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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Earth 2017 Finals: Winner, GOWN RECAP & Best-to-Uh Oh LIST!

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Earthly Beauty: Miss Earth 2017 is Karen Ibasco Miss Earth Philippines--Miss Earth Philippines Crowning Night, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines
Photos courtesy of Miss Earth Facebook Page

Saturday night were the Finals of Miss Earth 2017 Beauty Pageant--considered one of the "Grand Slam International Beauty Contests", along with Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Grand International. The contest was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines and the hometown girl won: Karen Ibasco, Miss Earth Philippines was crowned Miss Earth 2017

Proud Filipina: Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco of the Philippines holding the Philippines flag, along with (L to R) Miss Earth Air Nina Robertson (Australia), Miss Earth Fire Lada Akimova (Russia), and Miss Earth Water Juliana Franco (Colombia)--Miss Earth 2017 Finals, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines

She bested 85 other ladies from all over the world and this is THE THIRD Filipino contestant to win the international beauty pageant in FOUR years (last year's winner, Katherine Espin was from Ecuador)...

Swimming Karen: Karen Ibasco Miss Earth Philippines during the Swimsuit Competition of the Miss Earth 2017 Finals, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines

Karen is 26 years old,  stands 170 M (5' 7") tall and has a bachelor's and master's degrees in applied physics major in medical physics. She was a contestant in Binibining Pilipinas 2016 (Miss Universe Philippines) where she didn't place. She then went on to compete for Miss Earth Philippines 2017 in July, winning the crown.

Top Two: Miss Earth Colombia Juliana Franco (L) and Miss Earth Philippines (R)--Miss Earth 2017 Crowning Night Finals, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines

Super Woman Karen: Karen Ibasco Miss Earth Philippines during the "Superhero"-inspired Intro portion of Miss Earth 2017 Finals in the Mall of Asia Arena Philippines

Costume Winner: Karen Ibasco Miss Earth Philippines won the Gold Medal for Best Costume of Asia Pacific category wearing this FABULOUS Filipiniana Terno design by Louis Pangilinan--Miss Earth 2017 National Costume Competition

Super Women: Miss Earth 2017 contestants in their "Super Hero" costumes during the Intro of "Miss Earth 2017" Finals, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines

Now, time to discuss THE FINALS EVENING GOWNS!!!
Gown Gals: Miss Earth 2017 contestants in their evening gowns, awaiting the announcement of the Top 16 Semifinalists--Miss Earth 2017 Crowning Night Finals, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines


Golden Top Four: (L to R) Miss Earth Colombia Juliana Franco, Miss Earth Philippines Karen Ibasco, Miss Earth Russia Lana Akimova and Miss Earth Australia Nina Robertson--Miss earth 2017 Crowning Night Finals, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines

During the Finals of Miss Earth 2017, the contestants all came out in their evening gowns when it was time to announce the Top 16 Semifinalists. Then, later, they changed into gold (or yellow) colored gowns. I LOVE this aspect of making all the contestants wear same-coloring gowns at the end. It's different and does give a look of "Gown Unity" at the end. But...at least for an actual Evening Gown Competition portion, the Designer/Red Carpet Commentator/Pageant Fan in me does like the individuality of different colored gowns (or at least, having no "gown boundaries"). Anyhow...here are my thoughts (and SCORES!) of the Top 16 Semifinalist's Gowns. I'll begin with the eventual Winner "Miss Earth Philippines":

Miss Earth Philippines Karen Ibasco (and eventual Miss Earth 2017)--Let me begin with her first gown: I was not really excited about Karen's first dress (top photo)--a pink sequined-and-satin organza number--it lacked any stage presence and had little impact. It was also REALLY LOW on her front torso. Notice that almost 4" of space from her armpit to the edge of the strapless gown; that should only be about 1 1/2"-2" of space. It just seemed very low and I was afraid she would have a "wardrobe malfunction"/Janet Jackson "Super Bowl" Moment!

