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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2014 Gown Portraits: The Good Gowns!

Good Gowns: Miss Universe 2014 contestants--Clockwise from top: Philippines, Korea, Venezuela and Colombia--Miss Universe 2014 Evening Gown Portraits

It's Miss Universe Evening Gown Time again!!! The Miss Universe 2014 beauty pageant is happening right now in Doral Florida. 88 contestants from all over the world are competing for the coveted crown. The Finals will be televised on NBC on January 25th. The Evening Gown Portraits were just published on the website which means...time to discuss the gowns!

From seeing the photos--and gowns--it's an obvious mix of contestants who borrowed some of those Sherri Hill (a sponsor of "Miss Universe") dresses from the Miss Universe Wardrobe Department and contestants who wore what they brought. Also, as any seasoned pageant-watcher knows, these gowns don't necessarily reflect what the contestants will wear for the all-important preliminaries and/or the Finals. Nevertheless, let's Talk Gowns--Here were some of my Favorites and don't worry, following this, I'll be doing the "Uh Oh!" List...

The Good:
Venezuela Migbelis Castellanos: Miss Universe Venezuela wore this red gown designed by Venezuelan pageant designer Gionni Straccia. It's one of my favorite gowns from this year's Miss Universe Evening Gown portraits. This strapless gown features a drop waist, "mermaid lite" silhouette and the Gionni Straccia signature jeweled sequins that has made his gowns coveted by any pageant girl who can afford them! I like the simple and elegant shape, lack of tacky-licious elements and the fact that it fits nice and is the correct length and I don't see those tacky platform stripper pumps! Muy Bueno!

Colombia Paulina Vega: This gown is simply superb. The golden\nude sequined bias-cut dress is perfect for an A-List Hollywood actress at any top awards show. Paulina looks every bit a STAR in this style which features a plunging neckline and delicate shoulder-grazing crystal straps. her modern side-swept hair and "nude" makeup looks fresh and on-trend--she's the opposite of "Pageant Betty" and I LIKEY!

Switzerland Zoe Metthez: I love this nude/blush sequined gown worn by Miss Universe Switzerland. The dress has a heavily jeweled bodice with silver mirrored sequins that are then hand sewn sparingly throughout the gown. The dress fits beautifully and is impacting enough to make the perfect gown statement.

USA Nia Sanchez: Miss USA wore this ivory heavy applique lace mermaid-shaped gown for the Miss Universe Evening Gown Portrait. I think this was a nice choice for Nia; the white looks great against her skin and the style hits all the right notes of sexy (the fit, the open back) and covered up (the long sleeves).

Germany Josefin Donat: This gown on Miss Universe Germany is ethereal, Cleopatra-like and makes Josefin look like a Pageant Angel. I love the flowy skirt and the gold trim at the waist and neck. I just wish the bodice was draped or had chiffon gathering; that would make it look more expensive and not so off-the-rack.

Korea Ye Bin Yoo: Well done Miss Universe Korea! I love the midnight blue color, the modern asymmetrical neckline style and subtle draping. It's one of the most SUPER Chic dresses in these Miss Universe Evening Gown Portraits.

Kenya Gaylyne Ayugi: First off, I'm loving Gaylyne and her mini afro; she's giving me Lupita Nyong'o hair fabulousness! In addition, I'm also loving this ivory halter column gown on her. The dress is elegant, fits nice, is to the floor (no big clunky platform shoes showing, thank you very much!), and has slight elements of something one would see from an Atelier Versace Couture collection (the Art Deco-like silver sequin work).

Argentina Valentina Ferrer: I really like this gold sequined gown on Miss Universe Argentina. I think it fits nice, the style is sexy yet red carpet fab, I love the front covered up and the mini cap sleeves and small dramatic train. The fit of the gown is also very good; Valentina made a perfect style choice in wearing this gown....she should NEVER take it off!

Egypt Lara Debbane: For me, Lara wore one of the best gowns in these Miss Universe 2014 Evening Gown portraits. The gown is pretty stunning; I love the sequin/sheer panels and the way they are placed throughout the gown. I also appreciate the fact that there is a nude-colored dress underneath that hits mid-thigh to keep it CLASSY.  Very good Miss Universe Egypt!

Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa: Mary Jean looks almost too Pageant Perfect in this wine red velvet strapless gown. It's a nice gown with expensive sequin detail at the bustier and therefore it's here in my "Good" list. I just think that the Sweetheart neckline makes it a little too "Pageant Betty 1998" and the too-many-accessories doesn't help. Part of me just wishes she would take style tips from her Miss World Philippines counterpart Valerie Weigmann and the gown she wore at last month's Miss World.

