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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Venezuela 2013 is Migbelis Castellanos: Winner, Gowns

 Venezuelan Bella: Migbelis Castellanos "Miss Venezuela 2013" who will compete at the "Miss Universe 2014" competition

This past Thursday, a new Venezuelan beauty was crowned: 5' 10" (1.78 M) tall Migbelis Castellanos became Miss Venezuela 2013 at a star-studded event at the Poliedro de Caracas, which was televised live on Thursday night on Venevision and later (this past Saturday) on Univision. The four-hour competition show highlighted a wonderful tribute to Joaquin Rivera, who produced many a "Miss Venezuela" pageant and passed away back in April, as well as top Venezuelan musical talents. But naturally, its stars were the gorgeous 26 contestants and its winner, "Miss Costa Oriental" Migbelis Castellanos:

Fabulosa: Migbelis Castellanos, the new "Miss Venezuela"

Day After Photo-Op: Migbelis Castellanos "Miss Venezuela 2013" "Miss Venezuela International" Michelle Bertolini (right) and "Miss Venezuela Earth" Stephanie de Zorzi (left)
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Swim Winner: The new "Miss Venezuela 2013" Migbelis Castellanos "Miss Costa Oriental" during the Swimsuit Competition--Miss Venezuela 2013 Pageant
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The Hosts: TV presenter and former "Miss Venezuela 1986" contestant/finalist Maite Delgado (left) wore a gorgeous ivory-silver gazar gown with back cape/cascade designed by Angel Sanchez. She looked flawless. Mariangel Ruiz (right)--who was "Miss Venezuela 2002" and competed at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant--and more importantly, was the show's co-host--wore a strapless zig-zag jacquard gown in the first part of the show. Her gown was designed by Nicolas Felizola.

 Venezuelan Gown Couture: The Top Ten, Miss Venezuela 2013 Pageant
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The Miss Venezuela Pageant is famous worldwide for the Evening Gown Competition. As a little boy growing up in Venezuela, this was the part that I looked forward to the most, and now, still do! For years and years, the "Miss Venezuela" Evening Gown Competition has featured some superb gowns worthy of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week--usually by local fashion designers who then go on to fame beyond Venezuela (Angel Sanchez is a case in point). So, naturally, let's discuss this year's gowns:

First, The Gowns of the Winner and her Runner-Ups--with My Scores!
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Miss Costa Oriental (and "Miss Venezuela 2013") Migbelis Castellanos: Migbelis wore one of the best gowns of the night. The minute she walked out in this strapless light pink column silk crepe gown with back organza "cascade" train, I was like "done and done"! The gown also featured beautiful silver crystal diagonal and vertical detail just to add enough "Stage Punch" but keeping it sweet and elegant. Osmel Sousa--the Miss Venezuela Pageant Czar and National Director--chooses which contestants get which gowns. It isn't just "by luck" that Migbelis--one of the favorites to win the crown from the beginning--got a REALLY GOOD GOWN. Her's was designed by Nidal Nouaihed, a Venezuelan fashion designer, known for creating beautiful gowns for past Misses.
Score: 9.98 (out of 10)

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Miss Guarico Michelle Bertolini: Michelle was the crowned "Miss Venezuela International 2013". This 5' 11" (1.80 M) brunette beauty of Italian descent wore an ivory silk ziberline column gown that lightly flared out at the bottom. It featured intricate blue flower crystal applique on the sides, giving "hints" of a Ming Dynasty vase. The gown was designed by Gionni Straccia, one of the most famous fashion designers from Venezuela who has designed many a gown worn by Miss Venezuelas at "Miss Universe" and "Miss World" as well.
Score: 9.25

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Miss Aragua Stephanie de Zorzi: Stephanie won the coveted third spot on Thursday night and the title of  "Miss Venezuela Earth 2013". For the evening gown portion of the competition, she wore a magenta/raspberry colored silk ziberline mermaid-silhouette gown featuring princess seams, a plunging neckline and sequined waist, neckline and armhole strap details. The gown was designed by Douglas Tapia
Score: 9.30
The gown reminded me a lot of...

One of my gowns from my NIKOLAKI line--worn here (on the left) by Ali Landry at last year's TV Guide Network Academy Awards Red Carpet Show

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Miss Cojedes Wi May Nava: Wi May got the First Runner-up sash at Thursday night's "Miss Venezuela 2013". She wore an off-the-shoulder ruby red paillette gown that was designed by Caracas-based designer Giovanni Scutaro. I thought this was a perfect gown for Wi May, showing off her gorgeous shoulders and wonderfully framing that exotic face of hers. Her up-do and accessories (a pair of teardrop earrings only) were also perfect.

