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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary EVENING GOWNS: My Top 20 + 5 "Oh Dear!"

This Wednesday night are the Finals of the 2017 Miss Grand International Beauty Pageant, taking place on October 25th in Vietnam. Sunday night was the very important Miss Grand International Preliminary Competition, done in advance of the Finals in a very "Miss Universe"-like manner, showcasing all the 77 contestants from around the world competing in Swimsuit and Evening Gowns in front of a panel of judges. Last week, I discussed my TOP FAVORITE National Costumes of 2017 Miss Grand International which in case you missed, you can check out HERE. Now it's time for my TOP 15 BEST Gowns from the Preliminaries of 2017 Miss Grand International.

Asian Gown Divas: (L to R) Miss Grand Philippines Elizabeth Clenci, Miss Grand China Xuejiao Chen, Miss Grand Malaysia Sanjeda John and Miss Grand Indonesia Dea Goesti Rizkita--Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition

Latina Gown Fab: (L to R) Miss Grand Bolivia Mariem Suarez, Miss Grand Peru Maria Jose Lora, Miss Grand Paraguay Lia Duarte Ashmore, Miss Grand Venezuela Tulia Aleman Ferrer--Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition

I have to say that I was VERY IMPRESSED with the STRONG batch of contestants this year at the 2017 Miss Grand International pageant. In regards to the gowns, I was impressed at how UBER FAB a lot of them were. While there were some clunkers/Oh Dear's--for many of them, these were gowns that one would normally only see at a TOP TOP Pageant such as Miss Universe, full of DRAMA, Diva-like back capes, mostly well-fitting and expensive-looking sequin work.

Africa and Europe Gown Queens: (L to R) Miss Grand South Sudan Eyga Mojus, Miss Grand Ukraine Snizana Tanchuk, Miss Grand Sweden Maja Westlin, Miss Grand Belarus Panova Maria Desinovna--Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition

The See-through trend was EVERYWHERE and it is obviously here to stay. Some did it right and some well, showed too much Boob Cups! Also, some of these gowns looked better in video as opposed to photos, but you'll have to watch the Preliminaries (at end of this post) to judge for yourself...
So with all that said, here are my TOP 15 BEST and some of my "Oh Dear!' beginning with my Favorite...

1. Miss Grand Peru Maria Jose Lora: My NUMBER ONE BEST GOWN choice is Miss Grand Peru in this golden/nude shimmering gown from Maritza Mendoza Atelier. When Maria Jose walked out, I think I lost my breath...for like ONE ENTIRE MINUTE! In fact, I almost became STRAIGHT! OK, not really! But seriously, she looked STUNNING. The gown fit her to perfection, she looked super sexy but not vulgar and the gold and silver jeweled sequins were luxe and expensive...

The gown reminded me of the dress worn by "Miss Universe France" Iris Mittenaere when she won "Miss Universe" (photo above). Will Maria Jose win "Miss Grand International" in this golden/nude sequined gown now? We'll see..
Gown Score: 9.99

2. Miss Grand China Xuejiao Chen: My second BEST GOWN of the night was worn by the statuesque Miss Grand China. This was a SUPER impacting gown--also in that golden/nude color scheme as "Miss Grand Peru", but this one was ALL about stage presence and "Working The Runway"! The design featured a gold sequined column gown with a dramatic feathered-and-sequin cape. It was all fabulous. Including her modeling and chic center-part hairstyle.
Score: 9.97

3. Miss Grand Malaysia Sanjeda John: One word: WOW! First off, Sanjeda is just so exotically GORGEOUS! Now, onto the gown: I loved how the canary yellow color of this gown--designed and created by Javier Ramos Monteron/JRM Couture--looked against her skin tone. The mermaid shaped gown fit her to an 1/8th of an inch of her body and she ooozed sensuality as well as Pageant Gown Perfection.
Score: 9.97

4. Miss Grand Philippines Elizabeth Durado Clenci: Elizabeth wore my 4th Favorite Gown of the night. I thought this was elegant, modern and super chic! The gown was designed by Benj Leguiab and featured that very on-Pageant-Trend golden/nude/blush coloring, beautifully placed vertical "striped" sequins and hugged her perfect figure. The sleek hairstyle mimicked the sleekness of the gown. Well done!
Score: 9.5 

