Monday, December 15, 2014
The Most Beautiful: Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss of South Africa--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Yesterday, a new Miss World was crowned. And the Winner Is...(yes, you cheated and saw the photo above!), Miss World South Africa Rolene Strauss. The 22-year-old 5' 9 1/2" (1. 77 M) tall beauty beat out 120 other women from all over the world for the coveted international beauty title.

Crowned: Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss gets her crown from her predecessor, Miss World 2013 Megan Young of the Philippines--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

The Miss World 2014 Grand Finals took place in London and the show was televised LIVE to over 100 nations in the globe. Here in the USA, E! Entertainment showed it at 7 AM West Coast time Sunday morning (yes, kids, I watched it in my pajamas!)...


Gorgeous: Rolene Strauss "Miss South Africa" is Miss World 2014--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

The new Miss World is a fourth year medical student and the daughter of a doctor and a former nurse. A cause near and dear to Strauss's heart is the Always Keeping Girls in School project that helps young women in South Africa stay in school and guide them during puberty. She used this as her "Beauty With A Purpose" Miss World campaign.

Teenage Rolene: Rolene Strauss, at age 15, competing in the 2007 Elite Model Look International in Prague, Czech Republic

Rolene was born in Volksrust, South Africa. She won the Elite Model Look South Africa competition, when she was only 15 years old and then place in the top 15 at the 2007 Elite Model Look International finals. She also competed for the Miss South Africa 2011 pageant where she placed in the top 5. She returned to compete for the Miss South Africa 2014 title and, finally, she won!

Top Three: (L to R) First Runner-Up Miss Hungary Edina Kulcsar, Miss World 2014 from South Africa Rolene Strauss, and 2nd Runner-Up Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

The Top 5 (besides South Africa) included Miss England, Miss Australia, Miss United States and Miss Hungary. The remaining contestants who made the top 11 Semifinal Round included Miss Thailand, Miss Mexico, Miss Kenya, Miss Brazil, Miss Guyana and Miss India.

The Show-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The pageant was a glitzy event featuring live performances from the UK boy band, The Vamps as well as Sky Blu. 

The Miss World 2014 Finals were hosted by TV presenter Tim Vincent and Miss World 2013 Megan Young. Both did an outstanding job, especially Megan; she's obviously a PRO for this type of work...no wonder the organization chose her. The only thing I objected to were Tim's choice of shoes. Brown? Really???? He gets a ZERO for footwear while Megan gets a TEN for her Butterfly sleeved gowns! Mabuhay!!

Besides all the beauty and glamour onstage, the show really emphasized the Miss World mantra of "Beauty With A Purpose", showing several video montages from the contestants' causes, as well as all the wonderful work done by its Chairwoman, Julia Morley. It was at times a very emotional show because of this and not necessarily because of "Who's Going To Win" emotions.

  AISHWARYA FAB: Oh, and then there was the tribute to the one-and-only Aishwarya Rai Bachachan for the 20th anniversary of her being crowned Miss World. She was ACTUALLY THERE  and went onstage with her mother, husband Abhishek Bachchan and lovely daughter Aaradhya

The Fashion Recap: Time to discuss the FASHIONS!! Let's begin with the fun National Costumes on display during the live telecast and then I'll get to THE Gowns!!

National Costumes Segment--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costumed Opening: The 121 contestants of the "Miss World 2014" wore their national costumes for the intro of the show. It was a colorful, festive and very international affair. I loved it! Notice the soon-to-be Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss who represented South Africa in her national costume in the above photo (she's right in the middle).

Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit: She may be from North Carolina but...Elizabeth did a Country-and-Western Texas dance during the live telecast, in her National Costume--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Stretch It Out: Miss World Thailand Maeya Nonthawan Thongleng (center) shows off her moves with Miss World Venezuela Debora Menicucci looking on (left)--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Can Can Beauty: Miss World France Flora Coquerel shows off her red sequined and feathered national costume--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Bollywood Queen: Miss World India Koyal Rana during the Miss World "Dances of the World" segment--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Miss World Mongolia Battsetseg Turbat--Miss World "Dances of the World" segment, Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Miss Scotland Ellie McKeating during the Miss World "Dances of the World" segment--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

The Gowns-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gown Pretty: Contestants from Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Austria, Venezuela and Tanzania in their evening gowns--standouts here are Miss World Russia Anastasia Kostenko's emerald green off-the-shoulder ball gown (stunning!) and Miss World Venezuela Debora Menicucci's feathered and sequined concoction

