Beauty queen's outfit falls short of Japanese tastes

TOKYO (AFP) - Japans finalist for the Miss Universe pageant has modified her costume after triggering a storm of protest with her outfit a shorter black leather kimono. 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. 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 Japans director of the Miss Universe Organisation 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 Japans contestants, including 2007 Miss Universe Riyo Mori has in the past said she is seeking to evolve Japans 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.