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Best in Gown? Which one of these ladies wore the BEST GOWN--Keep reading...(L to R) Miss Universe Mexico Denisse Franco, Miss Universe Ghana Ruth Quashie, Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarb, Miss Universe Venezuela Keysi Sayago, and Miss Universe Indonesia Bunga Jelitha--Miss Universe 2017 Evening Gown Preliminary Competition, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas

           Photos Courtesy of Missosology Facebook Page, HO/The Miss Universe Organization

This past Monday was the 66th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition, held at the Mezzanine Level of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas, same location that the Miss Universe 2017 National Costumes Presentation was held (Check out my TOP 20 Miss Universe 2017 Costumes HERE!).

Nude and Golden--"Nude" and golden/blush colored gowns--Trend No. 1 of Pageant Gowns--Miss Universe 2017 contestants at the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas

The Preliminaries are very important because this is where the contestants compete in Swimsuit and Evening Gown in front of a panel of judges who will then choose the Semifinalists who will be announced on the night's Final Crowning this upcoming Sunday November 26th. I don't really care about the Swimsuits but THE EVENING GOWNS....that's my territory!

Ivory Queens--White Gowns--Trend No. 2 of Pageant Gowns--Miss Universe 2017 contestants at the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas

After looking at all the 92 contestants and their gowns, there were LOTS of Nude and Golden Gowns, White Gowns, Canary Yellow Gowns (Top 3 Trends in the Pageant World!)...

Canary Yellow Gals--Bright "highlighter/canary yellow" gowns--Trend No. 3 of Pageant Gowns--Miss Universe 2017 contestants at the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas

One can blame the originators of the "Nude/Golden" Gown Look on Lebanese Couturiers Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad but I also think after last year's Miss Universe France Iris Mittenaere won the Miss Universe  crown wearing a nude/golden gown (Click HERE!)...this year's contestants were bitten by the NUDE GOLDEN GOWN Virus. So, with that said, here is my TOP 20 GOWNS from Miss Universe 2017 preliminary Evening Gown Competition, starting with....

1. Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarb: This was by far the most Haute Couture-looking gowns of all the 92 contestants vying for Miss Universe 2017. Miss Universe Thailand chose a white shimmering gown from Thai designer/brand Surface by Joe Surface. The strapless gown was custom made for her and featured a sequined crinoline/tulle fabrication and folded cascade drapes with a back overskirt. It was dramatic, stage-impacting and Paris Runway Fab. No store-bought polyester dress here darlings!
Score: 9.75

2. Miss Universe Venezuela Keysi Sayago: Keysi is a runway fashion DIVA! She's been posting photos of all her daily looks while in Las Vegas and has been looking STYLED huney! So I was happy to see this beautiful choice for her gown: A silver/white sequined crinoline strapless design from Venezuelan designer Alejandro Fajardo (he also designed her national costume which I loved). The dress fit perfectly, hugged every right part of her flawless figure and the shimmering white color stood out against her naturally tanned skin.  I also loved the bun and earrings as well.
Score: 9.65

*This gown--by the way-- is a version of what he designed for this year's winner of "Miss Venezuela":
Stefhany Gutierrez Miss Delta Amacuro and newly crowned Miss Venezuela 2017. She wore this white sequined Alejandro Fajardo gown. She'll compete in NEXT YEAR'S Miss Universe. 

3. Miss Universe Indonesia Bunga Jelitha: Another fashionista at this year's Miss Universe is the tall and fabulous Miss Universe Indonesia. Bunga chose (Thank God it wasn't NUDE, GOLDEN, or WHITE!) a pink silk chiffon draped gown from Indonesian designer Andreas Odang. I LOVED the bubblegum pink color and the "Old Hollywood Glamour"-meets-Grecian Goddess draping and style of the gown. I also liked her sleek hair. I just wished she would not have worn those tacky nude platforms: They are so NOT Haute and so 4 pm, as opposed to 9 pm darling. I wish--instead--she would have worn the silver strappy heels in the photo-shoot above. But these girls--they always want to look taller, instead of looking chic.
Score: 9.35

4. Miss Universe Ghana Ruth Quashie: Yeayyy! Another non-nude/golden/white gown! The stunning Miss Universe Ghana wore my 4th Favorite Gown from the 2017 Miss Universe Preliminaries. This canary yellow dress was designed by Pistis Ghana by Kabutey Dzietror  and Sumaiya Mohammed and it features yellow duchesse satin with hand-beaded Kente-style embellishments. I thought the color, style and fit were PERFECT! And the gown made Ruth a stand-out in a sea of Nude/Silver/Gold. I was also VERY HAPPY that she wore the correct shoes and not those platform ones.
Score: 9.20

