“Like you said, it’s a mistake. It was not done intentionally. She honestly did not know,” Wurtzbach told reporters.
“Are we really going to put our girl down because of a statement like that?” she added.
Wurtzbach said Medina has trained for months on end and she does not need anything to discourage her ahead of the final competition on Jan. 30.
“We should be celebrating, because she made it so far already. This girl has been training for months leading up to the competition, and what she really needs now is encouragement,” Wurtzbach said.
Wurtzbach said Medina committed an honest mistake, which would not have been corrected had she not mentioned it.
“Now we know. If it wasn’t pointed out, then it would not have been corrected,” she said.
The outgoing Miss Universe reminded Medina to be more mindful of the information she is sharing especially because the Philippines is host to this year’s most beautiful day in the universe.
“It’s a mistake she did not know, and perhaps next time, she can be a little bit more mindful of facts that she will share, especially that she’s the host delegate,” Wurtzbach said.
Netizens were quick to point out Medina’s mistake, which was shown in a video of the ancillary event in Vigan that was presented during the preliminary competition held at SM Mall of Asia Arena Thursday night.
“The terno was actually invented by our former first lady, Imelda Marcos. She invented these butterfly sleeves and they use it (to) cover their face,” Medina said in the video shot during an ancillary event in Vigan, where the Miss Universe candidates paraded in terno.
Ramon Valera, national artist for fashion design, is widely believed to have introduced the terno by unifying the baro’t saya into a single dress while exaggerating the bell sleeves during the early ’40s, according to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA).
The history of the terno was traced to a collective effort of various designers as Philippine fashion evolved, according to Gino Gonzales and Mark Lewis Higgins in their book “Fashionable Filipinas: An Evolution of the Philippine National Dress in Photographs, 1860-1960.”
In an Inquirer report, Gonzales was quoted as saying that Valera did not create the terno.
“We want to correct some misconceptions, including the idea that Ramon Valera invented the terno; he did not,” Gonzales said in the report.
“No one person invented it,” he added. “It was a collective effort. The removal of the pañuelo, which is usually attributed to Valera, happened way, way before [he removed it]. Women have been trying to remove it way before.”
Medina would have been correct had she said that Imelda Marcos popularized the terno by wearing it at official functions when she was still first lady.
She became an icon of Philippine fashion, at the same time a symbol of extravagant living, while Filipinos were poor and hungry at the height of her husband’s brutal martial law regime.
In an ABS-CBN report, Medina apologized for the mistake and that she should have said Imelda popularized, and not invented, the terno.
“Sorry for that word… Mali lang yung word na nagamit ko… She’s the icon in the 60s and 70s so she popularized it, those butterfly sleeves,” Medina said. CDG/rga