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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Venezuela 2014 Finals Evening Gowns RECAP

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La Mas Bella: Mariana Jimenez, "Miss Venezuela 2014"--Miss Venezuela 2014 Finals

This past Thursday, the 62nd annual "Miss Venezuela" pageant took place. For years, it had been at the massive Poliedro de Caracas--the Caracas Polyhedron Arena--which can seat up to 20,000 (it had also been held in other venues, but this was the pageant's usual "home"). But (according to rumor) as a result of tough economic times in the country, this year's beauty pageant was downsized to the much, much, much smaller Estudio 1 of Venevision--one of Venezuela's largest TV networks.

There was a lot of speculation before the pageant aired whether or not the contestants would even have enough makeup to wear since many international news outlets were announcing the fact that good makeup was a difficult find in Venezuela (times are a tough there darlings--well, at least for the lower-and-middle classes). But yes, the pageant organizers found enough makeup, hair spray and Couture-worthy fabric to create gowns--and as they say..."The Show Must Go On!".

Put That Crown On Me: "Miss Venezuela 2013" Migbelis Castellanos crowns "Miss Venezuela 2014" Mariana Jimenez--Miss Venezuela 2014 Finals

If you know anything about beauty pageant--and especially, international beauty pageants--you know that the "Miss Venezuela" is EVERYTHING!! So many of its winners have gone on to win Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Earth, etc. so essentially, if you are into beauty pageants, the "Miss Venezuela" is like the "Golden Globe Awards" of international pageants.

 Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Guarico--and eventual "Miss Venezuela 2014"--Mariana Jimenez

Butterfly Queen: This year's winner was 5' 11"-tall Mariana Coromoto Jimenez, who represented the state of Guarico--Miss Venezuela 2014 Finals Swimsuit Competition 

Photos Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
The Top Two: (L to R) Miss Anzoategui Edymar Martinez and Miss Guarico Mariana Jimenez--Miss Venezuela 2014 Finals

The 20-year-old beauty will now have to wait out a year--if not more--to compete in the "Miss Universe 2015" (or will it be "Miss Universe 2016"?) pageant. This year's "Miss Universe is actually taking place in January of NEXT YEAR, who knows when the next one will be.
So...let's get to the important stuff: the GOWNS!!!! First, let's quickly discuss the two female co-host/announcers and their over-the-top ball gowns:

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net

Mariangel Ruiz: Mariangel was the 1st Runner-Up to Miss Universe 2003 as "Miss Venezuela, and now she has become one of the top TV hosts/anchors for Venevision. Her gown--designed by fashion designer Nidal Nouaihed was beautiful but definitely A LOT, especially for the small Estudio 1 Venevision stage. If the pageant had taken place in the Poliedro, this might have come off much better. However, in the smaller stage, it looked overwhelming and frankly too mucheeey. But, it was a gorgeous, very Couture-worthy gown. And Mariangel looked beautiful.

                                              Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net

Gabriela Isler "Miss Universe 2013": Gabriela's black and royal blue ziberline strapless gown with feathers was designed by Gionni Straccia. I loved this gown, it's simplicity and semi-modern stylings. At first, I thought the feathers weren't necessary but they kind of grew on me.  Yes, it was a BIG GOWN for such a small stage but it did not seem as overwhelming as Mariangel's gown.

And Now...
                                            Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net

The Evening Gowns Review--with my "Gown Scores"--of some of my Favorites and the "Uh Oh's"...
I want to begin with The "Muy Bueno" and with the Winner, Mariana Jimenez "Miss Guarico" and her gown:
 Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Guarico Mariana Jimenez (who eventually won the top crown): she wore a dusty rose colored silk gazar gown with very intricate sequin and applique beading from Venezuelan designer Raenrra. The gown, at first seemed a bit on the "Vintage" feel; it reminded me of an "Alta Moda" gown that would have been worn by the Queen of Spain, like in 1962. But as the pageant continued, I grew to appreciate it's "old school" quality. Mariana looked very regal but it did "age" her a little bit, even with the scoop neckline, there was ZERO sex appeal. That will definitely change with what she chooses for competing in the "Miss Universe" pageant. Whenever that will be. 
Gown Score: 9.2  

