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SASHES AND TIARAS.....MISS UNIVERSE 2018 Preliminary Competition: My TOP 20 BEST GOWNS!

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 Top Gowns--(L to R) Miss Universe Canada Marta Stepien, Miss Universe Indonesia Sonia Fergina Citra, Miss Universe Vietnam H'Hen Nei, Miss Universe Laos On-anong Homsombath, Miss Universe South Africa Tamaryn Green--Miss Universe 2018 Preliminary Competition

If you have been keeping up with my "Sashes And Tiaras" BLOG here--and are a BIG pageant fan-- you may know that the 67th Annual Miss Universe Beauty Pageant is taking place in Thailand with the Finals happening on December 17th (Sunday December 16th in the USA). I have already discussed the National Costumes HERE and earlier this week was the ever-important Preliminary Competition, which happened at the Impact Arena in Bangkok Thailand, site of the Final Crowning Night. The Preliminaries decide which of the 94 contestants will go on to compete as a Semi-finalists in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant and be a possible contender for the crown. During the 2018 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition Show, the contestants from all over the world showed off their toned figures during the Swimsuit Competition and then, it was time for the Evening Gown Preliminary Competition, which is of course, what I am more interested in.

There were Two Top Gown Trends of this very important International Pageant Night. First, the Silver/Golden and Nude Sequined Gowns:
Silver and Golden Beauties--(L to R) Miss Universe Kenya Wabaiya Kariuki, Miss Universe Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez, Miss Universe Canada Marta Stepien, Miss Universe Brazil Mayra Dias and Miss Universe Bolivia Joyce Prado--Miss Universe 2018 Preliminary Competition

And the Color Queens:
Universal Technicolor--(L to R) Miss Universe Malta Francesca Misfud, Miss Universe Indonesia Sonia Fergina Citra, Miss Universe Vietnam H'Hen Nie, Miss Universe Nigeria Aramide Lopez, Miss Universe El Salvador Marisela de Montecristo--Miss Universe 2018 Preliminary Competition

Combining these two BIG Gown Trends of the night, here are my TOP 20 BEST EVENING GOWNS of Miss Universe 2018 Preliminary Competition. I start with my Number One...
1. Miss Universe Vietnam H'hen Nie--Miss Universe Vietnam SLAYED the runway and stage in this canary yellow gown. Not only was the walk, attitude and runway performance worthy of a standing ovation, the gown delighted me with its bright color, flourish of exuberant chiffon/georgette and torso draped sequins. Normally I am not a fan of those "button earrings" and those platform nude heels but...DARLING, she brought the Preliminaries Evening Gown Competition House DOWN! All the other 93 ladies needed to get trained by HER! Like NOW.
Score: 9.92

2. Miss Universe Indonesia Sonia Fergina Citra--Sonia Fergina showed up to pay the GOWN RENT at the Miss Universe 2018 Preliminaries. I loved this red dress which was designed by ANAZ. It featured long exaggerated "Elizabethan"-like sleeves, Princess seam front slits, and a sexy fitted gown with red ruby jeweled crystal embellishments. She looked DIVINE, regal and crown-worthy. If there was any critique, having both slits in the side front made for that center front panel to scoop up under her legs and was runway-awkward.
Score: 9.90

3. Miss Universe Canada Marta Stepien--One word: WOW. Of all the silver/golden/nude sequined gowns that paraded down the stage/runway during the 2018 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition, Miss Universe Canada's was the best. Not only did it fit her to perfection, it looked natural on her and really magnified her already stunning physique and beauty. The dress was designed by Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco.
Score: 9.87

4. Miss Universe South Africa Tamaryn Green--Dressed in an off-the-shoulder ivory gown from Galluzi e Gini  Tamaryn looked like a Gown Angel! I thought she did a fabulous job on stage at the 2018 Miss Universe Preliminaries in this dress featuring an ivory colored crepe column gown (which was perfect against her skin color) with sequined details and a double chiffon cape. The gown was simple, exquisite and still had immediate impact. On this alone, I would give her the Miss Universe 2018 crown: Back-to-back darlings.
Score: 9.85

5. Miss Universe Malta Francesca Mifsud--Designed by Moda Ivanka Philippines, this emerald green gown was a STUNNER on the stage, really making Miss Universe Malta look like a DIVA. The design featured a sequined strapless-like dress with super high side front slit opening and full satin overskirt that added drama to entire look. I also loved her hair styling but would have preferred matching color strappy heels, as opposed to those platform nude ones.
Score: 9.75

 The Pageant Coloring Book

6. Miss Universe Peru Romina Lozano--There were several red gowns at this year's Miss Universe pageant and this one was my Top Favorite. Designed by Xavier Cordova, this strapless dress fit Romina perfectly and made her look both regal and beauty queen fab! I especially liked the mesh-like crystal work and leather-like satin fabrication.
Score: 9.60

7. Miss Universe Mexico Andrea Toscano--I had to add another fab red dress after another! Here--Miss Universe Mexico Andrea Toscano wore this red sequined lace design which was quite impacting and stood out among a sea of silver/golden/nude dresses. I loved the drama, the late 60's/early 70's Elizabeth Taylor-like look...I could just imagine a starlet in Acapulco having Cadillac Margaritas in this with gold bejeweled sandals...and lots of very handsome and rich men beside her!
Score: 9.50

