The Volkrust-born beauty is a 4th year medical student at the University of the Free State but put her studies on hold to see out her reign after she scooped the coveted Miss SA title earlier this year. “I remember watching my namesake Jo-Ann Strauss competing in Miss World in 2001 and being inspired by her grace, elegance, and beauty,” says Strauss, “It really is an honour to be heading to England to represent my country at this year’s Miss World pageant.”
As part of the official farewell celebrations before she leaves for London, Strauss revealed two of her pageant costumes this week at The Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg – a glamorous evening gown for the formalwear section and a traditional dress that is meant to epitomise the culture of a participant’s home country.
The designer responsible for Strauss’ formal outfit was Bloemfontein-based Casper Bosman who created a hand-dyed mint green lace gown embellished with 13 000 Swarovski crystals with added sequins and pearl embroidery. “The idea was to keep with elegant lines and create a luxurious yet understated look. None of the dresses I’ve done for Strauss overshadow her classic style which has become her trademark,” says Bosman.
Strauss’ national costume, designed by students from the Cape Town College of Fashion Design under the direction of the Head of Fashion Design Gregg Maragelis, is “a celebration of South Africa” with a vibrant, dynamic explosion of print and vivid colour that reflects the country’s fauna and flora as well as iconic cultural images. “The costume also boasts a head piece in bright gold featuring the Big 5 with feathers derived from tribal headpieces,” says Maragelis.
With around 130 contenders from countries around the world, competition will be stiff at this year’s pageant but our local beauty is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m excited about showing the world the true beauty of South Africa,” says Strauss, “Both our culture and our people.”
Send your well wishes to Strauss via the Miss South Africa twitter handle @Official_MissSA with the hashtag #Rolene4MissWorld2014 and make sure to support her by tuning into SABC 1 on the 14 of December for the Miss World 2014 live broadcast.
Leigh is a beauty and lifestyle blogger. Follow her on twitter @Le1ghLo or on her blog www.Le1ghLo.com.