Saturday, December 28, 2013

 Best in Beauty Pageant Gown? Miss Zulia Everliany Ontiveros at Miss Venezuela 2013 (left) and Miss Puerto Rico Monic Perez at Miss Universe 2013
(Left Photo Courtesy of

Finally...It's time for my End-of-the-Year Beauty Pageant Gown Wrap-Up! As it has become tradition here, I am recapping the Best Beauty Pageant Gowns (in my eyes) of this past year. There were lots of gowns that caught my attention in a positive manner--whether it was for their DRAMA appeal, having a bit of that RED CARPET GLAMOUR aspect, or just looking ON TREND, RUNWAY FAB and FITTING CORRECTLY, these gowns--and the women who wore them--ended up here in my Best Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2013. I am dividing the Gallery into "Pageant Sections" (keep reading and you'll see what I mean). And I am sure I might have missed some but I had only so much space here and well, there are 32 dresses/examples here so I think I pretty much covered it--at least for me! So, here we go...

Miss Venezuela 2013: Naturally, I have to begin with the Miss Venezuela Pageant. This pageant is always THE LEADER when it comes to giving EVENING GOWN COUTURE in its national beauty pageant. And this past year (in October) the pageant did not disappoint when it came to the evening gowns featured. Here were my favorites:

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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 one of my top favorite gowns. It was modern, effortless and still dramatic. Very chic. The gown--and designer--also won one of the pageant's "Best Evening Gown Awards".

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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 gown was designed by Nidal Nouaihed.

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Miss Guarico Michelle Bertolini: Michelle was 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.

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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 was 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 Diana Ross impersonator/Drag Queen in Las Vegas. It's pretty fabulous and I give her--and the designer--points, for not holding anything back.

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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. The strapless silk ziberline gown was completely covered in oversized paillettes in a circular motif. The entire design, from the silhouette to the fab crystals, made for an incredible effect on stage.

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Miss Nueva Esparta Gabriela Graf: Grabriela Graf 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.

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Miss Zulia Everliany Ontiveros: Nidal Nouaihed created this FABULOUS gown. It was in my TOP TWO of BEST GOWNS hands down of the pageant and therefore my End of The Year Best Beauty Pageant Gown post. This one-shoulder ivory silk ziberline gown with gold and silver sequin detail featured an organza back full cascading gown 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.

Miss Universe 2013: I loved both of the gowns the eventual winner--Miss Venezuela Maria Gabriela Isler--wore for the Preliminaries and Finals--and there were several others worthy enough to make this "Best of 2013" List:

Miss Venezuela Maria Gabriela Isler: "Molly" Maria Gabriela Isler--the eventual winner of "Miss Universe 2013"--wore a silver and nude sequined gown with sleeves (left photo) by Alejandro Fajardo for the Final telecast (as well the Miss Universe Website Evening Gown Photos). She looked perfect. It was impacting, classic and yes, had stage appeal. Enough to help her get the top crown. But this was not the gown she was supposed to wear.

During the very important Preliminaries (above photo), she wore a stunning silk ziberline and Swarovski-crystal Gionni Straccia off-the-shoulder gown. During her walk in front of the judges, she could barely make it down the stairs in (it weighed 15 kilos and somehow, she didn't practice moving in it) and when it came time for her to have "her moment", she failed--in that gown. I suggested she have the Miss Universe Wardrobe Department create a center back slit in it but I guess she figured that there was no time for that and that she should just wear the gown she wore for the website photo.

Miss Ukraine Olga Storozhenko: Olga looked radiant and absolutely a floating goddess in this gown. The silver sequin beaded neckline is stunning and the shirring/pleated torso draping is fab and all that chiffon "drama" is exquisite.

Miss India Manasi Moghe: I liked this salmon pink sequins-and-feathered gown when she wore it during the Preliminaries and I also liked it when she reached the Top Ten. And now, this gown is here in my "Best Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2013" List.

