Monday, October 03, 2016
Satins and Sashes: The new "Miss World Philippines" Catriona Gray (Center and Top Photos) and some of my favorite gowns--Miss World Philippines 2016

Last night was the Finals of "Miss World Philippines 2016" held in the Manila Hotel, Manila Philippines. This was the 6th edition of the beauty pageant and the winner was Filipina-Australian 5' 10"(1.78 M) tall Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray. The 22 year-old Catriona was born in Australia to an Australian father and Filipina mother and has a Master Certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston...

Crowned: "Miss World Philippines 2016" Catriona Gray

She is a well known TV host, top model and singer. The gorgeous Catriona was a favorite to win the "Miss World Philippines" title and in fact, besides getting the top crown, she also bagged several special awards including Best in Swimsuit, Best in Long Gown and the Fashion Runway Award.

Catriona Gray "Miss World Philippines" 
Photo courtesy of OPMB Worldwide Facebook

The new "Miss World Philippines" Catriona Gray will now prepare to go represent her nation in the "Miss World 2016" Finals, to be held in Washington D.C. on December 18th and compete with almost 100 other contestants from all over the world. She may have just won last night but already, pageant watchers are seeing her as a strong contender for that coveted international beauty pageant crown.

Best in Swimsuit, Runway, Model: Catriona Gray "Miss World Philippines 2016"
Top photo courtesy of OPMB Worldwide Facebook

And now, let's get to the important stuff: THE EVENING GOWNS!!! 
Here are my Top Fave Picks for Gowns of the "Miss World Philippines 2016" pageant plus some Not-So Favorites. I'll start with the eventual winner, "No. 13" Catriona Gray:  

                                         Photos courtesy of OPMB Worldwide Facebook
Catriona Gray: Catriona--the eventual winner--wore a wine colored taffeta and tulle gown for the evening Gown competition. The gown featured an off-the-shoulder design with peplum accents and a tulle and sequined applique overskirt. It was nice and regal-like but I wished it was just a bit more Runway Fab and sexy. I do get that it is all about creating that "Miss World image" and therefore, trying to make her look more Sweet as opposed to Paris Fashion Week Runway, but I felt the gown was slightly Mumsy...for Catriona. It also really annoyed me when I saw those nude colored platform heels poking through from underneath. WHY THOSE and that color??? #ShoeFail...But she did win "Best in Long Gown" (shows you how much I know!) and I give her points of how she worked it on stage!

So...besides Catriona's gown, Here is My List of "Good Gowns" Top 10------------------------------ 
(Photos courtesy of OPMB Worldwide Facebook and

No. 16 Roshiel Asingua: This was one of my favorite gowns of the night on contestant No. 16. Roshiel Asingua. The strapless gown was beautiful, fit her nicely and looked well made. I loved the sequined jeweled work at the torso and gathered, light blue tulle overlay and the hint of the sparkly under-gown peeking through. I also thought the styling--her slicked back hair and great earrings finished it off well.

No. 12 Arah Alvero Salientes: I loved this emerald green taffeta gown worn by contestant No. 12 Arah Salientes. The gown was very dramatic and I especially appreciated the asymmetric, off-the-shoulder neckline and super fab pleating and draping. Quite fabulous indeed!

No. 17 Irina Garcia Cortez: Irina exuded "Diva" in this strawberry red off the shoulder gown in an iridescent zibeline-like satin "mermaid" style gown. The gown looked impressive and really commanded stage presence. It also fit her perfectly. And the Diva award Goes To...No. 17!

No. 18 Ivanna Kamil Suficiencia Pacis: Simple, elegant, beautiful. This is how one does Classic Chic. The pale blue crepe gown fit her beautifully, exuded elegance and refinement and it was a lesson proving that one doesn't need to add "Everything AND the Sequin Applique-Side Slit-Tulle Overskirt Kitchen Sink" to make a statement.

No. 11 Shaina Lalaine Borreo Sazon: Shaina wore a fabulous gown during the Finals. Her ivory colored dress featured a very of-now fluttery capelet, nude illusion with sequin applique front top section and a princess seam slit. Of all the gowns, this one was one of the only ones that had a look of something seen on the international catwalks and/or red carpet. If I had one critique, it would be the length in the front: it was too short. Ladies: Long gowns end at (at the most) 1/2" above the floor...NOT SIX INCHES!!!

No. 8 Sandra Raymundo Lemonon: Sandra's gown was also one of the better ones of the pageant. She wore a teal fit-flare "mermaid" style gown with sequin applique leaf details in the torso and sleeves. The color was nice and she looked both "Pageant right" and sexy at the same time.

