When Miss Australia, Rachael Finch, stepped out for the national costume section of the Miss Universe competition she raised a few eyebrows.

Picking exactly what element of our national character her outfit was depicting was not immediately clear to all.

With its showgirl elements of sparkles, large head dress and revealing slit it left many digging deep to fathom its symbolic meaning (if you've finished guessing, click here for the designer explaining what it means).

The designer, Perth-based Ruth Tarvydas, said with no national costume to draw from she was charged with finding inspiration from an Australian icon.

Tarvydas loves the design and will be launching a mini-dress version at the Perth Fashion Festival next month.

She is no stranger to receiving strong opinions for her work having designed the revealing red dress that made Rebecca Twigley a household name for the 2004 Brownlow Medal.

"I know it's a national sport to criticise it," Tarvydas said. "Criticism for the sake of criticism is not worth reading."

The Miss Universe competition is currently underway in the Bahamas.