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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2014 National Costumes: My Top 15 Best Costumes

 Hockey Stick Marie Antoinette, Curacao Liqueur Diva, A Virgin and a Feathered Queen--Miss Universe 2014 Costume Show--FIU Arena, Florida International University Doral/Miami Florida

The Miss Universe National Costume Show occurred on Wednesday night during the 63rd Annual Miss Universe Preliminary Competition. This is always one of the most exciting events of the Miss Universe since it's all about "QUEENING OUT!"--costume-wise. It also gets the audience going since it's the one time the contestants from all over the world are representing their countries, cultures and showing their "pride", via what some would argue outlandish, over-the-top and sometimes Tacky-licious costumes. National costumes are intended to reflect their countries and cultures. Sometimes the results are, shall we say, eye popping! And this year at the Miss Universe, was no exception. I have put together my Top 15 Favorites from all the 88 contestants. These were the ones that really got me saying "You Go Girl!"...

#1 Canada Chanel Beckenlehner: Where do I begin with this CRAY-CRAY costume?? It's so over-the-top, it's FABULOUS!!! And therefore makes my top choice. I TOTALLY get the Canada= Hockey thing and this just took it a whole other level! Normally this "Miss Canada" costume would involve a Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform but darlings, this year was going to be different:

She's got a small Stanley Cup on her head, a goalie stick, a uniform that looks as if she was playing for the "Marie Antoinette" Team, ten hockey sticks and if that wasn't enough, there was a scoreboard mounted on top of it all. Whoever designed--and created this--needs to get an award!

#2 Curacao Laurien Angelista: Laurien is THE Curacao Liqueur Queen!! For her national costume, she chose to really represent one of her island's main source of fame and pride...Curacao Liqueur. For some background on why she looks they way she looks: Curaçao is a liqueur flavored with the dried peel of the laraha citrus fruit, grown on the island of Curaçao. A non-native plant similar to an orange, the laraha developed from the sweet Valencia orange transplanted by Spanish explorers. I love the "Chiquita Banana"/Carmen Miranda costume and the inclusion of the leraha citrus and of course, the blue Curacao liqueur bottle. It's kitschy, fabulous and shows (a bit) of national pride. PS: Curacao Liqueur needs to pay the designer A LOT of money and use this costume in their next ad campaign!

#3 Dominican Republic Kimberly Castillo: Kimberly chose to don this costume above representing the Virgen de la Altagracia/Our Lady of Altagracia. This virgin is the Protective and Spiritual Mother of the Dominican Republic. When I saw her, I thought she looked quite fabulous and loved the entire effect, the colors and even her serene demeanor. I thought it made perfect sense for Miss Dominican Republic to represent La Virgen in her national costume...

Well, kids it has caused quite a sensation back in her Caribbean nation--and not in a good way. There have been lots of polarizing comments on the web (and back in her country) regarding how appropriate (or inappropriate) it was for her to don such a get-up and represent La Virgen in costume form. My opinion is that those people need to get over it. I think she looks FABULOSA!

#4 Argentina Valentina Ferrer: Argentina is not necessarily known as the Carnival Capital of the World--leave that to Brazil. However, this year Miss Universe Argentina chose to give "Argentina Carnival Diva" as her national costume. There were A LOT of feathered costumes this year at the Miss Universe 2014 National Costume Show and frankly, Valentina's was THE BEST! It was glorious, exuberant and perfection! The costume featured many white feathers, a very sexy silver sequined bodysuit with matching shoes and a very fabulous headdress. It all added up to one of the Top National Costumes of this year's Miss Universe. She might just win--the Best Costume, that is.

#5 Josefin Donat: Josefin's costume began as a hand-painted cape depicting the Berlin Wall--and holding on to white balloons. And then, she took off the coat to symbolize the fall of the Berlin Wall, let go of the balloons (8,000 white balloons were released last November during the 25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down) to symbolize the breaching of the wall by crowds of protesters. Finally she displayed a great strapless dress showing the modern Berlin and Germany. It was so creative and told a story in one great costume. This for sure should get some kind of "Honorable Award". For me, it was one of my Top 5 Favorites.

