Croatian Beauties Go Back To Their Roots

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Going Old School: The new trend of traditional folk costume pageants

Old School Pageant: A old trend trending

The representation of traditional national folk costumes at beauty pageants are trending worldwide. The trend has also gained presence among Croatian beauties. For the fourth year running, the Most Beautiful Croatian in National Folk Costume Who Lives Abroad pageant held in Tomislavgrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina,  attracted some of the most beautiful Croatian girls from all over the world.

Andrea Radman from Sweden crowned Miss 2017 in Tomislavgrad, BiH Photo: Stećak

During the early years of the pageants the presentation of traditional national costumes were mostly wearable folk dresses that highlighted a country’s rich history and culture. As pageants grew bigger and more competitive, national costumes became more extravagant. More of a way to be noticed. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until 1962 that the Best in National Costume was awarded.  However, since change is inevitable , a new trend occurred.  Candidates have slowly started to move back to the more traditional wearable, native, dresses of the past.  This has lead to a new type of contest – Miss National Costume pageant.

For the fourth year running, the Most Beautiful Croatian in National Folk Costume Who Lives Abroad was held in Tomislavgrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered 27 young Croatian beauties from 21 countries. Pageants have for decades attracted attention, as did this event. Hundreds of people throughout Croatian communities around the globe took part. In some countries pre-pageants were held, in others members of Croatian clubs and associations select their own representatives. The Croatian Heritage Foundation took part and entered a candidate.

This year, the crown for Most Beautiful Croatian in National Folk Costume Outside of Croatia went to Andrea Radman from Sweden. Before immigrating, Andrea’s Croatian parents lived not far from where the event took place, more precisely in Banja Luka. 18 year old Andrea said it was an experience she would never forget, “the world event was enjoyable, but I especially enjoyed getting the opportunity to meet all of the other contestants. I can says for sure that close bonds were made. That, to me, was the best part of the whole pageant.”

Finalists in traditional folk costumes (Photo: Stećak)

Each cultural and geographical region has its own specific variation of costume. They vary in style, material, color, shape, and form. Through time, many changed, taking on characteristics of the ruling powers of those times – influenced by the Austrian, Hungarian, German, Italian, or Turkish presence. To add value to the experience, one of the events organizers, F. Zvonko Martić explained that the contestants were encouraged to wear Croatian national costumes that represent their own ancestry.

All contestants had to be between 18 and 30 years of age and of Croatian origin. The first runner up was Tajana Marić from Brisbane, Australia, while the second runner up Nina Vidović arrived from Germany.  Antonija Bešlić from Bosnia and Herzegovina was selected via public vote as Miss Photogenic.

The contest was held in joint organization by the Association for Preservation and Promotion of Croatian Traditional Culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina Stećak, the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

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