5. Miss Grand Lithuania Irmina Preisegalaviciute: This was another "WOW" moment during the Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition. Irmina walked onto the stage and literally SHUT IT DOWN! She wore this fit-and-flare ivory colored column gown which featured a vertical nude illusion panel down the center front of the dress strewn with a gorgeous array of crystals. From head to toe, she looked like a contestant of a "Ru Paul's Drag Race" Pageant Challenge...and one that she would have won--wearing this!
Score: 9.45 

If you think you may have seen this gown before? You are correct:
The Gown That Goes Around The World: The same white Valentina CedeƱo gown design as seen on (L to R) Miss Apure 2014 Skarliz Coa in the Miss Venezuela 2014 competition; Miss Rhode Island USA 2015 Anae Garcia competing at the Miss USA 2015 contest in Baton Rouge Louisiana, and Isabella Santiago Miss Gay Venezuela, who won the Miss International Queen 2014 title in Thailand

6. Miss Grand Myanmar Aye Chan Moe: On my 6th Best Gown Position, I placed Miss Grand Myanmar. I loved this white sequined gown. It was elegant, not Hoochie (no super high slit or cha-cha breast cleavage in sight!) and fit her well. The gown featured beautiful sequin applique in leaf-like motifs as well as bugle beaded fringe. It was a Razzle Dazzle of a Pageant Gown!
Score: 9.40

7. Miss Grand Indonesia Dea Goesti Rizkita: Miss Grand Indonesia made my Top 20 Gowns of "Miss Grand International 2017 preliminaries" in this deep violet colored bespoke gown from MaisonMet  by Mety Choa of Jakarta Indonesia. The design featured unusual and very intricately hand-sewn sequined lace work curving her figure over a nude mini lining dress. I'm not necessarily a fan of seeing those nude under-dresses and instead I would have loved it if it was the same color as the outer fabrication. In addition, I would have rather seen her wear simple strappy heels as opposed to those clunky silver platform ones. But overall, it was still one of the best dress styles of the night.
Score: 9.30

8. Miss Grand Ukraine Snizhana Tanchuk: Ukraine's Snizhana looked like an A-List actress at the Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet in this beautiful gown! The golden silk satin organza design---custom created for her by Crystal Design Ukraine--was elegant and chic, reminding me of those gowns from the Lebanese Couturiers like Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad. It looked expensive and well-made.
Score: 9.28

9. Miss Grand Sweden Maja Westlin: Simple. Sweet and Pageant Pretty. These were words I thought of when trying to describe this gown. I loved how un-Pageant Betty it was and I especially liked the rich-looking lace sequined applique and capelet style. Her styling (sleeked hair, makeup, earrings) were on-point as well. She looked like a Crown Princess...of Sweden!
Score: 9.15

10. Miss Grand Vietnam Huyen My Tran Nguyen: The hometown girl (the pageant is taking place in Vietnam) wore this golden/nude (of course!) colored gown from Joli Poi Wedding Studio Vietnam. This design featured intricate and very pretty sequin work over nude illusion, ending in a flourish of feathers and crystals in a mermaid-like silhouette. The dress looked expensive, fit well and was impressive onstage. I also loved her hairstyle and makeup, especially her golden shimmering eyeshadow that matched her gown.
Score: 9.10.

11. Miss Grand Thailand Pam Premika Pamela: Miss Grand Thailand made my Top 20 with this emerald-and-nude colored gown. Though simple in shape and not so dramatic (no Diva-like capes or thigh-high slit, etc), this gown still made a strong impact: Those STUNNING emerald-colored sequins did ALL THE WORK! And can we discuss that AMAZING fit??? Superb.
Score: 9.05

12. Miss Grand Sri Lanka Visna Fernando: Speaking of DIVA DRAMA...Miss Grand Sri Lanka takes the crown for her gown "flip" during her stage entrance at the Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminaries. She started her walk in this striking red dress quite elegantly enough, but then when she stopped and flipped the overskirt (and Thank Goodness the photographer captured it above!), I think EVERY Drag Queen, Gay Boy and Pageant fan from Brooklyn to Hanoi, must have fallen off their living room couch! DEEEEEVA!!!! Now, speaking of the gown--it was a great design, fab color, and I loved the slight touches of East Indian "Sari"-like details such as the lace sequin applique and satin hem band.
Score: 9.00 (and a TEN for that Overskirt Flip!)