No. 22 Jane Cerrano Pectoranan: Jane looked quite "Miss World" sweet in this strapless ivory "mermaid" silhouette gown. The dress--while quite simple--still looked elegant and expensive. I appreciate the delicate applique details that were nicely scattered throughout the gown. This is one of those gown that I am sure did not illicit "Ooh's and Aah's" on stage but close up, might take your fashion breath away!

No. 15 Charlene Verzosa Fontanilla: Sweet and pretty are two words to describe this strapless gown worn by No. 15 Charlene Verzosa Fontanilla. The Tiffany Blue color was nice as well as the ivory scroll-like applique. It fit her well and (Thank Goodness), the length was TO THE FLOOR!

No. 10 Kristine Reyes Lopez: There's a lot going on in this gown but it still works for me and therefore I placed in my Top Ten Faves. The blue satin gown featured sequined applique (of course!), a tulle overskirt, nude illusion and if that wasn't enough...a side princess seam slit. But, like I said, all of it somehow made harmony. I think it helped that Kristine didn't do a "Pageant Betty" hair and kept it slick and modern.

No. 5 Arienne Louise Braga Calingo: Arienne almost became the winner as she captured the "1st Princess" crown. She wore this raspberry colored fit-to-flare gown with silver crystal detail and nude front panel. I liked this dress but I admit, she barely made my Top Ten here. It was a nice gown, but basically, just that: nice. One could probably find this is a Pageant Gown Shop anywhere and didn't really scream "unique" or Couture Fab. But it was OK enough to make my list here. Barely.

Top 5 "Uh Oh" Gowns---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No. 9 Jan Helen Villanueva: Two words: Oh Dear! OK, let me start with the good: I liked the bright canary yellow color of this gown and liked the semi-one-shoulder neckline but after that, it all went No-No. The gathering at the bust looks bulky, the sequin applique looks cheap--and also heavy. And then WHAT IS THAT IN FRONT OF HER CROTCH!!!?? Who in their right fashion design mind would place a pointed sequin applique THERE??? It's like a big sign saying "Hey! Take a look at my Cha-Cha!!!" nope. I won't. But on a good note, she's SO DARN CUTE!!!!

No. 14 Madeleine Iya Gabrella Magdaleno Uy: Madeleine's gown ended in my "Uh Oh" List for several reasons. I wasn't a fan of the Medieval look to the applique design, and then, if you notice in the above photo, the off-the-shoulder placements were causing "boob fat" on her and I am sure this lovely woman doesn't even HAVE body fat! And I know this has nothing to do with the gown design but I just wasn't a fan of her hair; it was too "Pageant Betty" Meets Mother-of-the-Bride.

No. 1 Maria Paula Adda Espera Prose: Maria Paula's rose pink gown was an "Uh Oh" for just being too busy. In particular, I thought all that sequin and applique work lacked rhyme or reason, to be honest. It's as if the job was given to a thirteen year old with a glue gun (sorry thirteen year old's!). And those jeweled crystals down the front were an afterthought; it's as if someone said "Oh, we have these big ol' crystals and we should just use them!". No.

No. 4 Alyanna Cagadahan: Oh Alyanna. I get where she (and her designer) were going with this. They were probably trying to give a Zuhair Murad/Elie Saab Moment. But it just ended up looking cheap. This gown lacked refinement, elegance; heck, it didn't even look sexy. While that nude garment was trying to give the illusion of being naked under the gown, that ended up being a huge fail as it can be clearly seen peeking out from her armpit area. Yikes!

And my last "Uh Oh" Gown of the night...
No. 23 Ralph Lauren Hernandez Asuncion: In case you thought I made a typo error, I didn't: Yes, her name IS RALPH LAUREN! I just about lost it when I saw that! You gotta give points to her parents for A)Loving Fashion and B) Naming their daughter after a fashion designer. Now, onto her choice of gown: I wasn't a fan. Ralph Lauren (!) wore this red off the shoulder design that featured ruffles, a slit and a sequined under-dress. It's Too Mucheey and very Cha-Cha. All she is missing is a headdress made out of bananas and palm trees and she could transform it into a Carmen Miranda Halloween costume.

Bouquets and Crowns: Catriona Gray "Miss World Philippinees 2016" and her court

Big Congratulations to the new "Miss World Philippines" and Best of Luck at the upcoming "Miss World 2016" pageant in Washington D.C. !!!


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