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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2013 National Costumes: Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa

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Europe Costume Throw-Down: Miss Switzerland vs. Miss Russia---Who took my "Best of Europe" Costume Prize?
All Photos Courtesy of MissUniverse.com

Last night was the Miss Universe 2013 National Costume Show at the Vegas Mall in Moscow Russia. All 86 contestants from all over the world showed their national costumes--some traditional, some not-so-muchey--as part of this always popular event. The Live Telecast used to open (back in the wonderful days of Bob Barker as host) with all the contestants individually introducing themselves to the world, in their national costumes and I LOVED it. Now this very festive display of "internationalism" (and spectacular costumes!) has been relegated to a short clip sandwiched between "Check out the contestants in a local mall" and "Next up, the naming of the Top Five" halfway through the telecast...

Asiana Plumage: Whose feathers were more "Costume Couture" Miss Indonesia Whulandary Herman and Miss Philippines Ariella Arida

There will be an actual announcement of the winner of Best Costume during the live telecast this coming Saturday November 9th, so at least we can look forward to that. Until then, here is Part One of my "Hot Picks" for Best Costumes from the Miss Universe 2013 National Costume Show, starting with the costumes of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa...and in a following post, I'll discuss North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean (Think Feather CRAY-CRAY!)...so let's begin:

Asia: The Top Seven
7th Place: Miss Philippines Ariella Arida--Golden sunburst pleated traditional Filipina "Butterfly Sleeve" gown featuring a heavily appliqued top and feathered hair accents. It wasn't as over-the-top as some of the other contestant's costumes but was elegant and beautiful, and I give her points for "Traditional Fantasy".

6th Place: Miss Japan Yukimi Matsuo--Yukimi wore a traditional yet very colorful kimono with a cherry blossom-covered train. A huge fan framed the entire costume--also covered with cherry blossoms. It was impacting, had eye-popping colors and prints and that back fan was quite fabulous. Give this costume to a drag queen in the NYC Gay Pride Parade and trust me, she will have HER OWN huge float!!

5th Place Miss Korea Kim Yu-mi: Loved this costume--a very colorful take on a traditional Korean Hanbok ensemble. The draping on the voluminous skirt is gorgeous, I love the mixture of colors and prints and she looks like an ABSOLUTE DOLL in this.

4th Place: Miss Vietnam Tru'o'ng Thi May--Tru'o'ng's Ao dai is so gorgeous and luxe, it was one of my favorite national costumes from the Asian beauties. The gold applique and embroidery over that sumptuous silk shantung is exquisite. And I love the golden Khan Dong headdress.

3rd Place: Miss Indonesia Whulandary Herman--One word: WOW! This costume is inspired by the traditional East Javan dance of Reog Ponegoro. The costume is a fusion of lion and peafowl elements which the dance itself symbolizes. I love the heavily jeweled headdress and those oversized peacock "feathers". Imagine running into this at an East Javan jungle!!  How do you say "FAB!" in Indonesian language?

2nd Place: Miss India Manasi Mogue--I thought Manasi's national costume for this year's Miss Universe was SUPERB! So much so that she came in a very, very, very...close second place. In other words, she almost got it for me (in my unofficial "Nick's Top Prizes for Miss Universe 2013 National Costumes"). Manasi dazzled in a bright red, orange and gold trimmed Lehenga Choli--an Indian outfit comprising of a skirt, cropped top, usually reserved for brides. The headdress was spectacular and so were the accessories. All in all, one of my Top Pick's for sure!

First Prize Goes to:
Miss China Jin Ye--Golden Dragon Couture. Impeccable. Gorgeous. Mysterious. And very, very much, representing China. This golden lace and applique gown is designed by Chinese couturier Guo Pei and if you need more reasons to understand how fabulous this gown/costume is, take a look at these images:

 Guo Pei Couture Golden Dragon gown--the National Costume for "Miss Universe China" Jin Ye
  
Europe: Top Six and Three "Oh Dear's!":
6th Place: Great Britain Amy Willerton--Amy gave you a very cheeky and sexy British royal in this get-up featuring "Elizabethan" sleeves with faux ermine trim, a high stand-up collar, a gold lame pick-up hi-lo skirt and purple coat/train. It was good enough to get her on my "Top Seven" but I wished the designers would have been really creative and taken a hint from these two looks from...

 Royal SuperFAB: Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano Spring/Summer 2004 Collection

5th Place Miss Italy Luna Voce: Luna went for a Venice Ball "Period" costume look and it was well done. I just wished the bodice was much more fitted and that she would have had the hair stylists give her a big ol' pompadour 'do. Her costume said 18th Century but her hair said 2004.

4th Place Miss Poland Paulina Krupinska--Paulina wore a white crepe column gown with red and green embroidery detail that "hinted" at one of Poland's traditional costumes/dresses worn by women. I loved it! It payed homage to her country and the colors and embroidery of her nation yet she still looked "Runway"-ready. Notice how the gown hits the floor perfectly. National Costume Ready-to-Wear Milan/Paris/NY Fashion Week.