5. Miss Universe Aruba Alina Mansur: Aruba's Alina Mansur wore this silver/white sequined gown designed by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza. This was another example of a more Haute-looking evening gown. From the side cascade drape to the stunning glittery fabrication, to the correct was all fab! While I wished the upper torso wasn't so...sheer'ish (it was like a cross between a figure skating costume-meets-a-too-sexy-pageant contestant), I tried to overlook that and concentrate on the overall look.
Score: 9.15

6. Miss Universe Korea Sewhee Cho: This gown worn by Miss Universe Korea was one of the better shimmering silver ones...and there were A LOT! The off-the-shoulder column/fit and flare style--designed by Vietnamese designer Chung Thanh Phong--fit her BEAUTIFULLY and the silver fringe was stage-impacting fabulous. This was one of the BEST and that's why she is my No. 6.
Score: 9.10

7. Miss Universe Peru Prissila Howard: Prissila wore one of those popular "nude"/silver gowns for the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminaries. I loved the gorgeous sequined detail and how it curved around the body, really accentuating her figure. More importantly, I also appreciated that the lining went ALL THE WAY DOWN! While many may think she might have been too "covered up", I thought this was elegant and classy. I know that you can barely see those nude platforms she was wearing (Gracias a Dios!) but I wished that she might have gone with silver strappy heels, but that's just me.
Score: 9.05

8. Miss Universe Australia Olivia Rogers: I thought this blue sequined gown was a very nice choice for the pretty Miss Universe Australia--so much so that I placed her at No. 8 in my Top 20 Best Gowns here. The gown was designed by Australian designer Steph Audino and featured a halter neckline, straight column dress with high side-front slit and attached full overskirt. The caviar-beaded fabrication was exquisite and expensive and the overall style--especially with the side front folded draped detail--looked very "Elie Saab Lite", which I admired. And KUDOS to my dear Olivia for wearing THE RIGHT and very fab silver strappy heels!!! #ILoveYou.
Score: 9.00

9. Miss Universe Angola Lauriela Martins: Next gown on my list of Best is another nude/shimmering design, very similar to Miss Universe Peru's gown (No. 7)--this time worn by the statuesque Miss Universe Angola. The gown was by Brazilian designer Alexandre Dutra and featured golden and silver sequins over a nude tulle base, as well as shoulder details. Once again, though, I wasn't a fan of her shoes. But, overlooking those, the overall impact was very "Glittering  Pageant Queen".
Score: 8.98

10. Miss Universe Mexico Denisse Franco: The beautiful Miss Universe Mexico wore this white crepe gown with nude illusion and sequins designed by Marcela Beltran. The gown shape looked marvelous on Denisse, curving her figure perfectly as you can see above. The dress featured a center front slit and princess seams that flared the style into a full mermaid-like bottom sweep. If there was any critique, I just think that the nude illusion--paired with the rhinestone details--takes the gown into "Figure Skating Costume" territory. But other than that, this was a nice gown for her.
Score: 8.97

11. Miss Universe Nicaragua Berenice Quezada: Designed by Nicaraguan designer Erick Bendaña, this gown got my attention because it didn't fall into any of those typical Pageant Gown categories. This style was a full ballgown style and featured a very pretty mint blue color. The dress was covered in what seemed like cut velvet  and sequins, which added to the unique one-of-a-kind look. I thought it was elegant and very pretty.
Score: 8.95

12. Miss Universe France Alicia Aylies: Oh, yes, here we go again, a nude/blush/silver sequined gown! This time, on Miss Universe France. The shape and silhouette were nice and I liked the semi-sheer look (not completely see-through!). I also thought the delicate tulle capelet on her shoulders and arms was a nice detail. And in addition, a Merci to Alicia for NOT wearing those nude platform shoes and instead opting for the correct strappy heels.
Score: 8.90

13. Miss Universe Sweden Frida Fornander: Miss Universe Sweden's gown--designed by  "Crown Couture" Gaspar Cruz--featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, nude base and silver and blue sequined embellishments. The pop of color made it a little different from all those other very similar-looking gowns and at least, for me, made me take notice in a good way. It also fit her quite nicely. But...uh oh, what do I see on her feet! Oh No. Not Those. Clunky. Platform. Shoes!
Score: 8.75