Much Better: But, I did like the gold colored SECOND GOWN she wore. The style was chic and looked well-made. Two things though: I wish she would not have worn those nude PLATFORM heals (I am NOT A FAN!) and that slit was VERY HIGH...almost TOO HIGH and at several moments in the pageant, I swear I saw her Cha-cha (Lady bits). I think she knew because she kept that sash very close to that area making sure there was no "exposure". But...this second golden gown does make my 4th Best Gown.
Score: 8.90

1.  Miss Earth Vietnam Le Thi Ha Thu: My Number One Gown Choice was the one worn by Miss Earth Vietnam. This off-the-shoulder blue sequined gown was COUTURE FAB! It had amazing stage impact, looked great on the contestant and was draped beautifully. I also LOVED the "fireworks"-like sequins. this was a ballgown to SHUT DOWN all other ballgowns!
Score: 9.20


It reminded me of that GORGEOUS Zuhair Murad "Fireworks"-inspired Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017 Collection

2. Miss Earth Venezuela Ninoska Vasquez: Next on the Best Gowns of Miss Earth 2017 Finals was the one worn by Miss Earth Venezuela. Ninoska wore this strapless red duchesse satin gown designed by Venezuelan designer Hugo Espina. This gown was definitely impacting (the color! the Couture-worthy draping and folding!), and fit her very well. I love DRAMA in a gown, but only if it's done right. This was done well and worthy enough of being my Top 2 Favorite. If there was any wish, I would have liked that slit/opening to not be SO OPEN. And those were DEFINITELY NOT the right shoes for this kind of gown. REPEAT AFTER ME: Strappy Heals with NO PLATFORM! But...the cut, color, and beautiful drape of this gown...
Score: 9. 00

3. Miss Earth Thailand Paweensouda Droin: The gorgeous Paweensouda (who ALL the Pageant Watchers thought was going to win this pageant!) looked elegant, regal and very pretty in this choice of a royal blue satin gown with sequined embellishment and China Silk back "cape" (top photo). This was a well-cut gown, perfect length (no tacky platform shoes showing!) and color was nice for her. I also thought the gold gown choice was "Pageant Pretty". It wasn't anything extraordinary--gown-wise--but did the job! I'm mainly scoring the royal blue style...
Score: 8.99

4. See Winner, "Miss Earth Philippines" at top of post as my 4th Pick for Best Gown of Miss Earth 2017 Finals.

5. Miss Earth Guatemala Maria Jose Castaneda: Maria Jose wore this golden shimmering gown as she was named in the Top 16. The style was nice, had stage impact and the length was perfect. She was one of the better representatives from the Central American nation in a long time! Someone should send this beautiful woman to the next Miss Universe ASAP.
Score: 8.90

6. Miss Earth Angola Ermelinda De Matos: Ermelinda is so beautiful! She looks like a Barbie Doll! For the Miss Earth 2017 Finals, she wore this silver sequined gown with a creme-colored tulle back overskirt. The gown was right for her and looked stunning but then...

She RUINED it with those UBER PLATFORM Stripper Pumps! WHYYYYYY?????????? If she just wore non-platform strappy silver heels, the length of the gown would have been perfect! But somehow she felt as if she HAD TO do this! No Mija. No.
Score: 8.35 (I'm trying to not look at those TACKY shoes!)

7. Miss Earth USA Andreia Gibau: Miss Earth USA wore this fringe-tastic royal blue gown for the Miss Earth 2017 Finals. The dress had a Las Vegas Showgirl-meets-Figure Skating Costume-meets-Cher quality that, while it was kind of a mess...it was kind of FAB as well. I think that Andreia made it FABULOUS for sure.
Score: 8.20

8. Miss Earth Cameroon Angelene Kossinda: I liked this golden colored gown worn by Miss Earth Cameroon. The color and the skin-tight "Nude Dress" look was on-trend. This was nice. I just wished it was slightly longer and that her breasts weren't so "accented" by sea-shell-looking sequin applique. Once again, this verged on slightly Figure Skating Costume territory...as well as a costume for a Caribbean nation.
Score: 8.10

9. Miss Earth Colombia Juliana Franco: Ninth on my List of Gowns of the Miss Earth 2017 Finals was this pink concoction worn by Juliana Franco Miss Earth Colombia. The little boy growing up in Venezuela watching those Miss Venezuela Beauty Pageants appreciated the almost "Vintage"-like quality of this pink lace sequined applique gown with stiffened overskirt. It was SOOO Pageant Retro, it brought back to...

Ines Maria Calero "Miss Venezuela 1987" at Miss Universe 1987

And even Ines Maria Calero's wasn't all stiffened. But yes, overall, Miss Earth Colombia's gown was VERY "80's Pageant" but at least it was stage impacting and fit well, and for that...
Score: 8.15

10. Miss Earth Tonga Diamond Langi: I actually liked this gold overskirt ballgown style on Miss Earth Tonga, I was very impressed with the dress and in particular, her sleek styling (loved the hair and makeup!). The length was nice and the dress style itself seemed Haute. However, she lost me when I zero-ed in on the back...