3rd Place Miss Sweden Alexandra Friberg: Viking Fierce. Yep, that is what Miss Sweden is giving you. The costume itself is really good, dramatic and well-executed. And yes kids, she's about to CUT YOU if you mess with her and her very tall, Swedish Viking brothers! If there was a miss, it would be THE PUMPS! I just wish she would have worn some fabulous Viking boots--they could still be high and platform-y but yes, boots...not pumps from the Mall, thank you very much!

2nd Place Miss Russia Elmira Abdrazakova--Realizing that the Miss Universe pageant was taking place in her homeland, she knew that she had to "Bring It!"--or at least her National Pageant Directors did. She almost won the Top Prize for me in this Byzantine/tsarist Russian costume in a golden brocade and satin fabrication with rich-looking oversized jeweled accents. And yes, there's that fabulous headdress. A very close second place for me.

First Prize Goes To:
Miss Switzerland Dominique Rinderknecht--Dominique was the Queen of the Swiss Alps in this fantastic costume. This costume is all things fab, over-the-top yet still restrained and sexy and beauty pageant perfect. What Swiss gay came up with this design: Kudos huney, YOU ROCK! This is my "Europe National Costume" fave for this year's Miss Universe.

Now, some Europe "Oh Dear's!":
Miss Netherlands Stephanie Tency (left)--Miss Netherlands is a windmill with visions of iconic Dutch buildings all in a fan behind an ill-fitting ocean-blue stretch velvet jumpsuit  with tulips appliqued at the ankle. I get what she was going for, but unfortunately, it didn't work out. This looked cheap and "Happy Hands at Home".
Miss Germany Anne-Julia Hagen (right)--Ummm, What the HECK is that?? If there is some German reader of my blog that can explain this costume and what those golden rings are...please, be my guest and educate me. Bitte???!!

Eiffel Oh Oh: Miss France Hinarani de Longeaux-- Hinarani, who is actually from Tahiti and represented Tahiti, French Polynesia at last year's Miss France wore this "Eiffel Tower" creation as her National Costume. I understand what she was going for--mixing "can can" with La Tour Eiffel--unfortunately this looked like amateur hour at the costume shop. It could have been better and honestly, I wished she would have gone the whole Tahitian Goddess route.

Middle East--The Winner:
Miss Israel Ytyish Aynaw: Six foot tall Ethiopian-born model Ytyish wore a gorgeous white gown with gold neck detail and golden crown for her "Miss Israel" national costume. She looked fabulous and therefore, she was my top favorite of the "Middle East" contestants at the Miss Universe 2013 National Costume Show.

Africa: Top Three
3rd Place: Miss Ghana Hanniel Jamin-- Love, love, love this costume "Miss Ghana" wore--featuring traditional Ghanaian textile prints and colors. If you want to go "traditional Africa" with your "Miss Universe" national costumes...this is the costume to do it with!

2nd Place: Miss Angola Vaumara Rebelo--Oh No She Didn't! Miss Angola took the National Costume Show to a whole other level with her Carnival-Meets-Sequined Bird costume. She thinks she is at the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and I absolutely love it! I don't know how she got this from Angola to Moscow but I sure hope the airline didn't charge her extra...because it's so fabulous! But...

The First Prize Goes To:
Miss South Africa Marilyn Ramos--Marilyn wore a very colorful and fantastic costume to represent her nation of South Africa. I love the tribute to her nation's colors, tribal flags, and prints. The minute I saw this, I was like "done and done".

**NEXT UP: Part Two of my "Miss Universe 2013 National Costume Show" Review--The Best of the Americas and the Caribbean...let me warn you: LOT of FEATHERS and CRYSTALS!!!

2 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2013 National Costumes: Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa"

Golddorn said...

Well, (sadly, in this context) I am from Germany... but I really don't know what to say about this Miss Germany costume at all.
I have to admit, I didn't know what the Miss Germany of 2013 looked like at all, so when I recognized the colours of our flag in her costume I actually thought "pleeaaase, don't let THAT be the german costume!" ;)
But well... I can only assume that these rings or whatever it is have something to do with Richard Wagner and his Opera "The Ring of the Nibelung"(?)
I kind of feel the urge to apologize for this design - we're not completely without a fashion sense over here ;)

Golddorn said...

Hm, I also just remembered that in the "Nibelungenlied", the original tale on which Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung" is based upon, Kriemhild sends her brother Gunther a golden ring with 3 hairs (depending on the version it's a wolf's hair or her own) knotted to it, to warn him about the upcoming betrayal of the huns and their plans of butchering the burgundians... Maybe that's what these ... ropes (?) on the rings are supposed to hint at. After all, the "Nibelungenlied" is an old tale and considered a great german(ic) heritage - but no guarantee for that, I'm really not sure if that interpretation makes sense.
I would really like to hear some more explanations for that design though :)