Miss Spain Patricia Gonzalez: I placed Patricia as one of my "Top Three" for her Evening Gown for the Miss Universe 2013 Pageant because she looked beautiful, her gown was very pretty and just perfect. The silver and ivory sequined gown with white tulle "mermaid" godets sculpted her figure, made her look like a princess and yes, worthy of (almost) getting the top crown.

Miss Philippines Ariella Arida:  I loved Ariella's bright neon yellow/chartreuse gown from Colombian couturier Alfredo Barraza. The gown was strapless and featured seaming that went from very fitted to flared. There were also crystals that accented the torso area. It was elegant and looked fabulous against her skin tone.

Miss Israel Yityish Aynaw: Simply perfect. A caviar-beaded ivory gown. Simple, great fit and perfect for her. It's not Couture-directional but THANK GOODNESS, it's not "Pageant Barbie" tacky either. Sublime.

Miss Chile Maria Jesus Matthei: One of my favorite gowns of all the Miss Universe 2013 Evening Gown Portraits. This salmon pink colored chiffon gown with copper sequined neck-piece, waistband and shirred bodice is a stunner; very red carpet, very chic.

Miss Indonesia Whulandary Herman: Love this red crepe gown with applique and nude illusion top section and fitted waist. It fits her beautifully and looks perfect for Whulandary. One of the best of the Miss Universe 2013 Evening Gown Portraits.

Miss Jamaica Kerrie Baylis: Now this is a GOWN! Mermaid-shaped black sequined applique with feathered bottom. It's a lot works. Diva Fab for sure.
Miss Bahamas Lexi Wilson: Lexi wore a gorgeous bubblegum pink chiffon gown with a dramatic back cape and front keyhole and slit detail for the Preliminaries (she did not make it to the Semi-Finalist round). She looked SPECTACULAR, and PS: her body is OUT OF CONTROL! Loved this gown.

Miss Colombia Lucia Aldana: Lucia went the "Grecian Goddess" route with this very floaty white chiffon gown with sequined trim midriff/waist detail. She looked muy bella in this and I especially liked the shoulder "falls" of chiffon (very dramatic) and the "covered-up" center front slit. This was one of my favorite "beauty pageant" gowns of 2013.

Miss Haiti Mondiana Pierre: One word--WOW! Mondiana looked so Couture Fashion Week in this black and silver creation, I was LIVING for it! The dress was created beautifully and she worked it onstage! If there is any criticism, I just wished that it was strapless. But this is a very minor critique. C'est Superb.

Miss Puerto Rico Monic Perez: My Best Evening Gown of the Miss Universe 2013 Pageant Prize goes to Monic Perez Miss Puerto Rico for this strapless chartreuse-colored gown from fashion designer Harry Robles...The gown was EXQUISITE featuring horizontal pleated body and side volants/cascade ruffles with hand-sewn sequins. It was a big surprise that both "Miss Philippines" and "Miss Puerto Rico" wore the same colored gown for the "2013 Miss Universe Preliminaries" but Monic's gown definitely WON! So much so, that it was my TOP Favorite.

Miss World 2013: This year's Miss World did not offer many options for very good evening gowns but there were two standouts:
Miss Cote D'Ivoire Aissata Ezzedine: One word--WOW! This multicolored sequined strapless gown is one of my FAVORITES of the Miss World 2013 pageant; it was spectacular! How this gorgeous woman did not end up in the Top 20...or Top 10, if not the Final 5, is beyond me.

Miss World 2013 Megan Young Miss Philippines: Megan looked resplendent in her light rose-pink mermaid style gown in tulle with sequin applique. The gown was designed by Filipino designer Francis Libiran, who had a stint on America's Next Top Model and in fact Tyra has worn one of his designs. The gown was one of the best of the night; it fit perfectly, looked expensive and well made and yes, all that she was missing was the crown. Oh, and yes, she got it!

