Miss England Final 16-17 May:
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Puneet Bhandal has been designing occasion & bridal wear and pageant pieces for more than a decade & has recently created the stunning traditional costume for Miss England Jessica Gagen to wear at the Miss World opening ceremony.

On Tuesday 20th February 2024 ,Jessica wore a Mary Poppins inspired outfit for the 71st Miss World broadcast  live on the www.missworld.com website from Delhi India  alongside 117 nations from across the world.

Puneet tells us more ….

“Designing Jessica’s Opening Ceremony / Dances of The World costume was so much fun” said Puneet.  ” As soon as I was asked to do it, I didn’t hesitate. Jessica decided she wanted to recreate the outfit from Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – the world-famous song from the classic Mary Poppins movie.

Mary Poppins celebrates its 60th anniversary this year – what could be a better way to celebrate the iconic movie than having Jessica Gagen wearing a version of the costume on the world stage?

The challenge in making this outfit was how to make it a little more glam, in line with what we associate with Miss World.   Jessica is a young, glamorous girl so I wanted to add some bling but I couldn’t change the design too much because it had to be recognisable.   I decided to ditch the lace collar on the neckline and instead, have a high neck with lots of tiny beaded crystals and sequins that were hand-stitched on. They helped to add shine and glamour but ensured the dress was not ‘frumpy’. I then used lots of layers of tulle to create a voluminous skirt.

Red sequins were stitched on to create the St George’s Cross on the back of the dress – a nod to England.

Overall, I was delighted with how Jessica looked in the gown. If they ever remake the film, I nominate Jessica to star as the leading lady.”

Director of Miss England Angie Beasley said ” This is definitely the most glamorous recognisable outfit I have seen a Miss England wear in all the 25+ years Ive been sending British winners to Miss World .  The idea for the outfit  actually came from my sister Becky as we were discussing how unglamorous traditional English national costumes generally are in pageants and how its difficult to compete with the more extravagant costumes that many of the contestants wear in Miss World .

Becky came up with the idea of dressing Jessica as Mary Poppins and this fits perfectly with Jessica’s Beauty with a Purpose campaign encouraging children in to STEM careers and visiting schools . We ran it by Jessica and she loved the idea & we then spoke to Puneet who created the look perfectly !  I think Puneets right , if the Mary Poppins film is remade again , Jess should be the star she fits the bill perfectly ! ”

The 71st Miss World final takes place on the 9th March live from Mumbai India and will be broadcast across the world .

To follow Miss England’s journey visit this page on the Miss World website

To watch Jessica in the Miss World opening ceremony visit this link 

WATCH THE 71st MISS WORLD opening ceremony here