Bahamas Tomii Culmer: While I realize that this is probably an off-the-rack Sherri Hill gown, it's one of the best. The violet blue color looks amazing on Tomii and the fit and dramatic ball gown style is elegant and fab as well. I also love her styling and hair; she looks like a movie star!

Indonesia Elvira Devinamira: I LOVE this gown--the gold exaggerated paillettes pack such a punch that I can only imagine this gown on stage with the lights hitting it: OMG! What I don't love are those gold too-stacked heels!!! Seeing that almost ruins it for me. So...two things, the dress is too short and I don't want to see those platforms, and maybe change the shoes to gold strappy NON PLATFORM heels. Pronto!

Great Britain Grace Levy: This is a very pretty gown on Miss Universe Great Britain. I think it's one of those gowns that can be very impacting on stage and as you can see, looks wonderful on the super-tall Grace (she's almost six feet tall!). I love that the gown is the right length (notice she's NOT wearing Stripper Platform Pumps!), and the sequin-over-nude detail with the solid white crepe is a great design detail. This could have gone "Figure Skating Costume-y" but in fact, it went the opposite, into high end gown category.

Mexico Josselyn Garciglia: Several things here--this is A LOT of gown. But I like it! I love the salmon pink color and sequined applique. It's dramatic sweep and train might be a little too-mucheey but for me, it still kind of works! And I have to give Josselyn credit for not over-accessorizing and just keeping it simple by only wearing earrings.

Russia Yulia Alipova: Speaking of A LOT--Exhibit A: Miss Russia. One word: WOW. And it's Elie Saab Haute Couture from his Fall 2014 collection! This gown is truly a work of Couture art! And probably cost about $175,000. Not sure if she actually ordered it and bought it, or she may have a very. very rich Russian Arms Dealer boyfriend who did! Or she pulled lots of strings to borrow it from the Elie Saab Press Office...whatever she did, I'm glad! The dramatic ball gown shape, the incredible print, the hand-placed strawberry-colored flower sequin appliques on the bodice and torso area...this gown is one of those dresses that can SHUT IT DOWN once she steps on stage. I just want Yulia to be picked as one of the Top 15 semifinalists just so I can see her wear this gown! SHUT IT DOWN YULIA!!! Please!!!

Puerto Rico Gabriela Berrios: I am sure this is another gown that many people will either LOVE or HATE (just like Miss Russia's). When I first saw the photo--and gown--I was like "Ummm, well...not-so-sure" and then after looking at it more, I began to like it. I love the apple green color of the column under-gown and I also like the horsehair netting over-skirt. It's an unusual design that could work on the runways (it's very Carolina Herrera-like) but it will be interesting if it can work at Miss Universe. I'm hoping it does!

Slovak Republic Silvia Prochadzkova: Miss Universe Slovak Republic is the epitome of a Mermaid Queen in this strapless white gown. The shape is good, the fabric texture adds a bit of dimension to this rather basic gown, the length is right as well as fit. I'm not a fan of the Sweetheart neckline (too "Pageant 101") and showcases the "sisters" a bit too much, but Silvia looks sweet and quite pretty in this.

South Africa Ziphonzakhe Zokufa: Ziphonzakhe looks very pretty in this gown--especially in this fuchsia pink color. the gown also has silver sequin torso/bodice detail that gives it a great "three-quarter shot". The shape and fabrication of the gown are also great. I just wish the gown was 3 inches longer in the front so I wouldn't have to see the silver peeptoe heels.

Spain Desiree Cordero: This is one of those gowns that look amazing and very impacting in a photo (check out that dramatic and very sweeping train!), but it will be interesting (if she wears it at the Preliminary Competition or the Finals) how it moves onstage. I like the gunmetal gray/blue color and sequin panels of this gown and it reminds me of something I would see from an Atelier Versace Couture collection. I only question the excessiveness of that sweeping train.

Jamaica Kaci Fennell: The last gown I want to put here in my "Good" list is this one worn by Miss Universe Jamaica. Although there is A LOT to this gown, the elements all somewhat work and go together. I can totally see someone like Halle Berry wearing a similar style to a big awards show.

**NEXT: The "Uh OH!" Gowns from the Miss Universe 2014 Evening Gown Portraits!!**

2 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2014 Gown Portraits: The Good Gowns!"

william said...

Russia indeed wore Elie Saab Fall /Winter 2014-2015 Haute Couture collection. That's insane, that gown is a pure art.

nic.zar said...

Re: Russia... great runway dress... would be a fantastic choice for the opening night gala of the Metropolitan Opera... but not so for a pageant.