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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2012 Gown Portraits: My Top 15


Evening Gown Fab:

 The Best Gown? Scroll down Pageant Lovers...
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OK, Pageant Kids, it's "Miss Universe 2012" Evening Gown Portrait Time...and that means one thing: my "Nick Pageant Gown Reviews"! As you know, Miss Universe 2012 Finals are happening on December 19th at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and will be televised on NBC.

Eighty-nine of the most beautiful women in the UNIVERSE are in Las Vegas, spending the next two weeks getting ready for the Finals. Yesterday, the "Evening Gown Portraits" were published for all of us pageant lovers to see. Naturally, I have to have my "Nick Two Cents". There were some GOOD, lots of Pageant Betty's, Slit Queens, and Cha-Cha Goddesses, and yes, several that I can only categorize as Oh Dear's! Now, lots of these gowns were borrowed from the Sherri Hill "Gown Closet" the Miss Universe Organization and it's Wardrobe Costume Director had. Some of these ladies wore a gown that might--just might--be their actual gowns in the very important Preliminaries where judges pick the top Semi Finalists. But some, save their "Best Gown" for the Final Telecast--in other words these you see here might not even end up being their "actual" evening gown. So, with that being said, it's time for my "Nick V. Miss Universe Evening Gown Portrait" Recap.
First up, The Good--My Top 15 Favorites:

Miss Croatia Elizabeta Burg: Probably my favorite evening gown and evening gown portrait. This girl looks like a Victoria's Secret model who's worth many millions of dollars, has an A-List Hollywood boyfriend and only flies First Class. This gown is gorgeous and red carpet-worthy. The nude lining with emerald green sequin applique could have gone tacky-licious, but here, it works and looks luxe. The back is my favorite reminds me of one of my NIKOLAKI evening gowns:

 NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos/David Paul Spring 2012 silk chiffon printed evening gown

Miss Puerto Rico Bodine Koehler Peña: Love, love, love this gown. Another nude-lined gown. This time, it was a strapless, fit-and-flare dress with horizontal stripes that are heavy at the waist/midriff and the knee and translucent everywhere else. This is a WOW of a gown! If she has something better than this saved for the Finals, I can't even imagine what that one could be...because this one is FLAWLESS.

Miss France Marie Payet: Marie chose a strapless chiffon gown with oversized silver paillette details. I think this is a very nice gown. It could work at an awards show red carpet and be quite on-trend appropriate for getting the Miss Universe crown; there's no HOOCHIE up-to-the-you-know-where SLIT, it's elegant, classic yet expensive-looking. Her side-swept hair style says "Rita Hayworth"...the French version.

Miss USA Olivia Culpo: Oh, what a surprise: another nude-lined gown! I think it is sexy, does not scream "Pageant Betty" and (Thank God) is not HOOCHIE (no overt cleavage and too-high slit). It looks modern and very Marchesa-ish. Also, this gown reminds me of the gown I designed for Ali Landry in 1996---yes, that was SIXTEEN YEARS AGO:

 Miss USA 1996 Ali Landry in NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos/David Paul Custom Evening Gown--Miss USA 1997 Pageant--this gown caused a "escandalo" back then when the Costume Designer of the pageant DID NOT feel it was appropriate for Ali to wear this. She didn't listen to him, needless to say.

Miss Venezuela Irene Esser: Irene Esser--who happens to be LAST YEAR'S Miss Venezuela--decided to wear a simple deep violet-colored strapless fit-and-flare crepe gown for this year's "Miss Universe Website Evening Gown Portrait". I think this is very beautiful and well-made. The silver sequined/be-jeweled detail is exquisite and the gown fits her perfectly. Not sure of the deep red lipstick...but I think because she looks very much like "Miss USA" Olivia Culpo, her pageant directors want to make her "different from her" in some way. In terms of her evening gown, I am guessing that if she makes it to the Semi-Finals on December 19th and the final NBC live telecast, she'll be "busting out" with something different. I'd bet some money on it!

