Aug 3, 2009
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Beauty queen's outfit falls short of Japanese tastes

Aug 3, 2009

TOKYO, Aug 3, 2009 (AFP) - Japan's finalist for the Miss Universe pageant has modified her costume after triggering a storm of protest with her outfit -- a black leather kimono so short it exposed her hot-pink underwear.

Photo: AFP/File/Kazuhiro Nogi

The blog of Emiri Miyasaka, 25, who is set to represent her country at the contest in the Bahamas this month, was flooded with indignant comments over the daring creation which also featured lacy garter belts.

Many said the outfit, first unveiled on a catwalk at a Tokyo media conference last month, was crass and sleazy.

"We are just surprised by the harsh comments from many people," said a staff member at IBG Japan, the fashion and entertainment company which organises the Japanese part of the Miss Universe competition.

IBG said the kimono was originally longer, but that its designer and Japan's director of the Miss Universe Organization Ines Ligron decided to shorten it in a hasty decision taken before the press conference.

The company now says Miyasaka will wear a less revealing design during Miss Universe events leading up to the August 23 finals.

Ligron -- who has for more than a decade trained Japan's contestants, including 2007 Miss Universe Riyo Mori -- has in the past said she is seeking to evolve Japan's conservative sense of beauty.

After the latest furore, she wrote in her blog: "The conservative and fashion dinosaurs are criticising her costume, meanwhile the fashionistas love it. I care only about the movers and shakers in the fashion industry."

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