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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2012 National Costumes: My Top 10


Viva Feathers, Incan, Aztecan Empresses, UBER Sequins, a Fab Jumpsuit and yes, a Lady with a Torch...

 Statue of Fab Liberty: Miss USA Olivia Culpo--Is her costume one of my Faves? Read on...

Last Friday was the Miss Universe 2012 "National Costume Presentation Show". It was held at the same stage the "Miss Universe 2012" Finals will be this Wednesday--at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas. The Miss Universe pageant is famous for it's traditional "Parade of Nations" and frankly, I miss the good ol' days when the actual LIVE telecasts would begin with the girls introducing themselves in their national costumes, as host Bob Barker read their names and countries (I miss Bob Barker!). But alas, those days are waaaayyyy gone. Now, we have this "Presentation Show". I 'm just happy that at the very least, we--the fans--still get to see the costumes.

Nick Verreos Original Illustration--A Sketch I did of my imaginary "Miss Venezuela" presenting herself at the "Miss Universe Parade of Nations" many years ago

As a little boy, I would sketch all the Miss Universe contestants in their national costumes and it became a way for me to express my design and sketching talent--and keep myself busy (yes, kids, this was waaayyy before Facebook!). So you see, Miss Universe can help little boys--and also help as a Geography Lesson! But (as usual) I digress...let's discuss the Miss Universe 2012 National Costume Show--and my Top Favorites:

No. 1:
Miss China Ji Dan Xu: Miss Universe China dazzled the audience--and ME (!) watching the LIVE Ustream feed---on Friday night as she entered the stage in her "National Costume". It was a stand-out of a gown inspired by the Ming Dynasty vases accessorized by a "fan" headdress. Probably THE BEST of this year's "Miss Universe 2012"...

I recognized it a couple of weeks ago in this post HERE that this "National Costume" was actually a creation from Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei's "Arabian 1002th Night" Spring/Summer 2010 Haute Couture Collection (photo above).

No. 2:

Miss Mexico Karina Gonzalez: One word: WOW. Of all the Native Feathered Incan/Aztec/Mayan Empress Goddess costumes that were seen on Friday night's Miss Universe 2012 National Costume Presentation Show, her's was one of the most impressive. If not, the BEST of those styles. This costume was supposed to represent all the silver that Mexico is famous for as well as featured a back that highlighted the Mexican culture. Muy impresionante. To me, her costume came in a very close Second to China's.

No. 3:

Miss Nicaragua Farah Eslaquit: This was definitely one of THE BEST at the National Costume Presentation Show on Friday night and that is why she is here, at No. 3. The immense amount of sequins, crystals, paillettes, the colors, the applique sculptures. This was A WORK of Costume ART. It should be in a Museum. Like tomorrow. And I really, really hope whoever designed and created was payed A LOT of money for their work. And I hope they flew them First Class to Las Vegas to see their work on stage. It's the least the Miss Nicaragua Organization could have done.

No. 4:
Miss Netherlands Nathalie den Dekker: Nathalie delighted the audience in her sequined jumpsuit featuring blue, red and white (colors of the flag of the Netherlands) flowing chiffon and four moving mini "windmills" atop her shoulders. This was a fun, very creative way of displaying the wonder of the famous Dutch windmills. I loved how the mini windmills moved, the chiffon "blew" in the wind and her stacked platform heels matched her jumpsuit's sequin fabrication.Original, fun, well-made, stage-perfect and filled in the element of "Holland Pride". According to the script/notes that co-host Shanna Moakler read, it was designed by a Venezuelan designer.

No. 5:

Miss Israel Lina Makhuli: The "Star of David" Queen...or shall I say DIVA. This gown could be straight out of a Stephane Rolland Haute Couture runway show in Paris. I could easily see it in an awards show red carpet--sans the gold arm flaps, hood and Star of David, of course--but with all of those "bells and whistles", I applaud this and acknowledge it as a very COUTURE Runway-fabulous Miss Israel costume.

No. 6:
Miss Peru Nicole Faveron: This Peruvian QUEEN needs to be sitting on top of Machu Picchu ASAP! What a amazingly glorious costume: the corseted shorts-bodysuit, the wondrous and very elaborate cape, the crown with the Peruvian flag colored feathers...THOSE above-the-knee boots! Here's another costume that needs to be in a museum. One of the best I've ever seen!

No. 7:
Miss Panama Stephanie Vander Werf: I have NO IDEA how she got all them feathers through A) Customs and B) in some sort of a suitcase. I sure hope that Miss Panama Organization---or Government--somehow waived those luggage fees! This is a great Native Costume. It's perfect for the theme, dramatic, Miss Universe "Parade of Nations"-appropriate...and very Sexy Chica!

No. 8:
Miss Sri Lanka Sabrina Herft: Three words--She LIT UP! Notice in the photo how the sequins/crystals were actually lights that "lit" up. I LOVED this costume from Miss Universe Sri Lanka. The gold paillete column gown, the fan crystal-and-lights headdress...She looked like a Sri Lankan Goddess that I want to light incense in front of! For sure.

No. 9:
Miss Brazil Gabriela Markus: Gabriela's costume was not your typical "Rio Carnival Queen" costume. And I have to admit, that is part of the reason I am giving her "Nick Points". I absolutely love the mural of BRASIL that is displayed on her dress; it is SPECTACULAR! And the colors, the feathers, the cut of the ensemble...all add up to one of my Top Ten!

No. 10:
Miss Great Britain Holly Hale: In terms of Costume Campy...Miss Universe Great Britain gets my vote! I want to know where I can get this jumpsuit! She's like "Wonder Woman UK". The Queen should be proud.

No. 10 (Tied!):

Miss USA Olivia Culpo: Olivia wore this "Statue of Liberty" Fantasy costume for the Miss Universe National Costume Presentation Show. The ensemble was designed and created by Costume Designer Martin Izquierdo and his team--which included Project Runway Season 6 alumn Nicolas Putvinski. Miss USA's costume is on my list of Top Miss Universe 2012 Costumes because, I think it perfectly blends a "US National" element with theater, with a great modern impact. Love how the headdress resembles a sparkling show of fireworks via metallic and sequined stars of various shapes and colors. All of that, therefore, puts her in my Top Ten (in a tie with Great Britain).

Click below to watch the Behind-the-Scenes of Miss USA's Costume--with Martin Izquierdo and Nicolas Putvinski (of Project Runway Season 6) in the background:

5 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2012 National Costumes: My Top 10"

Dee said...

Any idea why Sweden didn't show?

Anonymous said...

Miss Sweden sprained her ankle on prelim night. Her planned gown was found ripped backstage. The replacement she wore at last minute was too large & long, causing the sprain. BoSoxFan73

Ruben Ruiz said...

I LOVED the list EXCEPT I would not have put Miss UK! Miss USA's was better and Miss UK's was one of the worst ones in my book. Just my opinion but excellent list over all! I had the same top three!

Anonymous said...

Not even a PR photo of Miss Sweden's national costume???

Anonymous said...

If Miss UK's national costume was truly representative of the Brits, then they would be a nation of...Ginger Spices?!