All 121 contestants were introduced--during Sunday's telecast of the Miss World 2014 Finals--all wearing evening gowns of their choice. The pageant has done that in the past several years (as opposed to introducing them in cocktail dresses a la Miss Universe, or in their national costumes) and I think it makes for a very glamorous display. The only comment I have is that they introduce them so quickly that the glimpses of the gowns go by so quickly, it makes it difficult to really appreciate them. Now, here on my blog, I like to comment on the gowns, of course, but obviously I cannot discuss all 121 otherwise the blog would be far too long for anyone's attention span so...I have just singled out some of the gowns to discuss...

Canary Yellow Goddess: Miss Seychelles Camilla Estico's canary yellow gown with sequined neck applique stood out for its color (of course) and interesting design. 

The Ladies in Red: Miss Turkey made quite a statement in this red sequined and tulle gown with large horsehair trim at the hem. I also LOVED Miss Indonesia's red ball gown (seen in the background on the top left).

Color and Sequins were key trends of the Miss World 2014 evening gown parade--Miss World 2014 Finals, London UK

Let's discuss some of my Faves:

Winning Gown: South Africa's Rolene Strauss in the powder pink gown she wore at the Miss World 2014 Finals. the gown was designed by Casper Designer Wear and Casper Bosman, a designer based in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The style featured an off-the-shoulder style with a horizontally gathered torso/body and multi-tiered ruffles ending in a flared "mermaid lite" silhouette. I thought this was a beautiful gown, very sweet. It worked perfectly with Rolene's figure. I also loved the styling of her side-swept hair and small drop earrings.

Miss World Philippines Valerie Weigmann: Besides Miss World South Africa's gown, I also loved the gown worn by Valerie Weigmann of the Philippines. She wore an ivory tulle and organza-based ball gown with a high bateau neckline featuring many canary yellow paillettes in a degrade pattern. The stunning gown was deigned by Michael Cinco, Filipino designer based in Dubai. This gown stood out onstage among most of the other 120 dresses. I though it was very Academy Awards red carpet gorgeous. I loved it when she wore it for the Miss World "Top Model/World Fashion Designer Dress" presentation and I loved it in the Miss World 2014 Finals.

Miss World South Sudan Awien Kuanyin-Agoth: When Awien was "presented" onstage and she came on my TV screen in this Couture-worthy creation--with the brightly printed cape/coat over a multi-tiered ivory ball gown...WOW! I think I stopped breathing; she looked regal, stunning and all against that  incredible chocolate colored skin of hers...this truly was A GOWN MOMENT at the Miss World. It took me back to one of those fantastic early Alexander McQueen and/or John Galliano for Dior Haute Couture collections. DIVA!

**UPDATE**
When I wrote my "Miss World 2014 Finals" Fashion/Gown Recap, I couldn't find info. on who had designed Miss South Sudan's fabulous gown which I LOVED...well kids, just yesterday I was contacted by the fabulous designer of Miss South Sudan Awien Kuanyin-Agoth's gown--Jennifer Akese Burney of Akese StyleLines--letting me know that she had designed it and that she was a big fan of myself and watched "Project Runway: Under The Gunn" (I was blushing and **sigh**)...

Thank you Jennifer for contacting me and for all the info. and the photos--You DESERVE ALL THE FABULOUS CREDIT!

Miss World Venezuela Debora Menicucci: Although Debora failed to place at Sunday's Miss World 2014 Finals, I still loved her evening gown. She wore a turquoise and pale blue/silver gown from Venezuelan designer Gionni Straccia. the gown featured intricate sequin detail in the torso/body, ending in a feathered bottom half using degrade effect of plumage.

Miss World Thailand Maeya Nonthawan Thongleng: Maeya won the "People's Choice" winner and therefore made it into the Semifinals round in the Top 11. Maeya looked gorgeous and Supermodel sexy in this one shoulder copper and gold colored fitted gown with sequined torso and very high side slit. She could have EASILY been one of the Victoria's Secret models walking the pre-show PINK carpet! I normally would not like such high platforms since they remind me of tacky strippers but somehow Maeya makes me give her a (shoe) pass here!

