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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss International 2012: National Costumes, Evening Gowns, Winner

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First Time for Japan!

 Crowned: The new "Miss International 2012" from Japan, Ikumi Yoshimatsu--with last year's winner--Ecuador's Fernanda Cornejo,  looking on (right)

The 52nd Annual Miss International Beauty Pageant Contest took place in Okinawa Japan this past Sunday October 21. "Miss International" is one of the three "Glam Slam" International Beauty Pageants--the other two being "Miss Universe" and "Miss World". The "Miss International" pageant debuted fifty two years ago and this year's pageant had 69 entrants this year.
A lot of the countries chose their contestants that go to "Miss International" in a full-on separate national contest or as is the case with Venezuela and several other nations, they send their 2nd or 3rd Runners-Up to the "Miss International". This year's live telecast supposedly took FIVE HOURS. Various pageant watchers who somehow survived this marathon of a show, said it was way too long, and "dragged" on with one too many breaks.  But finally after it all, a winner was crowned. The winner was from Japan, a lovely 25-year old, 5' 7" woman by the name of Ikumi Yoshimatsu. This was the first time that a Japanese representative had won the pageant. And yes, she won it in her home country.


 The Winner:


Miss Japan International 2012 and Miss International 2012, Ikumi Yoshimatsu--no one expected her to win, but she did! Congrats to Ikumi
  
Runners Up:

First Runner Up Miss Finland Vivi Suomimen--Vivi was one of the faves to win and almost got the coveted crown, as she ended up First Runner Up

 Second Runner Up Miss Sri Lanka Madusha Mayadunne--Fun Fact: This is the highest position ever placed by the country of "Sri Lanka" in the "Miss International" pageant, so Congrats to Madusha!

Third and Fourth Runner Up's: (left to right) "Miss Dominican Republic" Melody Mir and "Miss Paraguay" Nicole Huber...Fun Fact: This is the highest "Miss Paraguay" has ever placed in the "Miss International" pageant and her country had not placed since (wait for it!) 1961!

 The Pageant in Okinawa Japan:

"Miss International 2012" officially began on October 1st and continued through to the Finals, which as I said, occurred this past Sunday. From the Arrivals,Welcoming Ceremonies and Parties, a Parade of National Costumes titled the "Miss Parade", and much more, the contestants were kept busy during the entire time they were in Japan. They even had "beach cleaning & barbeque" day as well as a Karate practice program.

The National Costumes:

The pageant really went "Old School" with showing off all the contestants in their National Costumes--with the previously mentioned Parade of National Costumes which occurred on Kokusai Avenue in Palette Square Okinawa--and then during the live televised show on Sunday as well.

Miss International 2012 National Costume Extravaganza during the live telecast

Namaste and Geisha Girl: "Miss India", Rochelle Maria Rao (left) and "Miss Japan" (and eventual "Miss International 2012"), Ikumi Yoshimatsu (right)

Golden Diva and Mongolian Queen: "Miss Indonesia" Liza Elly Purnamasari (left) and "Miss Mongolia" Dolgion Delgerjav (right)

Fantasy Liki-liki and Indigenous Empress:"Miss Venezuela" Blanca Aljibes (left) and "Miss Honduras" Nicole Velasquez (right)

The Best in Costume "Miss 2012 National Costume" winner was..."Miss Honduras" Nicole Vasquez with her feathered golden "Indigenous Empress" costume seen above

The Gowns:
The Top Fifteen: The evening gowns at the "Miss International 2012" ranged from "Pageant Betty" to sexy, elegant, fitted and Mermaid-shaped--and anything in between. The color range was just as varied as well--here are some Gown Highlights:

Ivory Girls: (left to right) "Miss United Kingdom" Alize Lily Mounter wore an ivory gown that was fitted at the top with fuller princess-seamed silhouette from the hips down. It was simple and elegant.
"Miss USA" Amanda Renee Delgado went a little more "Figure Skating Costume" with her gown which featured silver sequined leaf applique over illusion plus a full skirt section with that famous Pageant Slit. Oh and don't miss her too-platform'ed "Stripper Heels" (Oy Vey!).
"Miss Dominican Republic" Melody Mir Jimenez wore one of my favorite gowns. It was expensive looking, fit perfectly and was very "Red Carpet"-worthy and still very sexy--and without a slit! If there was any critique, it would be the diamante drop earrings. So not necessary.

Gown Ladies: "Miss Sri Lanka" Madusha Mayadunne, "Miss Finland" Vivi Suominen, "Miss Namibia" Paulina Malulu, "Miss Venezuela" Blanca Aljibes, and "Miss United Kingdom" Alize Lily Mounter

Red Girls: (left to right) "Miss Paraguay" Nicole Huber, wore a red gown with silver and red top section and red skirt with very long train. It was a MESS. But somehow,--because of her beauty---she made it to the Top Finalists. This gown is a Drag Queen's reject from ten years ago. Seriously.
And then, there's "Miss Sri Lanka" Madusha Mayadunne--her red satin gown was safe; no HOOCHIE SLIT; no too-plunging cleavage; it was just OK on my Pageant Scale.

Golden Beauty: "Miss Haiti" Anadie Azael won the "Miss 2012 Miss Joico" title and for her evening gown, she wore a golden sequined gown with center front slit and silver jeweled bust-line accents. She looked gorgeous!

Blue Winner: "Miss Japan" Ikumi Yoshimatsu--and the eventual "Miss International 2012" wore a baby blue satin gown that was very 1990's in its styling, fabrication and shape. Tacky side cut-outs, polyester and then that side hair styling...NEXT! But--obviously--it did not matter to the judges, because she won.

Red Beauty: "Miss Venezuela" Blanca Aljibes wore a red and silver sequined fitted gown by Venezuelan Pageant Fashion Designer Gionni Straccia. It was one of my favorite gowns of the "Miss International 2012" beauty pageant.

Red and Silver Pageant Queen: "Miss International 2012" gown for "Miss Venezuela" Blanca Aljibes by Gionni Straccia--red crepe gown with silver Swarovski crystal midriff, torso and shoulders

Congratulations to "Miss Japan" Ikumi Yoshimatsu and the new "Miss International 2012" !! Enjoy your year of International Beauty Reigning!

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