.
Project Runway TV show mentor Alex Perry said the outfit looked un-Australian.
"I never knew Egyptian sea urchins were Australian? The creators of Avatar called, they want their catsuit back," he said.
"I can't see the connection to Australiana in this - it has a little too much Cirque du Soleil for my liking."
Perry's sentiments were echoed by Project Runway runner-up and Melbourne bridal wear designer Craig Braybrook, who said it was all wrong.
"Avatar going to the beach in a red sarong," he said. "Since when was Australia a part of the African continent?"
Designer Helen Manuell was also unimpressed.
"It's a bodysuit with beads inspired by Tutankhamen and the Egyptian pharoahs," she said. "Thank God it's not a design competition.
"Why does our national costume always need to be so cringeworthy?"
Kahawaty, 23, unveiled the outfit at a charity high tea at CQ in the city as she continues preparations for the 62nd Miss World beauty pageant in Mongolia next month.
The costume's designer Julie Sufi, of Belluccio, said it was a lot more cultural than previous efforts, and inspired by Aboriginal art and the colours of Uluru.
"Last year was a bit conservative and the public took the gown as a bit safe," she said.
"We've embraced Aboriginal culture and reflected the dress sense.
"Jessica is very happy."
Story from Herald Sun Site, Click Here.