Beauty With a Purpose Final Five: I loved all the gown worn by the 5 finalists of  "Beauty With a Purpose"--from left to right: India, Kenya, Brazil, Indonesia and Guyana. My favorite one here is the red ball gown worn by Miss World Indonesia Maria Asteria Sastrayu Rahajeng, followed by Miss World Kenya Idah Nguma's gold and silver feathered and sequined gown and Miss World India Koyal Rana's shimmering lace metallic gown rounding out the top 3 in the above tableaux.

Miss World Dominican Republic Dhio Moreno Romero: Dhio made it into the Top 25 and for good reason--she was tall, stunning and had a very commanding presence. For her evening gown choice, she wore a gold and nude halter gown with gold applique-over-nude-tulle detail. I thought this was a nice gown but not so "Fashion Forward"; it was "Pageant Betty" but still looked quite nice on Dhio. Personally, I would have rather seen her in a modern Grecian Goddess silk jersey draped gold gown.

Miss World France Flora Coquerel: Flora was FIRST in terms of the points she got for the Interview portion during the pre-final "challenges"; however, she failed to make the Top 25 Quarterfinal list unfortunately. I think she looked quite pretty in this Eric Tibusch-designed gown. The dress featured a princess-seamed caviar-beaded ivory colored body that ended with godets in pale pink silk chiffon. As you can also see form the sketch, it had asymmetrical shoulder/arm detail. I thought it was a nice gown but a bit too short on Flora.

Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit: Elizabeth had a very good day on Sunday, in that she almost won the "Miss World 2014" title. Almost. She came in third. She really owned the stage with her strong presence, beautiul eyes and dark hair. She was very "USA Pageant Girl" but had that "I Care" quality that the Miss World Organization is always looking for. For the finals, she wore a red mermaid style gown from Mac Duggal, a fashion company known for making great Prom-and-Pageant dresses. The designer--Mac Duggal--was born in India but he and his company are based in Illinois, USA, right outside of Chicago. In terms of this gown on Elizabeth, I thought this was the PERFECT choice for her.

The Uh Oh!/Ayyy Mijas!:
Miss Netherlands Tatjana Maul: Two words--TOO MUCHEEY! Tatjana wore a pale pink mermaid shaped gown that was--let's be honest--TOO mermaid! And then there's the rather inexpensive looking beading and  if the sequined and multi-tulled gown wasn't enough, she felt it necessary to add a big ol' necklace and too-big earrings. I'll quote my friend, stylist Jen Rade: "Everything Can't Be Something!".

Miss World Vietnam Loan Nguyen Thi: Loan also wore a mermaid style gown--this one in red. While the shape was OK, it's the scrunched tulle--in red!--that made it look like a big ol' loofah!

Miss World Japan Hikaru Kawai and Miss World Korea Hwa-Young Song: No and No. Between Miss World Japan's feathered concoction and Miss World Korea's multi-colored applique dress (and that makeup and HAIR!), I thought I was witnessing a Drag Show in West Hollywood.

Miss World Serbia Milica Vuklis: Alright girl, we can see you are one hot, sexy contestant; I get it. Milica has a gorgeous face but why, oh why does she ruin it all with this TACKY-LICIOUS hi-lo golden colored gown. It's not the hi-lo I dislike, it's the focus on her smooshed boobs, the feathered trim at the hem (really??!!), the fact that I can see the tacky featherd trim from the inside...and yes, then there are those black and nude heels. She is one hot mess.

Miss England Carina Tyrrell: Carina placed very high at the "Miss World 2014" Finals. She was very pretty and I'm sure a very sweet woman. However, her gown and especially the overall styling was ATROCIOUS! Let's begin with the "I'm a Disney Princess" Prom Dress style of this white gown. And then, what is up with the long gloves???!!! It's not 1968 darling. She was very Retro and trust me, not in a good way.

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Congratulations to Rolene Strauss for winning the Miss Word 2014 title!! I knew she would!

Watch the Miss World 2014 Finals below:

1 comments:

Jennifer Akese Burney said...

Hi Nick,
Thank you very much Nick Verreos for making time to even read and reply my email,wow. I'm still overwhelmed with joy that I got a response form you. I have been screaming with all morning after my husband informed me you had responded. Thank you very much for the acknowledgements, updating, and recapping of Miss World South Sudan's Gown . I really really really appreciate it.;-)

Jennifer Akese Burney,
Fashion Designer

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