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Anzoategui Edymar Martinez: Edymar got the second-place title of "Miss Venezuela International". She was almost-Miss Venezuela, and in fact, she was THE favorite to win the top crown (well, she almost got it!). Edimar's gown was a blush colored sequined gown from Venezuelan designer Hugo Espina featuring over 17,000 hand-sewn crystals. Whoever had to count those: bless your heart! The gown was gorgeous, impacting and very Red Carpet on-trend (look at that back!). If she never wears this again, she should give it to the actual Miss Venezuela to wear for the Miss Universe pageant!
Gown Score: 9.7


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Amazonas Maira Alexandra Rodriguez: Maira got the third place title as "Miss Earth Venezuela". Her one shoulder ivory silk crepe and tulle gown was from designer Julio Mora. I liked the gown and especially the crystals strategically strewn throughout the gown's neckline, sleeve, and side. The only thing that bothered me were those over-the-op crystal-encrusted platform heels: SO not necessary. They actually cheapened the entire look.
Gown Score: 9.0

                                                 Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Apure Skarliz Coa: Skarliz was one of my favorite contestants (so gorgeous!) and this gown was actually also one of my faves. It was designed by Valentina CedeƱoThe dress featured a high neck column design with a sheer crystal-encrusted center front and neck section.It was modern and sexy. The gown also had a back organza godet/train which, frankly, it didn't need. It's called "design editing".
Gown Score: 9.4


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Distrito Capital  Lorena Santos: Lorena's white gown with scalloped crystal detail was deigned by Gionni Straccia; I thought it was one of the best gowns of the night. It was simple (for "Miss Venezuela"!), fit her well and was outstanding in its design.
Gown Score: 9.6


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Zulia Erika Pinto: Another Gionni Straccia gown I liked was "Miss Zulia". This ivory gown with sequin paillette embellishment was modern and impacting. The nude illusion PERFECTLY matched her skin color (note to all those Figure Skating Costume Designers who cannot get it right: it can be done!)
Gown Score: 9.4


                                                  Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Falcon Jennifer Saa: 6' 1" tall model Jennifer was one of my favorites of the night; she was Model Perfection, had the air of "I'm Above You!" (she's six foot one!) and works the runway like no other!  She was picked as one of the Top Ten but didn't proceed from there. Let's just say that my advice is that she needs to take a one-way flight to Milan Italy and never look back! But moving on--her mint green-and-silver sequined gown with white cape was designed by Alejandro Fajardo. The gown itself was AMAZING and I don't think it needed the sequined cape. If anything, the cape would have been fine but just white silk chiffon--plain and no sequins. Also, kudos to Jennifer for wearing strappy heels with NO platforms. Those clunky platform shoes that most of the contestants wore are BEYOND BAD, distracting and obviously difficult to walk in for most of the ladies.
Gown Score: 9.4


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Carabobo Margreth Isava: I thought Margreth's blush with silver crystals strapless gown was a STUNNER; one of the better ones of the night. The gown was designed by Alejandro Fajardo and looked well-made and very expensive and also fit her well. During the Evening gown competition, she had a bit of trouble walking which seemed odd since the gown had a center front slit; she should have just tried and kick that slit open while she walked.
Gown score: 9.5 


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Cojedes Isabella Arriaga: Isabella's gown was designed by Alejandro Fajardo. I thought it was a very dramatic, red carpet-worthy gown. Something I can see Sofia Vergara wearing at a big awards event. The dress had a semi-mermaid silhouette and was white and gold panels with crystals throughout. Poor Isabella had A LOT of trouble walking in this gown as for some reason, the sides were buckling under and getting caught with her shoes and impeding her walk. She kept trying to kick the darn train but to no avail.
Gown Score: 9.4


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Miranda Maria Jose Hernandez: This ivory silk crepe with nude illusion gown by designer Nidal Nouaihed was gorgeous. I loved the simple column silhouette, the lack of train (so "fresh" considering most of the other gowns had way too long trains), and waist defining band and shoulder accents. The pearl and crystal work was EXQUISITE. This illusion and crystal style could have gone very "Figure Skating Costume" but it did not; it looked very Couture!
Gown Score: 9.6


Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Costa Oriental Maria Jose Marcano: Designer Nidal Nouaihed also designed this white gown worn by Maria Jose. I liked the style--it was sweet, pageant perfect and regal. The multi-jeweled sequin work was also outstanding, shaping her torso. The top section really framed her beautiful face. If there was any critique, it would be that not only did the gown frame her face, it also "SERVED UP" her "sisters" and in a way that was a bit distracting. It was like "here they are!!".
Gown score: 9.1