Miss Ethiopia Helen Getachew: I think that Helen is so exotically beautiful! She needs to be in Paris or Milan modeling. Like TOMORROW! I liker this choice of a copper-colored jersey gown with crystal accents and back straps for her Miss Universe Website Evening Gown Portrait. Helen looks like a model and NOT like a beauty pageant contestant; chic and very editorial.

Miss Tanzania Winfrida Dominic: First of all, just look at that doll-like gorgeous face! And I love the short, cropped hairstyle which really highlights THAT face. Now, the gown is FABULOUS! I think she looks "Las Vegas HOT" in this gold oversized paillettes over nude lining dress. It's very impacting and gets my attention as an "armchair judge", and in a good way. By the way, this same gown style was worn by the beautiful Miss New York USA Johanna Sambucini at this year's Miss USA 2012 pageant:

And back then, I deemed it one of my FAVORITES of the Miss USA 2012 Evening Gowns.

Miss Australia Renae Ayris: I like this gown for it's subtle elegance and shimmering simplicity. It is cut well, there's no too-high slit, it's a good length and the blush color looks fantastic against her skin and hair color. A very nice choice darling!

Miss Brazil Gabriela Markus: At first glance, I was like "Ooooh GURL!", but then, after studying this gown, it was giving me a very "Elie Saab Haute Couture" vibe. In other words, I liked it and that is why she is in my "Best" category. This is an impacting gown that I can see Gabriela wearing on the Live Telecast Finals when she gets chosen as one of the Top girls.

Miss Chile Ana Luisa König: The first thing that I like about this gown is it's color--that peach/coral color in this crepe-back satin gown is striking. I also like the subtle gold trim detail at the midriff. This is very "Grecian Goddess" Lite.

 Miss Mexico Karina Gonzalez: I love the color, I love the cut, the delicately cascading bugle beads. It's a very nice gown. Nothing Earth-shaking in terms of design but it looks great on her. My only critique: lose the necklace. These girls and their over accessorizing! Ayyy Dios Mio!

Miss Haiti Christela Jacques: This is a very elegant column gown and looks fabulous on Christela. The beading looks intricate and expensive, the v-neckline is appropriate and not too plunging to distract the judges' eyes, and the fit is perfect. The only negative is that brooch/pin at the center front waist; it isn't necessary.

Miss Israel Lina Makhuli: I think this is a simply gorgeous gown. It's very Monique Lhuillier-like. It's got both "red carpet" drama but can double as a beautiful wedding gown as well! The godets throughout the gown add sweep to an otherwise fitted shape and the delicate shoulder details gives a bit of pretty interest to the "three-quarter" shot. A very pretty gown indeed.

Miss Netherlands Nathalie den Dekker: I think this is a very interesting gown and a good choice for Nathalie. The silver sequin detail and cut-outs is very on-trend and takes this gown to a higher level. It also looks very "Miss Venezuela" expensive--as if one of those designers had created it. If I had any critiques, they would be two: the copper/nude coloring in the cut-out's does not match her skin and I just wonder if it's supposed to. If not, then it should have been a deeper stronger contrast to her actual skin color. Also, her "big hair" is one hair spray away from looking like a cast member from "Real Housewives of Orange County". Other than that, as a gown alone, it's a very impacting one.

Miss Trinidad and Tobago Avionne Mark: Avionne wore a gold and ivory strapless column gown with asymmetrically-radiating panel details. This gown gets my attention and ends up on my "Good" list because the cut is nice, the silhouette is great and it's both elegant and red carpet ready. Very smart of her to choose a gown that shows off those amazingly toned arms and shoulders of hers. I would just get rid of the big ol' hoop earrings. So not necessary darling; the gold and ivory shimmery gown is enough of a statement. Keep the accessories to a minimum.

***Next Up: The PAGEANT BETTY'S of the Miss Universe 2012 Evening Gown Portraits!!

3 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2012 Gown Portraits: My Top 15"

Anonymous said...

But Sweden Heeello!?!

Anonymous said...

Miss Malaysia Kimberley Legget is missing from the list :(

Anonymous said...

Miss Malaysia should have been listed!