13. Miss Grand Paraguay Lia Duarte Ashmore: Another Gown Diva was Paraguay's Lia Ashmore. Lia wore this canary yellow chiffon gown featuring a super high slit, silver and gold sequin appliques and dramatic back "capes". Normally I would think this type of gown would be Too Mucheey (the too-high slit, the bright color, the back capes, the sequins on her cha-cha's!) but she WORKED it OVERTIME onstage and I ended up LOVING IT: She looked like a Sexy Scheherazade Princess and I wanted her to take me to her Casbah Party!
Score: 8.99

14. Miss Grand Laos Chinnaly Norasing: Miss Grand Laos's gown ended up as my No. 14 in my Top 20 List. I thought she looked quite regal and red carpet fab in this ivory gown. The mermaid-shaped gown featured gorgeous silver sequins and crystals throughout the torso and body of the dress and ended in shimmering pleated crinoline at the skirt. I especially loved the "necklace"-like crystal details in the back (seen in photos above). This was an excellent showing from a Miss Grand Laos.
Score: 8.90

15. Miss Grand India Anukriti Gusain: India's Anukriti Gusain wore this carmine red gown designed by Falguni Shane Peacock India. This design was perfection from head to toe. Was it dramatic and "Diva"-like? Not necessarily, but it was a gorgeously safe and pretty gown. The off-the-shoulder style featured beautiful sequined applique, a fit-and-flare shape and dramatic train. If this was worn at a major Awards Show red carpet event by an A-List actress, it would DEFINITELY be on the Best Dressed List. And as a result, Miss Grand India ends up in my Top 20 here!
Score: 8.80

16. Miss Grand Venezuela Tulia Aleman Ferrer: Tulia wore this white gown from Venezuelan designer Nidal Nouaihed. Nidal is famous for creating lots of gown for lots of Miss Venezuela contestants and winners. When Tulia first appeared onstage, she had the entire front bottom section of the gown covered--using the white georgette overskirts--hiding the thousands of crystals that enveloped the gown. Soon enough, she did a "Pageant Reveal". While I thought the color was perfect for her and the stage impact was GREAT, I wasn't a fan of the pointed bustier neckline; it was a little too Las Vegas Showgirl Costume-y for me. But, overall, the gown still was fab enough to make my Top 20.
Score: 8.75

17. Miss Grand Belarus Panova Maria Denisovna: I wanted to include this black sequined-and-tulle gown worn by Miss Grand Belarus in my Top 20. I thought the gown was stunning, especially the jet black sequin work. The style was perfect for her porcelain skin tone...I just wished the bottom tulle would have been slightly more "pouffed".
Score: 8.50

18. Miss Grand South Sudan Eyga Mojus: Miss Grand South Sudan was another one of the Pageant Divas at the Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminaries. When she entered the stage and did her runway walk, she looked like a SUPERMODEL on the Paris runways! The gown she wore--a design from ANAZ Indonesia-- featured sequined white applique strategically placed in the torso as well as hem of a tulle base as well as dramatic georgette back capes. Eyga worked the capes FLAWLESSLY and I gave her major points for that. I just wasn't a fan of that NUDE mini dress underneath. I get that it's a trend of these see-through-like pageant dresses but it is definitely a hard task to achieve the right nude color. It is one of the most difficult things to get right and if not done properly, can look tacky and in fact, look like we can see her undergarments. But...boy oh boy did she WORK those back capes DAHHHHLING!!!!
Score: 8.30

19. Miss Grand Bolivia Mariem Suarez Cuella: Miss Grand Bolivia's gown made my Top 20 because it was dramatic, well made and had stage drama. The design featured gold paillete sequins throughout over a vanilla colored duchesse satin base. The column style dress had a front side slit, attached overskirt and an off-the-shoulder neckline with sleeves. it was A LOT worked for me. She looked regal, exuding a "Don't Mess With Me" air of Gown Attitude.
Score: 8.25

