Miss India Universe Ekta Choudhary is nearly set to take part in the Miss Universe pageant. Fashion diva Ritu Kumar, who is designing Choudhary’s outfits, says she is a perfect combination of Indian beauty and international style.

“Every contestant is different and so is Ekta. She is tall, beautiful and confident enough to bring the (Miss Universe) crown back and make us proud,” Kumar told IANS.

Standing at 5 feet 9 inches, Choudhary sports short hair and has got five tattoos but Kumar says that it goes very well with her look.

“In Indian attire, she looks like a royal princess of the (nineteen) sixties. She has a perfect mix of Indian beauty and international style and I don’t have any problem with her short hair,” Kumar maintained. Most earlier Indian contestants had long hair and a more conventional look.

Kumar has been looking after the wardrobe of the contestants representing India in international beauty pageants like Miss Universe and Miss World since 1994. The first time she dressed Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai for the pageants, they came back winning the Miss Universe and Miss World crowns respectively.

India has not won this title since 2000 when model-turned-actress Lara Dutta won the crown.

The renowned designer says that almost every dress, including western wear, will have an Indian touch.

“Just by looking at the outfits, people should feel that it is from India. I can assure you that it would be exotic but not at all gypsy,” she said.

“At the pageant the national costume has always been appreciated and has managed to remain in top position because of our rich traditional culture and fine craftsmanship.”

Before filling the bags with Indian and western wear, Kumar ensures that she knows the contestant well so that she can design according to her personality, likes and comfort.

Choudhary will carry approximately 40 dresses for the month-long pageant at the Bahamas where the finale is scheduled for Aug 23. She will be one of 75 contestants from different parts of the globe.

“Western clothes would be minimal and the colour palette has all hues from India starting from burgundy, bottle green and pastel shades. When people think about India, they think about colours. So, there would be a riot of colours,” Kumar pointed out.

Kumar has advised all the Miss Indias to stick to sari in rehearsals or whenever possible because it would make them stand out from the crowd.

“I give this tip to everyone but only a few follow it because not everyone is comfortable in a sari. I remember Aishwarya wearing saris during rehearsals and she stood out from other contestants because they were all wearing western outfits,” she said.