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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss International 2017 Finals: 28 NATIONAL COSTUMES Recap!

Most Haute Costume: Miss International Japan showing off her national costume--Miss International 2017 Finals, Tokyo Japan

This Tuesday night were the Finals of the 57th Annual Miss International Beauty Pageant. Miss International--based in Japan--has been known as one of the Top Three "Grand Slam" of international beauty pageants and tends to be a little more "traditional" (than the sexier and more flashier Miss Universe) and has the motto of "Love, Peace and Beauty". The winner was the gorgeous representative from Indonesia. I will discuss the Finals and Gowns in a following post but for's all about the National Costumes!

The 2017 Miss International Beauty Pageant begun with all 69 contestants in their national costumes in the tradition Parade of Nations National Costume Show....
China!--Miss International 2017 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Colombia!--Miss International 2017 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Ecuador!--Miss International 2017 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Here are 28 national costumes worn by the contestants of Miss International 2017 but let's begin with...The Winner of "Best National Costume":

Miss International Japan Natsuki Tsutsui: Miss International Japan won the "Best Costume" and it was 100% deserved! When she first walked out onto the stage in this, I just about fell off the couch and gave her (and whoever designed this) a standing ovation! This was a super-chic Haute Couture version of a Geisha Diva. There is just no other way to describe it!

Miss International Indonesia Kevin Lilliana: Kevin--who eventually won the crown of Miss International 2017--wore this colorful costume designed by Annisa Febby @annisabanyuwangi and according to the description, it is MBOK JAMU GENDONG and the Ancient Secret Potion. In this costume, Kevin is a fabulously dressed potion seller. I loved the colors and the sequin applique work was EXQUISITE! If I was ever in Indonesia and saw someone on the street selling something with THIS costume...I would by WHATEVER she is selling!

Miss International Australia Amber Dew: Amber wore a costume featuring a white iridescent leotard with a tie-dye layered overskirt, a gold waistband and what looks like a depiction of the Sydney Opera House on her back. It's cute if not a little unrefined "happy hands at home"-looking.

Miss International Brazil Bruna Zanardo: Bruna went for the Rio Carnival Queen look with her gold and rhinestone-encrusted sleeved bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots. She looks like a fabulous baton twirler-meets-figure skater!
Miss International Belgium Virginie Philippot: For her Belgium costume, Virginie wore a gown with black sequined top section and canary yellow satin organza full skirt. The colors--at least the black and yellow--represent 2 out of the 3 colors featured in the Belgium flag--the yellow representing the yellow lion of Brabant; and the black is the black lion of Flanders and Namur. She looks pretty but not sure it's much of a "costume" per se.

Miss International Bolivia Carla Maldonado: Carla's costume consisted of a gold sequined bodysuit and an attached overskirt/cape in the same gold sequined fabric. The overskirt was also covered in hundreds of turquoise and aquamarine colored feathers. it was all topped off by a "Carnival"-like feathered mask. It was very festive and stage impacting.

Miss International China Jia Chi: this yellow silk brocade costume was one of the BEST of all the Miss International 2017 contestants. The design featured a perfectly fitted fit-and-flare style gown with a Mandarin-collared caplet, both featuring beautiful birds and flower embroidery. This entire costume was topped off with an elegant gold headdress. It was chic, runway fab and if you just took off the headdress, this would be a stunning evening gown alone! 

Miss International Colombia Vanessa Pulgarin: Designed by Sergio Perez Atelier--according to the lovely contestant, the colorful costume depicts the magical story of "Fura & Tena" which is part of the culture in the zone of Boyaca, an area rich in emeralds. Fura and Tena are two mountains situated over the river Guaquimay. Not sure what any of that means but I do love the scenes of butterflies and flowers and perhaps the river (the blue in her dress?). It's quite a beautiful costume for sure!

Miss International Curacao Chanelle Wilhemina Maria: The beautiful Chanelle (who won the 1st Runner-up title) wore this fun and vibrant costume depicting Curacao Carnival and the bright blue, pink and yellow colors one sees at the fabulous Carnival.

Miss International Dominican Republic Jennifer Valdez: Jennifer's costume is depicting the Dominican republic national football team and a sexy leotard/onesie version of the team's jersey. She bedazzled the actual futbol (soccer ball) and the number on her jersey as well as her "sweatband".

Miss International Ecuador Jocelyn Mieles: Jocelyn wore this design by Gustavo Otero representing the Diablada de Pillaro--an ancestral tradition of parades that occur from New Years day to the 6th of January, where everyone dresses as devils in spectacular masks. This was one of the most impressive of these "Parade/Carnival"-like costumes with the fire red color and gold details and those incredible "wings" that look as if they are on fire. Fabuloso!

Miss International El Salvador Fatima Mangandi: Fatima's costume was in line with the popular "Feathered Queens" popular with the Latin American contestants. Hers featured lots of neon green colored leaves on her wings as well as a standout headdress embellished with gold jeweled sequins. The costume pays homage to the flora, fauna and riches of the El Salvador rain forest.

Miss International Guatemala Ana Lucia Villagran: Mayan Empress was the theme of Miss International Guatemala's costume showing this elaborate and colorful wings, a gorgeously sequined bodysuit and THAT FABULOUS headdress! Oh, and if that wasn't enough, she's holding a golden mask with royal blue tassels. She looks like she should be on top of one of those Mayan pyramids, commanding an entire country!

Miss International Honduras Vanessa Villars: Here is another grand and feather-fab costume at Miss International 2017 Finals--this time from Miss International Honduras. I love the black and red  feathered "wings" with the indigenous-like gold and red motifs. The headdress as well as the rest of the costume on her body is elaborate and nicely done. I also appreciate that no stone was left un-turned in that she made sure her shoes and legs went with the rest of the costume.

Miss International India Ankita Kumari: India always brings it when it comes to making a costume statement (and why not?) and this one worn by India's Ankita Kumari was well done. The red with gold sequined paillette skirt is GORGEOUS (I want that hanging on a wall like art!) and of course, who doesn't appreciate a HUGE peacock feathered circular back "wing"??!! I do.

Miss International Mexico Citlaly Higuera: Inspired by the Aztec culture, Citlaly wore this (yes, another feathered costume!), focusing on the God Quetzalcoatl, designed by Oaxacan designer Manuel Medina. I liked the use of the Mexican flag's colors and the sexy depiction of the God...and those Coque/rooster feathers! Dios Mio!

Miss International Myanmar Sao Yoon Wadi: Miss Myanmar International 2017 National Costume is inspired by Chin Lone - a type of sport (translated as rattan ball) from Myanmar. Chin Lone is a widely played sport and has been a part of the culture for a long time. The description on the Miss Myanmar International Facebook Page goes on to say that "The beauty about playing Chin Lone is the sport itself is not a competition among the players but for players to perform their parts well and in unity in order to maintain balance. Therefore this National Costume dress is created with rattan replicating the shape of Chin Lone to imply the peace and unity - the essence of the sport which agrees with the nature of Miss International crown". It was designed by Ahlatt Lumyaung (sketch above) and personally, I think it's quite unique and fun!

Miss International Nepal Niti Shah: Niti Shahh wore this Traditional nepali costume featuring a full black skirt with gold embroidered deities, a gorgeous multicolored waist/hip accessory, silk brocade top and gold headdress.

Miss International Panama Darelys Santos: The tall and slim Panamanian beauty Darelys Santos wore a "Congo Queen" costume, inspired by the traditional dances from the Atlantic Coast. the traditional costume usually features a patchwork pollera skirt of different fabrics, but here she instead gave it a Pre-Columbian Feathered Empress twist. I like it!

Miss International Peru Tiffany Lopez: Tiffany wore a costume depicting an "Allegorical Costume" created by the Institute of Nina Design showcasing the riches of the Inca rulers with the gold and turquoise details.
Miss International Paraguay Tatiana Rolin: Tatiana's gorgeous costume features a bodysuit/jumpsuit in stretch tulle covered in hundreds of crystals and fabric appliques depicting the flora and fauna of Paraguay and super vibrant sequined headdress reminiscent of a very regal bird. She looks like a Principal dancer/Performer for a fabulous Cirque du Soleil show!

Miss International Philippines Maria De Leon: Maria wore a fantasy/modern version of the Filipiniana Terno. The steel gray colored costume was designed by Cary Santiago and featured an intricate Sarimanok (a mythical bird) headdress (above photo) to match. I thought this was a unique take on the traditional Filipina dress but one still saw the references with the "Butterfly" sleeves. The elaborate embroidery was quite stunning and I liked how it was followed throughout, even down to the shoes. I just wished it was more fitted. A fit-and-flare--or mermaid-shaped version--of this would have been PERFECT!

Miss International South Africa Tayla Skye Robinson (with Miss International USA Shanel James): Tayla's costume was a a "Peacock Queen" and featured LOTS and LOTS of peacock feathers, a jeweled sequined upper torso, more peacock feathers as a stand-up back collar and a sweeping royal blue iridescent overskirt.

Miss International Spain Elizabeth Ledesma: Elizabeth wore a very EspaƱa/Sevillana dress featuring a bubblegum pink lower torso, nude illusion with gold applique top section and those fabulous Seville-style ruffles. Oh, and of course, she carried a fan! I thought she looked gorgeous and the costume was almost like a "Barbie Doll" version of a Miss Spain.

Miss International United Kingdom Ashley Powell: This had to be one of the, shall we say "unusual' costumes of Tuesday night's Miss International 2017 Beauty Pageant. Miss United Kingdom was literally CARRYING a red with faux ermine trim caped GOLDEN LION! And huney, I was like "yep! I TOTALLY get it! She's from Great Britain!". In fact the costume is inspired by the Royal Arms of England, a coat of arms showcasing lions. I think it's definitely VERY original and at the same time, showing something of the UK culture. Listen, at least she's not carrying a plate of fish & chips on her back! Then again, that could be fabulous too...if the fish was completely done with golden Swarovski crystals!

Miss International USA Shanel James: Before you say "Is she Wonder Woman?" or "Is she Wonder Woman AND an Eagle?"...The beautiful US contestant, in fact, wore a costume paying homage to the Department of Defense, which is where she works at! This is why you see eagle-like wings, the stars, the arrows and olive branches. In addition, James said that when else would she also have the chance to do her best "Victoria's Secret Wings Model" look other than the Miss International National Costume competition! The great costume was created by Pixton Design Group based in Charlotte North Carolina.

Miss International Venezuela Diana Croce: Diana wore this Liquiliqui (typical "black tie" ensemble for men in the llanos (plains) of Venezuela. The costume--involving a jacket, shorts and boots--was designed by Venezuelan designer Douglas Tapia and created in Maracaibo. The original idea came from Osmel Sousa--the "Tsar" of the Miss Venezuela organization. He didn't want an elaborate costume since she would be traveling many, many hours to get to Japan from Venezuela and wanted her to have something easy to pack and comfortable to wear. The look was inspired by a concert piece from Juan Vincente Torrealba, a Venezuelan harpist and composer. The costume was done in black and white using paillettes and French Guipure lace with pearls and black crystals simulating the typical architecture of colonial Venezuela. Fusing architecture, music and a tribute to the women of the Venezuelan llanos/plains seems like a nice costume for the country's contestant.

Miss International Vietnam Huynh Thi Thuy Dung: As you can see above, Miss International Vietnam wore this feathered fantasy costume featuring oversized wings, exaggerated extra long sleeves, replicas of swans in her front torso AND...Lucite heel SUPER platforms! Now, I get the White Swan costume and hints of an Ao Dai somewhere in this but...those shoes were just TOO MUCHEY. Even for a costume.

**UP NEXT: The GOWNS of Miss International 2017 Finals!

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