Miss Universe Australia
This year's Miss Universe Australia is 23-year-old Caris Tiivel. Official/Miss Universe

With Miss Universe less than a month away, the girls are under a lot of pressure to bring the crown home to their respective countries. Caris Tiivel, who is this year’s Miss Universe Australia, recently went on television to reveal her national costume.

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On the Thursday morning episode of The Today Show (via the Daily Telegraph), Tiivel revealed the costume she will wear on the Miss Universe Pageant, which was inspired by the Great Barrier Reef. The ensemble was designed by Perth’s Steph Audino, who has had a hand in the gowns of Miss Universe Australia contestants since 2013.

The costume includes a headpiece with multi-coloured tinsel, as well as a matching shoulder piece. Meanwhile, the bodice is mostly pink with sheer panels across Tiivel’s shoulders and midriff. What makes the entire look more dramatic, however, is the train that billows out behind the 23-year-old.

“It’s beautiful… it’s just stunning,” Tiivel said. “It’s to raise awareness about the coral bleaching that’s happening at the moment.” She then went on to briefly discuss how it is important for the present generation to keep the Great Barrier Reef alive for future generations, particularly because it is one of the largest living structures in the world.

Tiivel is aware that her gown -- and its corresponding stand on the Great Barrier Reef issue -- might cause controversy amongst her fellow Australians. The mixed reactions, according to her, are because Australia does not have a traditional costume unlike the other countries that participate in Miss Universe. Nevertheless, she is pleased with how it looks and that it gets the message across gracefully.

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Tiivel is an artist from Perth, who has been recognised both on the runway and for her work on canvas. She works closely with children through fundraising events, functions and mentorship programs. She will represent Australia at this year’s Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines, which will kick off on January 30.