#6 Guatemala Ana Montuufar Urrutia: There were LOTS of these Pre-Columbian costumes at this year's "Miss Universe 2014" National Costume Show and Guatemala's was one of the best. I loved the bright fuchsia pink and emerald green colors of the feathers. In addition, the costume on her body and headdress were sublime. I also admire that her shoes matched. This is by far one of the BEST Pre-Columbian Empress Costumes. She is definitely a Maya Goddess to be (costume) contended.

#7 Korea Yoo Ye-Bin: Korea always "brings it" when it comes to National Costumes at the Miss Universe. And this year was no exception.  She wore a Hanbok, which is the South Korean national dress. She also wore a outer layer that featured flags from all over the world as a symbol of unity. It was very colorful and very impacting. Especially at the Miss Universe, which is--after all--an event to showcase the unity of nations. At least in terms of Super Gorgeous Women. 

#8 Brazil Melissa Gurgel: Melissa was one of my favorites in terms of her National Costume. I thought she looked VERY "Victoria's Secret" Angel Goddess in this white and mint green feathered costumes with a sequined bodysuit. She looked very sexy and very Carnival Supermodel. The sequin work was exquisite on her costume and once again, I appreciated that her pumps matched the rest of the costume. She was very Versace Carnival Diva!

#9 Ghana Abena Appiah: I placed Abena and her Miss Universe Ghana national costume as one of my top favorites because it was so regal, so elegant, and so fab! In terms of all the contestants from Africa, hers was the most impacting costume for sure. My favorite parts were that red feathered headdress and THAT neck piece! #Wow

#10 USA Nia Sanchez: Nia is from Las Vegas so naturally, she would wear a very Las Vegas Showgirl costume. The ensemble featured a red and white bodysuit and blue and white feathered headdress and over-the-top "wings". I absolutely love it and think it's very USA and very Las Vegas! And I think it was nice that even her tights were "sprinkled" with crystals. Nice touch.

#11 Honduras Gabriela Ordonez: I LOVE this Pre-Columbian costume worn by Miss Universe Honduras. The gold sequined "mesh" cape and that body-gown and then there is that feathered headdress! This is Pre-Columbian Indigenous COUTURE darlings!!!

#12 Singapore Rathi Menon: I've included Rathi's costume here because I thought it really was original, chic, and very festive. The gold skin-tight suit appears to be inspired by the five stars and crescent moon on Singapore's national flag, and is matched with gold thigh-high boots.
Venezuelan designer Alejandro Fajardo Diaz designed her costume. 

#13 Turks and Caicos Shanice Williams: Shanice shined in this white feathered and fan-pleated Carnival Queen costume. I thought she looked so sexy yet it was still very tasteful and actually very runway-ready! This is another one of those costumes that is right on par with ANY Las Vegas showgirl costume out's THAT good!

#14 Uruguay Johana Riva: Johana's costume was GORGEOUS! The colors of the sequins, that neck piece, the multicolored was all fabulous! I just wished that her shoes were more thought-out and looked like they were more part of the entire opposed to red platform heels she found in the Chinese Laundry Showroom. But, overall it was so good that she made my Top 15.

#15 Venezuela Migbelis Castellanos: Migbelis wore a costume designed by Venezuelan designer
Nidal Nouaihed. It was inspired by the Venezuelan National tree, the Araguaney. I loved the colors, the sequins, it was all very well done and needless to say, impacting. Good enough to make my Top 15.

**Side Note: The official Top Five Costumes have already been chosen according to the Miss Universe Organization. The Miss Universe Organization has been asking the public for the top picks and the Top Five were:
The top winner will be announced on Sunday night's live telecast on NBC/Telemundo. 
Well, at least I got three out of the five :)

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