20. Miss Grand Nicaragua Martha Meza: Finally, Martha makes my Top 20 gowns with this violet-hued design. the gown featured a fit-and-flare shape, fan-like tulle embellishment as well as beautifully applied sequin applique. I thought she looked like the Evening Gown version of a Ming Vase. It was an impacting and unique design which I thought deserved a spot in my Top 20 Best Gowns List.
Score: 8.20

My Top 5 "OH DEAR"...
Miss Grand Nigeria Princess Omowunmi Agunbiade: Well, well, well. let me start with the Good: Overall--if you just quickly look at the photo above--it's not bad. In fact, the gold and canary colors are great, the ball gown style is dramatic and she looked quite pretty. But then...

OH NO THE BUST CUPS!!! Under no circumstances do I want to see these. this is just TACKY. I've seen this before on pageant girls and i just DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT. How on Earth do they think this is OK? Of course, you don't just go pad-less and show your nipples, etc. but...what you actually do is ADD A FULL top lining!!! Or at least partial. This above is unacceptable. Bless her heart.

Miss Grand Estonia Susanna Lehtsalu: So....Let's just start with the "Pick-up" Gown. I am not a fan of the "Pick-up" Gown. In case you don't know what a "Pick-up" gown is well, look at the photo above. It's when the gown gets 'picked up" like curtain drapes. It's Prom tacky and harks back to an 80's Quinciniera Dress. If that wasn't enough, I began to focus on the top bustier section and noticed...

Are those Crystal Sequins on on her boobies where her nipples should be??? Seriously. No.

Miss Grand Brazil Caroline Venturini: The shape is fine. It's the coral-like sequin applique that's a bit on the "Oh Dear" side. This gown looks cheap and an unfinished costume for a "Miss Aruba" or "Miss Curacao".

Miss Grand Portugal Diana Sofia Santos: Oh Miss Grand Portugal. How did she get stuck with this? And some of those other misses give you Gown Diva Drama fabulousness??!! This reminds me of a figure skating costume for a Junior Ice Dance team--or like the Wedding Guest of a super tackylicious Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Miss Grand Sierra Leone Nyallay Sia: To finish my 5 "Oh Dear's", it's Miss Grand Sierra Leone and this concoction above. While I excuse her for possibly not having the budget of a "Miss Venezuela" or "Miss Indonesia" and I get that Sierra Leone is a war-torn country...but Oh Dear. On a good note, Nyallay actually WORKED the stage and gave her all! But...she had to model this red lace tablecloth...over a white cocktail dress. Ayyy Dios Mio.

And my AT A GIRL AWARD Goes To...
Miss Grand Serbia Maja Smiljkovic: Last but not least, I wanted to give a special 'At-a-Girl" Award to Miss Grand Serbia...for having the gumption to wear THIS. Seriously, she's featuring a tulle caplet with bird feather-shaped trim...and silver sequins...and see-through panels. One word: Wow. OK, three words: At A Girl.

WHO do YOU think wore the BEST GOWNS of the Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary Competition? Let me know!

And don't forget about my PAGEANT COLORING BOOK!! Enjoy making your very own Pageant Evening Gown Contest via my coloring book! Click the photo to purchase on NOW!

Click below to watch the 2017 Miss Grand International Preliminary Evening Gown Competition (it begins with "Miss Grand Bulgaria" therefore unfortunately missing 7 contestants from Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia and Brazil):

2 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Grand International 2017 Preliminary EVENING GOWNS: My Top 20 + 5 "Oh Dear!""

connoisseur said...

Actually, SIerra Leone's gown is a printed dress. Still it is indeed an "Oh, dear" gown...

robert stanley said...

I always look forward to your pageant recaps and this recap was no exception. The evening gowns this year were beyond impiccable. There were so many winning gowns that it was such a great presentation to watch and witness that I was not left disappointed. Thank you for holding a space for us pageant 'enthusiasts.' (: