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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2018 NATIONAL COSTUMES SHOW: TOP 20 BEST COSTUMES!

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Universal  Costumes--(L to R) Miss Universe Laos, Miss Universe El Salvador, Miss Universe Thailand, Miss Universe India--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

The 67th annual Miss Universe beauty pageant is happening in Thailand. I previously blogged about the National Costumes which you can see/read HERE, giving a "Sneak Peak" of what some of the contestants would be wearing for the international beauty pageant. Earlier this week pageant fans from all over the world found out what ALL 94 contestants are actually wearing as their National Costumes: The "Miss Universe 2018" National Costumes Show was held in Pattaya Thailand showcasing all the National Costumes and giving a taste of the style, fashion and national identity that makes this pageant a fabulous and unique event.

Out of the 94 National Costumes, here are my TOP 20 BEST:
1. Miss Universe El Salvador Marisela de Montecristo--Designed by Erick Bendana, the National Costume worn by Miss Universe El Salvador is a SUPERB STANDOUT of Pre-Columbian Central American Fabulousness! The design is inspired by the Festival of Panchimalco, a pre-Columbian festival with more than 500 years of history. In this town one can find the Santa Cruz de Roma Church, one of the oldest colonial temples in Central America. The costume features a silver sequined nude illusion bodysuit, gorgeous mask and over-the-top beautiful ivory peacock feathered "wings". It is impressive, beautiful and deserved of the BEST NATIONAL COSTUME of this year's Miss Universe--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

2. Miss Universe Laos On-anong Homsombath--Miss Universe Laos walked onstage during the Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Show wearing this stunning gold ensemble inspired by a half-human, half-bird from Laos folklore. She literally manipulated golden figures in front and behind her....all as part of her National Costume: INCREDIBLE an I had to put her as my No. 2 Best National Costume of the 2018 Miss Universe!--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

3. Miss Universe Puerto Rico Kiara Liz Ortega--Kiara Liz Otiga showed off her National Costume for the island U.S. territory of Puerto Rico entitled "Puerto Rican Reborn". Designed by Joshuan Aponte, the costume was inspired by Hurricane Maria. This "Fashion Hurricane" was made with multiple layers of different types of materials in transparent and metal finishes, including a layer of smart LED lights to represent the wind gusts movement. The Puerto Rican flag is shown in gems and crystals emanating from the eye of the hurricane. A combination of hands, all in different colors to represent the diversity of people in Puerto Rico while the rubies emanating from red hands represents the blood of more than 3,000 lives that were lost. White hands shower a rainfall of silver crystals that represent the tears of the village and in the diaspora. This costume wants to show that Puerto Rico is rising again and a metaphor of light that illuminates the path of queens and all women who decide to lift the homeland--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

4. Miss Universe Thailand Sophida Kanchanarin--Entitled “Chang the Icon of Siam”, this elegant costume was designed by Tee Phasux. The 20-kilogram costume was decorated with Swarovski crystals and is a combination of Thai dress and technology using hydraulics to transform the dress into an elephant, hence the name “Chang the Icon of Siam”. The gorgeous ensemble also features ivory colored silk-wool double-layered torso/neckline details, intricate gold and pearl sequin embroidery, crown and back cape/flaps--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

5. Miss Universe India Nehal Chudasama--Nehal  chose to dress up like Bollywood actress Rani Rudrama Devi in the Telugu film "The Warrior Queen" (above photo) for her National Costume. Designed by Neeta Lulla and Melvyn Dominic Noronha, the costume weighs 105 pounds and includes her own throne (therefore the weight!), an embellished leather bustier, sequined purple "Harem" pants and a golden crown. It represents a warrior princess symbolizing women empowerment and diversity--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

6. Miss Universe Guatemala Mariana Garcia--This fabulous bird-like costume is entitled "Princess of Kaminal Juyu" and is the national costume of Miss Universe Guatemala. The Archaeological site, Kaminal Juyu, was the most important pre-Hispanic regional capital of the central highlands of Guatemala. The ruins covered more than 200 mounds that spread in an area of 5 kilometers, including 13 ball games, scattered in this area around the lagoon of miraflores, today extinct in a warm, flat and fertile plateau, with abundant rivers surrounded by green mountains. The white and black colors of the costume represent the cyclic movements of the moon of the Mayan calendar; the red represents the purity of the Mayan princesses, and the green shows the splendor of the architecture and science of the great Mayan civilization. It was designed by Toni Berganza and Cesar Castro--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand



7. Miss Universe Ecuador Virginia Limongi--Entitled "Ecuadorian Amazon", this vibrant costume was designed by Wenceslao MunosThe costume features a colorful sequined and feathered bird-like design with exaggerated wings, festive headdress and shoes and made quite an impact at the Miss Universe 2018 National Costume Show--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand


8. Miss Universe Canada Marta Stepien--Entitled "Queen of the Maple Leaf", this costume is inspired by the Canadian flag and the historical significance that the maple leaf has for the country. It featured a stunning display of gold-leaf, oversized sequins, maple leaves and Pre-Columbian design--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

