HIGH-heeled ugg boots will make their international catwalk debut as part of Australia's national costume at the Miss Universe final next month.Jesinta Campbell will fly the Aussie flag wearing woolly booties in the Las Vegas quest on August 23.
Campbell, 18, will wear a unique creation by Sydney designer Natasha Dwyer, who works under the Arthur Ave label, in the pageant's national costume section.
"Isn't it incredible," Campbell said yesterday as she revealed the gown.
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Her outfit includes a one-piece swimsuit with a hand-painted design by an indigenous artist, a multi-layered silk skirt, a lambswool shrug and high-heeled ugg boots.
"Part of our Australian identity is our indigenous heritage and it was so important that it was included in the national costume," Campbell said.
"An Aboriginal artist hand-painted my swimsuit, which is the base of the outfit, which is very special.
"I have a little sheepskin shrug, which I think is very Australian - very Outback.
"We have these gorgeous little high-heeled ugg boots, which I think is a nice little finishing touch. It is something that I am really proud to wear. I feel magnificent in it."
The gown follows a trend of controversial national costumes at Miss Universe.
Last year Rachel Finch wore a Vegas showgirl-inspired gown designed by Ruth Tarvydas.
The year before Laura Dundovic was criticised for her silk-organza dress by Jayson Brunsdon that purported to reflect "the beaches, the sand and the desert".
In 2007 Kimberley Busteed modelled a pair of bathers and lifesaver's cap as our national costume.
Erin McNaught at least had some fun with her outfit, strutting out in a Crocodile Dundee-inspired number.
Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Universe 2004, played it very safe, wearing a drab grey strapless frock featuring maps of the Sydney CBD and harbour.
Campbell has opted for a demure sunshine coloured gown by Melbourne label Izaro for the evening wear section of the competition.