CANNOT ZIP IT UP! Look closely...yes, the gown wasn't closed correctly. Listen, I get that this was probably a sample size gown and did not fit the beautiful "Miss Earth Tonga". And therefore, we end up with this above. But...that's NO EXCUSE when you are competing at an international level. Sorry huney. But at least, the overall look was nice and worthy of my...
Score: 8.00

11. Miss Earth Russia Lada Akimova: Russia's Lada look radiant in this royal blue duchesse satin fit-and-flare gown. From the front, I was a big fan. The color was great, it fir nicely, and the silhouette was regal. Naturally, she had to turn around and...

THE DREADED HANG TAPE! Listen, as a designer, I have been there/done that in terms of sending out models on my runway shows and then seeing photos of the hang-tape hanging out of my gowns. But..I have learned, so now I either have the dressers just CUT THEM OFF (to then sew back on later!) or, I have them hand-sewn onto the dress to ensure that they will NOT pop out. Now, when it comes to being on an international stage at the Miss earth 2017 Finals, NO ONE should see hang tape. Period.
Score: 8.00

Provincial Dress: And then, Miss Earth Russia wore this canary yellow satin dress that looked more "Farmers Daughter" (I swear it's POLYESTER! And what is with the rosette trim at the bottom of the skirt?) that International Beauty Contest Finalist. Just sayin'

12. Miss Earth Switzerland Sarah Laura Peyrel: Sarah Laura is gorgeous. And this red crinkled applique gown made my No. 12 (out of 16) spot here in my Miss Earth 2017 Gowns Recap. At first glimpse, I thought I would like it but then...the fabric was a bit too "Happy Home-sewer" texture-y and...what is with that really low armhole/sleeve?
Score: 7.98

13. Miss Earth Australia Nina Robertson: Half Filipina/half Australian Nina Roberston was a big favorite at the Miss Earth 2017 Finals. This above is what she wore as her first Evening Gown. Four words: It. Was. A. Mess. I'll start with the good: I liked the golden color  but after that...it went Tacky-licious BAAAD: There were feathered cuffs on her sleeves, awkward looking iridescent tulle side godets and then...

She wore these TACKY STRIPPER SIX INCH PLATFORM SHOES!!! And I could see them! There is nothing that says "I am SOOOO SHORT and trying to compensate" than wearing these. Listen, there is NOTHING wrong in not being a six foot tall beauty contestant. But then: OWN IT HUNEY!  These were so tacky! And what hurt me most was that Nina is so pretty!
Score: 7. 50

Better: Well, at least she made it up during the end with this other gold gown. It was slightly more stylish and I couldn't see those TACKY shoes!

14. Miss Earth Czech Republic Iva Uchytilova: Where do I begin? The off-the-shoulder peasant blouse-like top and then THAT skirt with a side opening that was DANGEROUSLY risking exposure of her Lady parts. On a positive note: THOSE SHOES WERE PERFECT!!!!!
Score: 7.48

15. Miss Bosnia & Herzegovina Lela Karagic: We are almost at the end of my No's 1-16 List of Miss earth 2017 Finals Gowns. At #15 is this nude/golden/blush design worn by Miss Earth Bosnia & Herzegovina. Once again, we saw that weird crinkle/sequined fabric (like Miss Earth Switzerland's) but this time it was juxtaposed with nude illusion in a manner that definitely looked like a Figure Skating Costume-meets-a-Pageant Queen. And not in a good way. And then, she wore...

THESE SILVER 1970's DISCO PUMPS! How do you say "NOOOO!!!!!!!" in Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian????(the 3 official languages of Bosnia & Herzegovina).
Score: 7.45

16. Miss Earth Netherlamds Faith Landman: Lastly, we have Miss Earth Netherlands in this creme/golden gown. It featured EVERYTHING AND the kitchen sink! Not only was it a Mermaid silhouette, it was also Fit-and-flare, and it had exaggerated "Angel Wing" cape-sleeves...and if that wasn't enough (EDIT! EDIT!!!), there were cascade ruffles at the bottom of the skirt. No. No. And No. Sorry Miss Earth Netherlands. Congratulations on making the Top 16 of Miss Earth 2017 but...
Score: 7.15

CONGRATULATIONS to Karen Ibasco Miss Earth Philippines for winning the Miss Earth 2017 crown! 

And if you LOVE BEAUTY PAGEANTS, Fab Gowns and Fashion Sketching...then you will LOVE my new book "the Pageant Coloring Book"...Click HERE to ORDER on Amazon.com:

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