14. Miss Universe Panama Laura de Sanctis: No. 14 in my Top 20 List of Best Gown of Miss Universe 2017 Preliminaries was this one worn by Miss Universe Panama Laura de Sanctis. The dress was designed by Venezuelan designer Julio Mora and featured a white iridescent full sweeping skirt with a side front slit attached to a nude illusion top with shimmering gold-and-silver sequins that looked like luxe Christmas tinsel. While I loved how the sequined "tinsel" looked on her upper torso, I could have done without it on the arms and shoulder. And once again...those nude platform pumps! (Ayyy Dios Mio!).
Score: 8.65

15. Miss Universe Guyana Rafieya Husain: Designed by Canadian designer Bobby Ackbarali , known for doing fabulous Dance Wear and Beauty Pageant designs--he created this three days before she left from Guyana to Las Vegas (!). I loved the bold canary yellow color and thought the fuller ballgown shape was pretty and Princess-like. One has to be careful though when doing such a BOLD color, since it can take you into Disney Territory very quickly. With that said, the color is PERFECT for Rafieya and she styled her hair in a very chic manner with that center front sleek look. If there was any critique, she didn't need those diamante earrings; the rhinestone trim on the dress itself was enough.
Score: 8.55

16. Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters: Rachel wore this strapless gold/nude gown from Dubai-based designer Val Taguba, who also created her "Golden Chicken" national costume which you can see HERE in my Miss Universe 2017 National Costumes BLOG. The gown featured gorgeous intricate gold sequined detail over a nude tulle base and super high side front slit. She looked Va Va Voom Super sexy--continuing her "theme" started with her also-very sexy National Costume. If there were any critiques, it would be that I wished she wouldn't have worn those nude platform pumps and instead opted for gold strappy heels; and I thought she could have bumped up her earrings to something more luxe. Also, since this style of dress has become so "Pageant Typical", there is nothing very exciting about this look.
Score: 8.50

17. Miss Universe Vietnam Loan Nguyen: Miss Universe Vietnam also wore one of those "nude" gowns (seriously, they all were bitten by the NUDE GOWN VIRUS!). This one was designed by NTK Do Long and had gold and silver sequined appliques over a nude tulle base, long sleeves and an illusion netting covered neckline. The style fit her nicely and she styled herself well (except for those nude platforms, of course!).
Score: 8.30

18. Miss Universe Dominican Republic Carmen Munos: Oh, look at that: It's NOT a nude gown! The lovely contestant from the Dominican Republic wore this dramatic black sequined ballgown, designed by Dominican Republic designer Rafael Rivero. I thought this was stage-impacting and impressive. The fabrication looks very expensive and the shape makes it stand out among a sea of skin-tight column gowns. I'm sure many people might say she's a little too "Gone With The Wind" but I like the drama and almost "Throwback" style to the Miss Venezuela SUPERGOWN days of Angel Sanchez and Guy Meliet.
Score: 8.25

19. Miss Universe Guam Myana Welch: Guam's representative looked very pretty in this white sequined gown. The dress featured "patches" of clustered paillettes over a nude tulle base. I think this was a nice gown choice and her styling was modern; I even liked those fab earrings of hers. What I didn't I like...You guessed it: THE STRIPPER PLATFORM PUMPS!
Score: 8.15

20. Miss Universe India Shraddha Shahshidhar: Last on my Top 20 Best Gowns List, I wanted to include this design worn by Miss Universe India. The gown, created by Indian designer Swapnil Shinde (who also happened to be a contestant on "Project Runway" Season 14 and has now become one of the go-to designers for Bollywood stars and Indian Pageant Queens), features silver sequins over a nude tulle base, along with a super sexy silhouette featuring a very high front "slit" opening. I would have preferred if the slit/opening wasn't there and think a closed gown would have looked more "Red Carpet Fab", but I loved the sequined fabrication. Also, because of the opening, I got to see her unfortunate choice of shoes (WHYYYY????). But on a good note: Her hair, makeup and earrings were on-point!
Score: 8.10

But wait...THERE'S MORE...

