A Universal Parade of Nations:
Panamanian Empress: Miss Universe Panama Stephanie Vander Werf
Miss Universe Aruba Liza Nerelyn Helder: The 5' 10" beauty from this Caribbean island is going "Sexy Carnival Ice Queen" with this get-up. Love that even the platform heels are covered in the crystallized applique! She's like Santa's Sexy Mistress.
Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris: Renae's costume is very Grecian Goddess/Spartan Princess-meets-Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. I have no idea what this has to do with Australia and why there's not a single Koala Bear or sexy Lifeguard reference anywhere...but I kinda like it!
Miss Universe Belgium Laura Beyne: Laura's costume is a black multi-tiered gown with a parasol featuring the colors of the Belgium flag. I guess, the gown and the flower detail at the waist also signifies this. Doesn't look like a lot of thought went in to this costume.
Miss Universe Bolivia Yessica Mouton Gianella: Alright huney, you GO GIRL! Yessica's costume is very "flora-and-fauna" with green feathers and red and yellow paillettes. I think it's pretty fabuloso, I'm just not sure she needed the tacky belly button crystal. That took it to a "chonchee" level. MUY fast.
Miss Universe Chile Ana Luisa König: Ana Luisa looks like The Nutcracker in a Tchaikovsky ballet here in this costume. I assume this has something to do with the Military Uniform of Chile. Maybe? Oh, and PS: I want those boots!! Like now!
Miss Universe China Diana Xu Jidan: The very tall (she's 5'11"/6') and beautiful Diana is supposed to be wearing this above as her "Miss Universe 2012" national costume. It's a Couture version of a Ming Dynasty Vase, of course. This is absolutely AMAZING. And of course, the fashion designer/fashion insider/fashion blogger in me--instantly recognized it as being one of the gorgeous gowns in...
Miss Universe Colombia Daniella Alvarez: OK, Parrot Reina, you get my vote! Fringe, a faux bird and the colors of the Colombian flag...done & done!
Miss Universe El Salvador Ana Yancy Clavel: Yes, another "flora and fauna" national costume. But there's something wonderfully interesting about this one. It's a "high-low" gown, first off. Not sure about the wired hem (a bit too Fashion School-student work) but otherwise, well executed
Miss Universe Finland Sara Yasmina Chafak: Sarah, are you a doppelganger for Eva Longoria?? You should be her stunt double! In terms of this costume, I think it works since it's supposed to be representing Finland--a Nordic nation, very close to the Arctic--and she's like an Icicle Princess--the Figure Skating Costume Version
Miss Universe Hungary Agnes Konkoly: This "costume" is very red carpet-worthy; there's nothing that says "national costume" or folkloric about it but it still retains the colors of the Hungarian flag...looks like a very cute cocktail/jr. prom dress with a strong "fashion" element
Miss Universe Japan Ayako Hara: Kimono Geisha Chic. Love the bright bold colors, her askew hair buns and the accessories. It's not overtly dramatic but still packs a good Tokyo Punch!
Miss Universe Malaysia Kimberley Leggett: COUTURE darling. COUTURE. As my gays would say : "GIVE IT!". Not sure what black and gold sequined and applique lace has to do with the country of Malaysia but...I want you--half-British, half-Malaysian Kimberley--to still GIVE IT!
Miss Universe Mexico Karina Gonzalez: Aztec Queen on Testosterone ! This is what "Miss Universe Pageant" costumes are all about. I can't even think--but I sure as heck want a carne asada taco and some chicken mole! Muy Bueno!
Miss Universe Namibia Tsakana Nkandih: I'm kinda loving this strapless gown that Miss Namibia is wearing as her supposed "National Costume" for the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant. There is a feathered bustier and cascade satin floor-length skirt with slit and train. If this was her "Evening Gown" choice, I would have deemed it a bit of mess. But as a National Costume, a solid 7.5.
Miss Universe Nicaragua Farah Eslaquit: Turquoise feathered and silver/golden sequined Nicaraguan Carnival Queen. I want her on top of my Christmas Tree, like NOW!
Miss Universe Panama Stephanie Vander Werf: Ayyyy Dios Mio!!!! Panama Empress for sure. This has got to be the Winner...or one of the Finalists of the Best National Costume for this year's "Miss Universe"...if they even still have such a contest any more. The red and gold against the backdrop of those over-the-top green feathers: incredible!
Miss Universe Paraguay Egni Eckert: Yet another "Carnival" Queen. But this time, she was more covered up and heck, if somehow her actual evening gown gets lost or damaged by a jealous fellow contestant, the dress can certainly work for the "Evening Gown" portion of the contest.
Miss Universe Peru Nicole Faveron: Nicole is like an Inca Queen in this royal blue, gold with red and white Peruvian flag colors costume representing her country. It's pretty fab. And those above-the-knee boots: Can someone please call Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen and have her put these into production...or at least in one of her amazing runway shows?!
Miss Universe Poland Marcelina Zawadzka: I like this costume. It's simple, angelic and pretty. The gown silhouette is very on-trend and the flower crown is delicate yet makes a nice "cherry on the costume cake". She looks like the Ambassador of Peace, Harmony and All That is Good in This World.
Miss Universe Puerto Rico Bodine Koehler Peña: OK, first of all: Look at her TINY waist! Her momma needs to give her some more Sancocho! Whoever designed this, they certainly did it right--in that it highlights what is certainly one of her best features and still gives "National Costume Drama". Imagine if this creature came out of the Puerto Rican rainforest!
Miss Universe Russia Elizaveta Golovanova: Elizaveta went more the "traditional" route when it came to her National Costume as seen from the photo above previewing what she is supposed to wear to the "Miss Universe 2012" pageant. I only hope she tops it off with a HUGE fur hat!
Miss Universe South Africa Melinda Bam: Hot. Hot. And More Hot. Melinda looks like a Warrior Princess from some Cartoon or a Sci Fi Network TV Show that hasn't even been created yet. Everything about this gold, silver and ivory crystal-and-organza ensemble is fantastic! She looks friendly and approachable but...one shake of that stick, and you're a GONER!
Miss Universe Thailand Nutpimon Farida Waller or Nutpimon Natthayalak (she goes by several names): This half Thai, half Austrian beauty's costume is one of my faves. She's like a Thai architecture, Sculpture and Goddess...all rolled up in one. Thailand always brings it when it comes to some of their "Miss Universe" costumes in recent years, so I wasn't surprised that they were keeping up the "Costume Tradition".
Miss Universe Ukraine Anastasia Chernova: Sexy, modern (look at the slit-sleeves), yet still "folkloric" and giving a strong nod to Ukraine. Love the fur hat and that sword. I assume she may need that in case another fellow contestant gets unruly with her!
Miss Universe Venezuela Irene Esser: Usually the Venezuelan beauty queens go either the "Folkloric Venezuela" national costume route:
A criolla/joropo-style full-skirt off-the-shoulder ruffled costume or...
Miss Venezuela Organization National Pageant Director, Osmel Sousa inspects Miss Universe Venezuela Irene Esser's lights, on her national costume
I can't wait to see these on stage or at least in the "Official National Costume Pics" after all the girls have arrived, settled and gotten to their business of "Official Photo taking"...Soon, I'll give you my Top and "Oh Dear" Picks of the National Costumes of Miss Universe 2012. Stay tuned kiddies...