Miss USA 2013: Below are my favorite "Gown Moments" from this year's Miss USA 2013 Pageant--from the website's Evening Gown Portraits and Final Telecast:
 Miss Michigan USA 2013 Jaclyn Schultz--LOVE this gown on Miss Michigan USA Jaclyn Schultz. She looks fact UBER SEXY. And notice: not ONE SLIT or too-deep plunging neckline. I think she is right on trend with the nude under-gown with applique. Everything about this is right--from the hair to the nude pumps.

 Miss Minnesota USA 2013 Danielle Hooper--I think this is quite a stunning gown; a two-piece strapless bustier with attached peplum and fitted-to-flare floor length skirt, all in lipstick red. The star is the attached oversized jeweled neckline.

Miss Louisiana USA 2013 Kristen Girault--This gown was designed by Venezuelan fashion designer Gionni Straccia. Kristen looks beautiful in this gown. LOVE the fit, silhouette and the gold and silver sequined details; a VERY GOOD GOWN. Felicitaciones Gionni!

Miss Texas USA Ali Nugent: Ali wore on my favorite gowns of the Miss USA 2013 pageant. It was a red fitted crepe gown with a plunging neckline, sheer front panel, and featuring oversized silver and mirrored paillettes. It was designed by Venezuelan fashion designer Gionni Straccia.

Miss Alabama USA Mary-Margaret McCord: I LOVED this gown that 1st Runner-Up and almost Miss USA 2013, Miss Alabama USA wore. It was a strapless mermaid shaped dress, UBER fitted to an 1/8 of an inch of her teeny-tiny figure, with layers upon layers of gathered and fan-pleated organza at the bottom. It was dramatic and Pageant Fab. An almost "10" in my book. She also accessorized it perfectly with Emerald Green crystal drop earrings.

Miss Colombia Universe 2013: This past month was the Señorita Colombia 2013 Pageant--also known as Miss Universe Colombia--the winner wore the best gown hands down:

Miss Atlantico--and eventual Señorita Colombia 2013 Paulina Vega Dieppa--the eventual winner got the highest gown competition score of 9.9 wearing this Alfredo Barraza-designed gown. The gown was a nude-backed column dress featuring jeweled sequins in a diagonal pattern, a plunging neckline and shoulder "hanging" arm accent. It was THE PERFECT GOWN! It fit Paulina beautifully, showed off her figure and the styling--including side-swept hair and only earrings as accessories were on-point. I would have also give her a 9.9.

Miss Kosovo Universe 2013: This year's Miss Kosovo Universe 2013 winner was absolutely stunning and wore a beautiful gown. Unfortunately, she didn't get to attend the Miss Universe 2013 pageant since Russia (site of the pageant) does not recognize Kosovo as an independent nation. But I still loved her gown:

Mirjeta Shala Miss Universe Kosovo 2013: the six foot tall model-like Mirjeta wore a mermaid-shaped ivory tulle and lace-and-sequined applique gown with a high neck and drop shoulders. She looked gorgeous and Audrey Hepburn-like.

Miss Philippines World 2013: Finally, I want to highlight two gowns from this year's Miss Philippines World Pageant here in my End-of-the-Year Best Of list:

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Karla Patricia Alas: I LOVED this gown worn by Karla Patricia Alas for the Miss Philippines World 2013 Pageant. The gown was very "Miss Venezuela"/Gionni Straccia (especially the neck jeweled detail). The fit and silhouette were very COUTURE. I'm sure if one looked up close, this gown is probably a Masterpiece in Gown-Making. Very dramatic and very good.

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Megan Young: The actual winner of the pageant--Megan (who then became Miss World 2013)--wore  this royal blue silver sequined gown with a satin waistband. The gown fit beautifully; she looked beautiful; it was all flawless.

***Up Next: The "Uh Oh!/Ayy Mija" Worst Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2013 List!


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