EXTRAS!!! I just wanted to include this group of Gown Ladies just because their choices of gowns were so...UNUSUAL! I wasn't sure if  I wanted to call them "Oh Dear's!" or just give them "Drag Queen" snaps for being bold enough to go there. I think it's a combination of both. These were certainly NOT my Top 20 Faves but they were "Cray-Cray-Licious"! Take a look: 

Miss Universe Malaysia Samantha James: She's wearing A SEQUINED BODY SUIT. Under her one shoulder red gown. #JustSaying

Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy: She's wearing a gown that has a matching leotard/hot shorts...that are ON FULL DISPLAY! Is it a gown? Kind of. Is it  Hot Shorts? Kind of. Will she remove the dress and perform a Showgirl number or Baton Twirl? Maybe. Well, it is Las Vegas, after all! #AtAGurl

Miss Universe Brazil Monalysa Alcantara: Oh, what do we have here? It's a Shimmering Sequined Glam House Coat Gown...with full bell sleeves and visible sequined panties underneath! While I am not sure how "Miss Universe Fab" this is as a gown, I would DIE if I went to someone's mansion, and the owner's wife walked down the stairs and greeted me in this...and a Dirty Martini! 

Miss Universe Poland Katarzyna Wlodarek: Wow. That. Is. A. Look. Nude gown with blue jeweled crystals, stacked silver platform pumps AND a big pouffy iridescent overskirt. I can hear Nina Garcia of "Project Runway" having a heart attack right about now. I have several questions: Is the overskirt made of blue iridescent organza or blue cellophane wrapping paper? On a good note: This would make for a FAB dress from the "Make a Pageant Gown out of Party Store Materials" Challenge on "Project Runway".

Miss Universe Spain Sofia del Prado: I feel as if I stepped back into "Valley of the Dolls" circa 1966 and all she's missing is a Martini and a long, long cigarette. The white sequins...the fur trim...She should have just finished it off with a fab big bouffant!

Miss Mauritius Angie Callychurn: Not sure why she's missing one sleeve and instead there's only a small wristband/cuff in its place, but oh well. She's very Las Vegas Canary Sequined Showgirl. For Sure.

And lastly...
Miss Universe Myanmar: Two words--Sequined Elephants. Bravo Miss Myanmar.

**Which GOWNS were YOUR FAVORITES of the 2017 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition?

And don't forget about my NEW "The Pageant Coloring Book"! Where you can create your very own Evening Gown Competition with 25 of my hand-drawn Pageant Queen illustrations. Click HERE to purchase NOW on


Wanda Prasetya said...

I love indonesia with shocking pink, because we are boring see the contestants wearing nude white/gold/silver gown. We need something different so miss indonesia look fabulous with her gown. Thanks nick

Edmund Neihsial said...

I can't agree more.word on word!🤗👌👍✌️

Juandri Aruan said...

Nice picks! Here are my thoughts:
-Miss Thailand's dress is a work of art. The construction of this gown is just perfection. The sequined fabric is a stunner, it reminded me a bit with the gown Kezia wore for last year's (well technically earlier this year) Preliminary competition, which I love. But i think her overall look is a tad overstyled. With the statement necklace, the neckline and the structure going on on the waist, i feel like the overskirt is not needed. Also I think f she would've put her hair up like the fitting pictures, the look would be better. I love the gown and I love her, but the look is wearing her. Still deserving the number 1 tho
-I agree with you on Miss Indonesia. This number is a stunner. It moves beautifully and the fuchsia is just delicious. Bummer on the shoes tho. And i wish the beadwork is slightly larger in size to create even bigger impact, like this Anne Hathaway Prada number
-I love Miss Ghana's gown. The only problem i see is the length it made the bottom part a bit wrinkly
-Out of all the bedazzled gowns (and there's a LOT, like a LOT of them), my fave would be Miss Korea. I love everything from the neckline, the fit, the fringe detailing, the styling ALTHOUGH I wish it was in another color, like sapphire blue or graphite. Oh she would look so BOMB in graphite. It will make her stand out even more in the sea of neutral colored fully embroidered gowns this year
-I'm surprised you didn't mention Miss USA. I love her gown sooo much. The nude lace embroidered in slightly green based yellow is striking without being overwhelming. It was one of my favorites, i love everything from the color to the styling!

Swapnil shinde said...

Yayyyyy thank you nickkkkk you made my day... swapnil :-))))

robert stanley said...

Ive been waiting on your commentary this whole week. My personal favorite is Miss Panama. She has such a classic Miss Universe vibe to her. I know the winner and top 3 is going to be unpredictable in good old IMG fashion lol smh

erros said...

What's your take on Miss South Africa's preliminary evening gown?

djv.1301 said...

I much prefer the gown Miss Thailand wore for the preliminaries to the one she wore in the finale. Stunning gown. The finale gown didn't have the same X factor.