                                              Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Sucre Yraima Rojas: Yraima's all white gown was designed by Hugo Espina. The gown was simple and clean in the front...and then there was a "party" in the back. It was a bit 80's in it's back over-the-top detail but I did appreciate the fabulous draping of the bow. I can see this gown being worn by one of these beauties in an international pageant but possibly without the "party" in the back. It's stands alone elegantly without it.
Gown Score: 9.2

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Portuguesa Astrid Moller: Astrid's violet colored chiffon gown was designed by Alejandro Ramirez. This gown was PERFECT for Astrid and her exotic looks. It screamed ""A Thousand and One Nights". I loved its drama, sexiness (but not Hoochie!) and especially the turquoise colored jewel stones.
Gown Score: 9.5

And Now...The "Ayyy Mija!!" Gowns:
Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Aragua Georgina Bachour: Four words--Mother of the Bride. Not sure why and how the beautiful Georgina got stuck with this baby blue dowdy gown but it wasn't fair. Maybe she rubbed Osmel Sousa (Miss Venezuela National Director) the wrong way...who knows? But this gown aged her and lacked any sex appeal. 
Gown Score: 7.3 

 Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Barinas Stefany Merlin: When she first stepped onstage, I loudly said "Alright GURL!! get it!". but then I realized that's also what I say when I see a FABULOUS Drag Queen! This gown was A LOT--the Halloween orange color, the Versace-like gold banding, the sequined column, the unnecessary back chiffon attached overskirt and then, her "sisters" are on FULL DISPLAY as if to say "Gracias Plastic Surgeon for a great job!". File under "Waaaay Too Mucheeey!" and two minutes from Tacky-Licious.
Gown Score: 7.4

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Ines Maria Calero "Miss Venezuela 1987" at Miss Universe pageant

Miss Delta Amacuro Nitya Ardila: Ladies and Gentlemen, the EIGHTIES are BAAACK!!! Take a look at this strapless pink gown with sequin applique, and digitally cut-out overskirt. Now, I appreciate the obvious "homage" to a Piera Ferrari-designed gown worn by "Miss Venezuela 1987" Ines Maria Calero...but this 2014 version was still too close to its 80's cousin.
Gown Score: 7.2

Photos Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Lara Julibell Alvarado: Two words: TOILET PAPER. The gown itself is quite impacting and I love the juxtaposition of the ivory with the turquoise jewels and the shoulder detail is great...but WHY the back 'falls" that immediately reminded me of toilet paper falling from the shoulders. I think that the gown didn't need them or, instead of two "falls" of that width, it should have been a fabulous dramatic chiffon back cape.
Gown Score: 8.0

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Flamenco Diva Isabel Pantoja

Miss Monagas Fabiola Briceno: When "Miss Monagas" first walked out in her red mermaid shaped gown in the "Miss Venezuela 2014" Evevning Gown competition I thought two things: Ole! and, she looks like Spanish Flamenco Diva Isabel Pantoja (above photo). The red lace applique gown was A LOT and too overwhelming. It's obvious that "More Is More" in the "Miss Venezuela" gown mantra but I just think it dated the beautiful Fabiola. On a good note: she looked like a porcelain Andalusian Doll.
Gown Score: 7.2 

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Nueva Esparta Emilia Rojas: Several things here--I actually like this gown--it's intricate, looks well made and expensive, but it's way too elaborate for the 19-year-old Emilia. But what I think is the worst part of the look for me, is her hair, makeup and styling. That updo is OUT OF CONTROL. It reminds me of what an 80's Doyenne would have had done to her hair at her Caracas Country Club Beauty Salon. She looks way too dated and old.
Gown score: 8.2

Photo Courtesy of BellezaVenezolana.net
Miss Yaracuy Edmary Pineda: When Edmary first stepped onto the stage, the camera only showed the top, and I was thinking "Oh, this could be interesting". But then, it panned to the entire gown and it quickly went into "Cleopatra Blue Bird"/National Costume territory.The feathered and muti-tiered tulle bottom half is so not necessary; she belongs in a Gay Pride Float and not the Miss Venezuela (oh, wait, maybe they're the SAME THING!!).
Gown score: 6.9

Felicitaciones and Congratulations to the new "Miss Venezuela" and her Court. Good luck at the "Miss Universe 2015"...or "Miss Universe 2016"!

1 Response to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Venezuela 2014 Finals Evening Gowns RECAP"

Dayana Rueda said...

Excelent Nick. I love your review :)