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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Venezuela 2012 María Gabriela Isler: Winner, Gowns


En Una Noche Tan Linda...

La Mas Bella: Maria Gabriela Isler, the new "Miss Venezuela"--getting crowned by last year's "Miss Venezuela 2011" Irene Esser, who has yet to compete in this year's Miss Universe competition

This past Thursday was THE Beauty pageant to end all Beauty pageants. Yes, THE 60th edition of the Miss Venezuela pageant took place at the Tamanaco Intercontinental Hotel in Caracas. EVERY pageant fan and follower worth their last sequin and sash watches this pageant, for various reasons:

 Caracas Couture: the gown parade at "Miss Venezuela 2012" pageant

The gowns (it's always been a parade of Venezuelan Haute Couture), the girls (HOW does Osmel--the Miss Venezuela Czar of Beauty--find these 6 foot, size 2 Amazonian Super Creatures?) and yes, the fact that the pageant has had so many Miss Universes, Miss Worlds, Miss Internationals, and so on, that if you're in the pageant business, it's a must-watch in terms of who is your competition. I watched the pageant LIVE on the web and even had a FABULOSO "Twitter party" where I was LIVE Tweeting with my fellow Pageant Fanatico, J*Lu of TheJLuBlog. We had a BLAST and THANK YOU to everyone who joined us and tweeted along. Un Beso y abrazo (a kiss and a hug)!

Now, let's get to THE WINNER:

Miss Venezuela 2012--María Gabriela Isler

María Gabriela Isler (also goes by Gabriela Isler) representing Guarico, won--and it was a BATACAZO--which translates to an "upset". Because she wasn't the Top Favorite to win. A lovely blonde "Miss Miranda", was the favorite.

"Miss Venezuela 2012", María Gabriela Isler during the Swimsuit Competition--Miss Venezuela 2012 Pageant

Gabriela Isler, "Miss Venezuela 2012"--the day after--Tamanaco Intercontinental Hotel Breakfast Photo-Op

The new Miss Venezuela is 24 years old and stands 1.79 (about 5' 11") and she's absolutely gorgeous! She won the judges and the audience during the Question-and-Answer portion as well as with her poise and elegance. Gabriela incidentally, won the "Miss Elegancia" (Miss Elegance) award during Thursday night's pageant. Felicitaciones Gabriela!

Now, let's talk about the Pageant and more importantly...THE GOWNS!!!

Opening Lamé Mermaids: Miss Venezuela 2012 Pageant

Thursday night's Miss Venezuela 2012 Pageant lasted over FOUR HOURS (it's always waaaayyyy too long!). The edited two-hour version was shown this Saturday afternoon in the US Spanish Network UNIVISION. The show included a long opening with the traditional "Miss Venezuela Theme Song" with the contestants decked out in golden (with violet accents) lamé mermaid-style gowns. Not soon after, they ripped those "mermaid" bottom halves off...

and donned these UBER mini dresses--very Lieutenant Uhura of "Star Trek" in Las Vegas!

The pageant was hosted by Mariangel Ruiz, a former Miss Venezuela, Leonardo Vilalobos, Ismael Cala, and Eglantina Zingg. Mariangel did some questionable outfit/gown changes during the night.

Las Criollas: The Miss Venezuela 2012 contestants during the Venezuelan Folklore Number

There were many singing performances by top Latino stars and the contestants also did a fabulous folkloric number paying tribute to Venezuelan dance and culture.

 Neon Swimsuits...and the very 1990's Gown Parade---Miss Venezuela 2012

There was a Swimsuit Competition portion, with very bright-colored swimsuits with gold chain halter necklines, as well as the infamous Miss Venezuela Gown Parade/Competition. So, without further ado, let's get to the GOWNS---

Here were my "Nick Favoritos":

Ivory Goddess: Gabriela Isler, "Miss Guarico" and the new "Miss Venezuela 2012"--Gabriela wore one of my favorite gowns of the night, an ivory silk ziberline fit-to-flare gown by Venezuelan fashion designer Gionni Straccia. The gown fit her perfectly and it was made impeccably.

Venezuelan fashion designer Gionni Straccia (flanked by two of his gowns, worn by TWO Venezuelan Miss Universes)

Gionni Straccia designs for all the top pageant winners including several Miss Universes and Miss Worlds. The fact that she had one of his dresses on should have been a "hint" that well, she might be the winner. The gown was elegant, very Haute Couture in its cascade ruffle and delicate crystal detail. No wonder this woman won the "Most Elegant" award! My Gown Score: 9.8
Lady In Red: One of my favorite contestants to win the crown was this beauty--"Miss Aragua" Elian Herrera. She eventually got the Miss Venezuela Internacional 2012 title (meaning she will represent Venezuela in the "Miss International" beauty pageant), basically coming in second. I LOVED her gown. It was simple and elegant--so 2012 and so red carpet. Elian is OVER six feet tall and this silk crepe column gown by designer Valentina Cedeño fit her flawlessly.
My Gown Score: 9.8

Canary Princess: Another one in my "Nick Top" list was the canary yellow gown worn by "Miss Falcon" Alyz Henrich. She came in third and got the "Miss Venezuela Earth 2012" sash. Her gown was designed by Gionni Straccia and was made of a bright yellow silk crepe and matching silk chiffon attached cape--which she WORKED overtime while doing her evening gown catwalk portion of the competition. Some might argue and say it's VERY Pageant Princess. Yes, I agree, but...this gown was taken to a very Haute Couture FAB level. Trust me.  
Score: 9.5

