Australia's national dress to impress?

Australia's latest national costume for the Miss World contest 2012 has fashion critics shaking their heads.

Australia's national dress to impress?

Australia's national dress to impress?

It's meant to provoke Aussie pride, but instead the sequinned sarong and bodysuit ensemble has been likened to something out of the dream movie, Avatar.

Project Runway mentor and fashion designer Alex Perry gave it a resounding thumbs down.

"I never knew Egyptian sea urchins were Australian? The creators of Avatar called, they want their catsuit back," he said.

"I can't see the connection to Australiana in this - it has a little too much Cirque du Soleil for my liking."

Fashion guru and editor of Marie Claire magazine, Jackie Frank, echoed Perry's sentiments, branding the ensemble a 'fashion nightmare'.

"They were aiming for Dreamtime, what they did was create a fashion nightmare," she said.

However, the woman behind the outfit, designer Julie Sufi, is defending her design, saying her inspiration was aboriginal culture.

"I got a lot of my inspiration during our trip up to Uluru this morning, that's where the national Miss World Australia finals were held," Sufi says.

"We're trying to achieve the look of an Aboriginal Princess."

The dress has four kilograms of beads, all sewn by hand, and the red sequined sarong represents Uluru at sunset.

If you take a look at the record books, Miss Australia contestants tend not to do too well in the costume category at pageants.

Jesinta Campbell 's high-heeled ugg boots were labelled ugly in 2010, while last year’s winner Scherri-Lee Biggs’s canary yellow bikini was labelled 'cringe worthy'.

Miss World Australia, Jessica Kahawaty, will model the outfit in Mongolia later this month.