Home Entertainment Designer Saisha Shinde on inspiration behind Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu’s winning gown

Designer Saisha Shinde on inspiration behind Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu’s winning gown


Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe 2021, The historic win for India comes 21 long years after Lara Dutta’s win in 2000. The 21-year-old dazzled in a gorgeous gown curated by Saisha Shinde for her moment of crowning glory. Shinde is a celebrity designer who has worked with beauty queens like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sushmita Sen and even dressed Bollywood royalty, including Kareena Kapoor Khan.

Designer Saisha Shinde

2021 is definitely one of the landmark years in ace fashion designer’s life who came out as transgender at the beginning of this year. From owning up to her sexuality to designing the stunning silver gown which became a part of history, it has been a significant year for couturier Saisha Shinde (formerly known as Swapnil Shinde).

From her very first meeting with Harnaaz, Saisha was sure that she would bring home the crown. “As cliché as it may sound; this girl had me impressed from day one. She is by far the best-behaved person I have ever met. Her win has been a really surreal moment for me. Since my student days in NIFT, when Lara Dutta won the crown, I secretly wished that someday I would design a winning gown and that day finally arrived 21 years after Lara’s win,” Saisha was quoted saying.

Sandhu’s stunning silver gown with its beaded embellishments and plunging neckline was the part of the historic moment. “We did it,” Shinde wrote in an Instagram post after news of the big win made headlines. Saisha also shared a picture of the newly-crowned Miss Universe in the floor-grazing gown.

Talking about designing the gown for the Miss Universe pageant Saisha said, “There is a certain expectation from Miss India at an International pageant. She has to look elegant, exquisite and the gowns needs to look delicate and dainty but at the same time powerful, strong, which incidentally my brand has become now after I have transitioned into a woman.”

The 40-year-old designer shared a glimpse of the work that went into making the sheer embellished gown for Harnaaz on her Instagram Stories.

“The gown is embellished with embroidery, stones, and sequins. Harnaaz believes in sustainability, so we used embroidery material which was lying around at the studio,” she revealed.

Embellished with sequins, stones and embroideries, the floor-length couture gown took four weeks to complete. Speaking about the inspiration behind the gown, Saisha says, “Angelic, ethereal, dynamic and eclectic are the core design elements I worked around to create this couture gown.” From phulkari-inspired designs, which were nod to Sandhu’s Punjabi roots to featuring geometric shapes, the gown was the perfect ode to Indian crafts with a modern twist.