9. Miss Universe Curacao Akisha Albert--"Standing as one, representing thousands and thousands of powerful, free, educated and empowered women" is how Akisha describes her National Costume which features a gorgeous multi-tiered Caribbean Diva of a gown with stunning multilayered necklaces, turban and arm-sleeves. She looked like the most DIVINE of an Island Voodoo Goddess--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand


10. Miss Universe Kazakhstan Sabina Azembayeva--This stunning costume took months to make, featuring a gold fashion ensemble including a jumpsuit and overskirt, boots and crown. It also has one of the BEST feathered wings in the pageant! The overall costume is full of symbolism with the gold color representing the wealth of the country and the wings, the nation's independence and freedom--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

11. Miss Universe Panama Rosa Montezuma--The name behind this grand design for Miss Universe Panama is "Zarati, The Rebirth of Two Legends ". The costume features a tan-colored mesh base, to simulate Princess Zara under the gold of the sun's rays, which is made of more than 3,500 golden beads with small iridescent crystals and sheets of silver acetates, matching a bib, cuff links and anklets. The design was done by Abdul Juliao. The headdress and gear are inspired by the symbol of the eagle in the pre-Columbian era. The silver crown that is part of the headdress is plated in 18K gold and made by the hands of the goldsmiths Mila Jewelry--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

12. Miss Universe Peru Romina Lozano--While growing up in the Amazonian jungle area of Peru, she was brought up listening to a lot of stories and legends. Romina decided to showcase one of these legends through her costume of a siren that turns into a woman to seduce everyone. The costume was very creative and went from one look to another...and then another throughout the presentation (Scroll to the end of this BLOG to watch the Miss Universe 2018 National Costume Show on YouTube). The costume was designed by Beto Pinedo--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

13. Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray--Catriona showcased her National Costume in this interesting design. Gray was carrying the island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao on her shoulders, literally and figuratively. She showcased the lantern on her back, inspired by Pampanga artisans, despite it failing to light up at the last minute. Her headpiece and accessories are an ode to the tribes of the South while her body suit featured authentic tattoo designs by the Pintados. While I thought it was an impacting costume design, it lacked the stage effect that I am sure she--or the designer Jearson Demavivas--intended--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand


14. Miss Universe Vietnam H'Hen Nie--Miss Universe Vietnam wore a Bahn Mi Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich as her Miss Universe National Costume. The costume features a basket of the iconic Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich, as if a street vendor was selling it. The look also featured a straw cone-shaped hat, boots and necklace. It was unique, creative and in its own way, fashionable--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

15. Miss Universe Japan Yuumi Kato--Miss Universe Japan's National Costume for Miss Universe involved a Samurai Fashion Diva-turns-into-Sailor Moon look. The design first starts as a sexy Samurai with a mini Kimono and thigh-high stiletto boots, and then flips into the iconic "Sailor Moon" Japanese anime costume. You cannot make this stuff up! Don't miss it at the end of this BLOG in the Miss Universe 2018 National Costume Show YouTube Video--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

16. Miss Universe Brazil Mayra Dias--Created by the artists of Parintins and designed by Helerson da Maia, the main designer for the festival costumes of the Boi de Paritins, this costume represents a tribute to the indigenous ethnic minorities of the South American nation. It is the representation of an Indigenous person who carries in them the paintings and plumage of all the Brazilian ethnic groups...it was quite an effective "Native" costume for this beautiful South American contestant--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand


17. Miss Universe China Meisu Qin--This innovative costume from Miss Universe China was inspired by two significant Chinese dramas: The Northern Peking Opera and the Southern Sichuan Opera--both of which show strong female characters--emotional as well as  artistic qualities--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

18. Miss Universe Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez--Miss Universe Venezuela wore her national costume entitled “Guaichia: Protector Queen of Nature" this week at the Miss Universe National Costume Show. The costume, designed by Voyage, featured more than 140,000 golden Swarovski crystals and was inspired by the Venezuelan Amazon. The ensemble is complemented by a crown created by Sinparjoyas and an anaconda created by Jason Galarraga and was quite exotic in its design and interpretation--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand


19. Miss Universe Indonesia Sonia Fergina Citra--Sonia wore this Indonesia National Costume entitled "The Bird of Paradise". Designed and created by Jember Fashion Carnaval , the look features gorgeous white and canary yellow feathers, silver sequins, ivory tulle, burgundy bead work and...birds that "come alive" in the back (Watch the video at the end of this BLOG to see!)--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

Lastly...
20. Miss Universe Nepal Manita Devkota--Miss Universe Nepal's blue-silver costume represents the Goddess Avalokitesvara who observes or gazes down at the world to relieve the suffering of others, protect people from danger, and grant blessings to the children--Miss Universe 2018 National Costumes Presentation Show, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand

Click below to watch the 2018 Miss Universe National Costume Show:


...And Don't Forget about my "Pageant Coloring Book" where you can create your VERY OWN Evening Gown Competition using my Fashion Illustrations! Click HERE to Purchase:

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