Silver/Ivory Faves:

"Miss Amazonas" Hylene Baez wore one of the best Mermaid-shaped gowns of the night (and trust me kids, there were many!). It was designed by Venezuelan designer Hugo Espina and was strapless, with a sweetheart neckline, and had lots and lots of sequins and crystals throughout. Score: 9.4

"Miss Tachira" Yvanna Vale--Designer Julio Mora designed this strapless fit-to-flare ivory silk ziberline gown with silver and gold sequin and beaded fringe detail.  
Score: 9.4

Diva Catwalk Award Goes To: "Miss Peninsula Goajira" Rociree Silva. Rociree wore this silk crepe gown designed by Hugo Espina which featured digital petal-style cut-outs and was accented with bugle beads/crystals. It was a blush color. But the FIERCE part was this silk chiffon over-cape that was attached at the contestant's wrists and back of gown, which made her give DRAMA as she did her evening gown competition walk. Oh and did I mention she also had a forehead crown/necklace on? I also love the fact that she was one of the ONLY ONES--who DID NOT have visible breast augmentation (by the in-house Miss Venezuela plastic surgeon, thank you very much!). For all that...
My Score: 9.8

"Miss Miranda" Oriana Luchesse--the favorite to win--wore a pink silk crepe column off-the-shoulder gown with silver sequin accents. It was designed by Pageant Gown extraordinaire Gionni Straccia. This was a very beautiful gown. It's very "Barbie" yes, but "Barbie Couture"!
Score: 9.4

"Miss Cojedes" Milunay Hull also wore a gown by Gionni Straccia. I love the ivory with gold sequin concept--but it's just the "It's my CHA CHA?" slit that gets me. It was MUY much. But seriously, Milunay had one of the most STUNNING faces--and bodies--in the group.
Score: 9.0

And now...The "Oh NO Mija!" Gowns--The Late 1980's/ 1990's ARE BACK!!!

It's 1994: "Miss Nueva Esparta" Fabiola Castillo wore a red silk ziberline gown that was in MAJOR need of gown-editing. It was designed by Nidal Nouaihad. Not only did it have cascades folded back, then it had front folds, and then it had long sleeves, then...there were silver sequins throughout the gown and chandelier teardrop ones in the back...If I was watching the pageant in 1988, I would have thought "Wow, what a FABULOUS gown!!" but for 2012? Not so mucheey. Score: 7.9

"Miss Anzoategui" Adriana Escalante--this gown was designed by Luis Perdomo and it was also VERY 1980's/1990's. The gown--in aqua green silk gazar featured a full high-low style---and then there's a big bow on the side. To be honest, all those features didn't so much bother me (I love a full, high-low gown with a side bow, don't you?) but somehow on stage, with some of those other sleek fitted more modern shapes, it seemed a bit dated. The 1992-style up-do on her hair didn't help matters. She was very Emma Rabbe, a former Miss Venezuela World from...1988!
Score: 8.0

Quinceañera Queen: "Miss Distrito Capital" Daniela Chalbaud wore this gown from Venezuelan designer Mayela Camacho. It's very Prom Tulle Krazee. It was lots of gathered tulle, the strapless "Princess Sweet-Sixteen" shape, and then had some arm cuffs that were a little bit weird and that a SLIT? This was Tacky-licious.  
Score: 7.0

"Miss Carabobo" Maria Luisa Lera--Her gown was designed by Alejandro Fajardo and somehow it actually got a "Fashion Designer Award" on Thursday night for this. I am all about STRONG SHOULDERS and shoulder pads and all that. That did not bother me, it was the rest of this dangling sequin gown which seemed so discombobulated and oh-so-not right. It didn't help that her hair style was UBER 1988. So, the entire gown and look was very "Dynasty" and NOT in a good Nolan Miller way. 
Score: 7.0

Planet Breasts: "Miss Sucre" Ingrid Smith wore a gown designed by Venezuelan fashion designer Nidal Nouaihad. This silk ziberline with crystals gown fit her FABULOUSLY but it was just the too-much boobie that bothered me. It's like "Yes, these are payed for and so what?" I could barely get past them during this portion of the pageant. Score: 8.2

Silver Leger-esque: "Miss Trujillo" Desiree Zambrano--Designer Oscar Carvallo created this silver metallic strapless Mermaid-style gown with Herve Leger-like banding and silver feathers at the bottom. Once again, it seemed very dated and 90's to me. Also those bust cups did not help the beautiful Desiree. It was Vogue Magazine 1994. Come on people, let's embrace the 21st Century. Quickly!
Score: 7.9

The Top Three Queens--"Miss Aragua" Elian Herrera (Miss Venezuela International), "Miss Guarico" Gabriela Isler (Miss Venezuela 2012) and "Miss Falcon" Alyz Henrich (Miss Venezuela Earth 2012)

Overall--however--it was a FABULOUS pageant (as always) and a pleasure to watch (major Gown Eye Candy for sure!). There were plenty of Haute Couture-worthy dresses as well as Hot 90's Messes. 

Congratulations to the Winner--the Finalists and the Fashion Designers! Keep the Super Human 6 foot tall Queens, the Swarovski crystals, the ziberline silks and the over-the-top kitsch coming...Por favor!

Click Below to watch the naming of the Top Five and Crowning of the Winner of "Miss Venezuela 2012":

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