Sequins, Satins and See-Through: Miss Universe 2016 Top 6 in Evening Gowns--Miss Universe 2016 Finals, Manila Philippines
This past Sunday night (Monday morning in the Philippines), a new "Miss Universe" was crowned. This was the 65th Miss Universe Pageant and even though we are a full month into 2017, it was "Miss Universe 2016" as opposed to "Miss Universe 2017" lots of news outlets and blogs keep saying, incorrectly. Now...who won??
La Belle de France: The new Miss Universe--Miss France Iris Mittenaere--gets crowned by outgoing Miss Universe Pia Wiutzbach--Manila Philippines
The gorgeous representative from France, Iris Mittenaere beat out 85 other contestants for the top crown. The 24 year-old, 5' 8" (1.73 M) tall beauty is a native from Lille France and represented Nord-Pas-De-Calais at her own national "Miss France 2016" pageant. Iris represented her nation with "Showgirl" pride donning a actual "Folies Bergere" sequined and feathered boa ensemble as her National Costume...
From Showgirl...to Miss Universe--Iris Mittenaere "Miss France" during the "Miss Universe 2016" Pageant, Manila Philippines
She's a dental student at the Lille 2 University of Health and Law and supposedly, she wants to become a dentist after she graduates. If she ever does become a dentist, she might just end up being the most popular one in France! Well, for now, she will have to put that aspiration on hold since she will now move to NYC where the Miss Universe Organization is headquartered and spend a year traveling around the world.
And the Winner Is....(L) Miss Universe Haiti Raquel Pellesier and (R) Iris Mittenaere--Miss Universe 2016 Finals, Manila Philippines
And if that wasn't enough, the last time before then that a European beauty had won "Miss Universe" was in 1990, when Norway's Mona Grundt won (I happened to be there in Los Angeles attending that year's Miss Universe!). Miss Universe hasn't been known as a beauty pageant to favor the European ladies, and instead was known as more Latina-centric with 6 of the last ten winners coming from Latin American nations/territories.
And now, let's discuss the GOWNS!!!
Gown Gorgeous: Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wutrzbach (L) crowning Miss Universe 2016 , France's Iris Mittenaere--Miss Universe 2016 Finals, Manila Philippines
If you have been keeping up with my "Sashes and Tiaras" Blog here, I've been very busy covering several of the 65th Miss Universe "Gown Events". Luckily for us Pageant fans, there were lots of events for the contestants to play "dress up" during their almost month-long stay in the Philippines: I commented on the glorious Terno Fashion Show HERE, Governors Ball Dinner Fashion Show HERE, as well as the Preliminary Competition HERE and HERE. But now, it's time to discuss the gowns at the Finals.
Before I discuss the Top 9 Finalist's gowns, I have to talk about the stunning Pia Wurtzbach, the outgoing "Miss Universe" and what she wore:I was present for in Las Vegas!). More importantly, she made her entrance in this gorgeous bubblegum pink strapless gown from Sherri Hill. I absolutely LOVED this gown, its shape and those tri-folded dramatic side drapes. The fit was on-point and so was her hair and makeup. It's so funny how outgoing beauty queens (almost) always look so much more "Style Refined" and less "Pageant Betty" after spending a year as Miss Universe and when they are giving up their crown; it's like they've been style educated during the entire time. This was a definite Gown Winner!
Universal Ballgown: Once again, I thought she looked amazing and this was a beautiful choice. She obviously wanted to make a grand entrance in her Final Walk and in addition, this is a fabulous "Goodbye" as well.
Sequined Beauties: (L to R) Miss Haiti, Miss Thailand, Miss Philippines, Miss Colombia, Miss Kenya, and Miss France--Miss Universe 2016 Finals, Manila Philippines
Golden Top Three: All top three finalists wore shimmering golden gowns (a coincidence?)-- (L to R) Miss Colombia, Miss France and Miss Haiti--Miss Universe 2016 Finals, Manila Philippines
Let's start with the Winner's Gown:
one of my favorite gowns of the Preliminaries--a yellow design--created by Hoang Hai as well.
But part of me still thinks she should have worn the same gown she wore at the "Miss USA" Preliminaries:
Deshauna Barber "Miss District of Columbia" and "Miss USA" at the Miss USA 2016 Preliminaries
the "Black Barbie Doll" during her time in the Philippines.
Congratulations to the new Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere from France!!!