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Miss Nueva Esparta Gabriela Graf: Grabriela Graf--one of the favorites to win the top crown had to settle with a surprising Second Runner-up (or 5th Place title). She wore a very beautiful mint-colored fully sequined fitted gown with mini cap shoulders, and silver crystals accenting the upper torso, waist and hips. The gown was designed by Julio Mora.
Score: 9.72

Rest of the Top Ten in Evening Gown:
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Miss Barinas Yaro Serpa: Yaro wore a gown from Venezuelan designer Nidal Nouaihed, who also created the winner's gown. Whereas I loved that gown, I wasn't so much a fan of this one for "Miss Barinas". The side slit was so high that when she walked, you could actually see her "panties" as they say. It was also too loose in the side front area. I also thought her too-high "Drag Queen" platform pumps were distracting.
Score: 8.10

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Miss Distrito Capital Andrea Lira: The beautiful Andrea wore an off-the-shoulder, completely sequined gown in a mermaid silhouette from Venezuelan designer Georgia Reyes. I liked the gown; it was impacting and fit her well. The only problem I had is with the styling: I would have done without the choker. That made the entire look too 1990s.
Score: 9.10

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Miss Lara Maria Laura Verde: Designer Julio Mora created this golden-colored gown that featured a completely sequined bodice with a heavily jeweled neck piece and sides. The bottom part of the dress had double side front slits. The double side front slit detail could have gone very badly and two seconds away from HOOCHIE...but it actually worked for me. She looked sexy and Gladiator Godess-like.
Score: 9.18

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Miss Sucre Roxanna Maruffo: Roxanna wore one of the most impacting--and unusual gowns of the night, an ivory mock-neck, long sleeved silk crepe fitted gown with a nude illusion back. The "star" of the gown were the hundreds--if not thousands--of teardrop crystals forming chains that went from the arms across the back. The gown was designed by Hugo Espina. At first glance when Roxanna came onto the stage, I thought "Oh No She Didin't!!", this is a gown that I could have seen Diana Ross wear twenty years ago--as well as a Dina Ross impersonator/Drag Queen in Las Vegas. It's pretty fabulous and I give her--and the designer points--for not holding anything back!
Score: 9.35
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Miss Yaracuy Alicia Dolanyi: Alicia wore a golden and ivory metallic and jeweled gown designed by Alejandro Fajardo. The gown featured a plunging neckline, side front slit and mini cap shoulder accents. While I understand the point of doing such a stage-impacting gown (so the audience seated in the nose-bleed sections could still see her!), on TV, it looked like a heavy, clunky dress.
Score: 8.70

Here my "Nick Honorable Mentions" in Best Evening Gowns from last week's "Miss Venezuela 2013" Pageant:
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Miss Zulia Everliany Ontiveros: Nidal Nouaihed created this FABULOUS gown. It was in my TOP TWO of BEST GOWNS hand down! This one-shoulder ivory silk ziberline gown with gold and silver sequin detail featured an organza back full cascading gown that definitely brought the Drama with a Capital "D". Bellisimo. This gown definitely reminded me of the incredible gowns of the past from Venezuelan Couturier Guy Melliet or early Angel Sanchez. Simply Fabulous.
Score: 9.98

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Miss Merida Leslie Barrera: Leslie wore an ivory silk crepe column gown with silver laser-cut acrylic "mirrored" accents designed by Gionni Straccia. This was also one of my top favorite gowns. It was modern, effortless and still dramatic. Very chic.
Score: 9.78

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Miss Amazonas Deborah Menicucci: This was the first gown that came out in the "Miss Venezuela 2013" Pageant and it ended up being one of my favorites among all the 26 dresses and therefore, I had to give it a "Nick Honorable Mention". The strapless silk ziberline gown was completely covered in oversized paillettes in a circular motif. The entire design--from silhouette to the fab crystals, made for an incredible effect on stage.
Score: 9.88

Now, after all these fabulous gowns, I had to give a mention to the "Ayyyy Mija!!" of the bunch:
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Miss Falcon Marie Claire Arcila: Gurl!! Or as we say in Spanish "Mija!!" This dress was TOO MUCHEY. It looked like a costume from "the Hunger Games" and one that may have been rejected. I appreciate all the work that probably went into this dress but it's just too costume-y and I haven't even begun to discuss thouse puffy 1980s "Dynasty"/Nolan Miller-like sleeves and shoulders...Ayyy Mija, indeed.
Score: 7.00

During the "Miss Venezuela 2013" Pageant, there were "Best Fashion Designer" Awards--these went to...

Gionni Straccia

Hugo Espina

 Nidal Nouaihed (with Miss Venezuela National Director Osmel Sousa in the center)
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Felicitaciones and Congratulations to the new "Miss Venezuela" and her Runners-up!!

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