8. Miss Universe El Salvador Marisela de Montecristo--This canary yellow sequined gown was designed by GLAUDI Collection by Johanna Hernandez and it looked GREAT on Miss Universe El Salvador. I loved the bright color, the leaf sequined embellishments...a fabulous dress for her moment on the Miss Universe 2018 Preliminary Competition stage. It there was any critique, I would be slightly questionable of that pointing-down leaf design right there by her you-know-what...but overall, it was a beautiful dress.
Score: 9.40

9. Miss Universe Laos On-anong Homsombath--I thought Miss Universe Laos' powder blue gown was pretty, elegant and fit nicely. While one has to be very careful with these "Pageant Betty"-like colors, this design looked expensive and rich and the satin bow in the front added a bit of Alta Moda detail. I was also a BIG fab of the PERFECT nude strappy heels! Thank you.
Score: 9.30

10. Miss Universe Bolivia Joyce Prado--This was one of the TOP BEST silver and nude gowns of the Preliminaries. The fit, the length, the design...Muy Bien! The gown looked expensive, had gorgeous sequined-and-fringe beading and shined onstage.
Score: 9.25

11. Miss Universe Lebanon Maya Reaidy--Lilac beautiful. I loved this lilac colored gown worn by Miss Universe Lebanon Maya Reaidy. The design featured a strapless fitted crystal gown with high side slit and georgette-crepe overskirt. It looked Paris Fashion Week fab as well as had Pageant Stage impact necessary for Miss Universe.
Score: 9.15

12. Miss Universe Nigeria Aramide Lopez--Aramide sauntered down the Miss Universe runway stage during the Preliminaries Evening Gown Competition looking every inch a Top Model in this  blue jewel colored shimmering gown. The one shoulder, side-draped design showed off her lean and 6' 1" physique beautifully! I didn't even hate those strappy platform pumps: She worked them as if the rent was due darlings!
Score: 9.10

13. Miss Universe Brazil Mayra Dias--Mayra was one of the Golden Nude Queens in this gown from Brazilian fashion designer based in Sao Paulo, Fabiana Milazzo. The gown featured a shimmering golden-nude base with "striped" crystal details, body hugging seaming and delicate cascade side drapes. If there was any critique, it would be the bust pads that were a teeny bit distracting; not sure what else I would have done as a designer or stylist to not have them there other than maybe line the stomach area as well so it would make for a nicer--and less distracting--transition. Other than this, it was a stunner of a dress.
Score: 9.00

 The Pageant Coloring Book

14. Miss Universe Ghana Diata Hoggar--Diata wore this gown designed by Ghana-based designer Ophelia Crossland and I liked it so much that I had to include her in my TOP 20 BEST GOWNS. The dress featured elaborate bead work throughout, over a light peach-colored base, a side front slit, back peplum and cap sleeves. I thought this could have gone "too muchey" but it all came together quite nicely--plus the fit was perfection, down to the proper length. And I LOVED the gold strappy heels. Thank you!
Score: 8.90

15. Miss Universe Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez--Sthefany made her Evening Gown appearance at the Miss Universe 2018 Preliminaries in a silver-nude gown from Venezuelan designer Nihal Nouaihed. The fitted dress which featured long sleeves, had beautiful silver sequins in a "fireworks"-like display over a nude illusion base. It was simple, and gave an almost Retro-like air of Cher and Bob Mackie, especially with her long straight hair. I just wished she would have worn no-platform strappy silver heels instead.
Score: 8.85

16. Miss Universe Thailand Sophida Kanchanarin--Sophida brought the house down as she made her entrance to the Miss Universe 2018 Evening Gown Preliminary Competition; after all she was at home in front of thousands of her fellow Thai! She wore this gown by Thailand-based design/brand Milin which featured a gorgeous display of hand-sewn crystals, over a silver iridescent base, a side front slit, scooped neckline and fringed back. While quite simple in its design, it had impact.
Score: 8.80

17. Miss Universe Kenya Wabaiya Kariuki--Wabaiya wore this sheer silver gown designed by Filipino designed Jian Lasala which featured silver sequins and crystals, nude side panels and back chiffon falls. The dress fit her teeny-tiny figure perfectly and made her stage moment a stand-out. If I had any critique...yes, you might have guessed it: THOSE CLUNKY NUDE PLATFORM SHOES! Whyyyyyy???!!!!
Score: 8.50

18. Miss Universe Colombia Valeria Morales--One in a handful of contestants who chose to wear a full ballgown shape was Miss Universe Colombia, Valeria Morales. Valeria wore this lipstick red gown from Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza. The strapless dress took 8 days to make, and features a full satin organza base with hand-sewn flower appliques, delicate flowing peplum and full back train. While it might not have been the most "High Fashion" of styles, the color was striking and I appreciated that the design stood out among a sea of nude golden/silver column dresses.
Score: 8.40

19. Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray--Catriona wore a golden design by Filipino designer Mak Tumang. The dress is inspired by the Ibong Adrana, a mythological bird/Phoenix that could change into different guises or characters, regenerating itself amidst a spectacle of flames: A phoenix rising from the ashes, as it were. The design featured feather-like sequined appliques set over a nude-colored tulle/chiffon base, fitted silhouette and front leg opening/slit. The color and bead work were great, but I just wished it wasn't as open in the front (it was too-mucheyyy-open for my taste), and here we go again with those clunky nude platforms!
Score: 8.30

Lastly...
20. Miss Universe Israel Nikol Reznikov--I wanted to add Miss Universe Israel and this very unique interpretation of an "Evening Gown": A Pantsuit! Nikol is here on my Top 20 List because she stood out with this look--the only contestant to wear PANTS (Mon Dieu!) for the Evening Gown Competition. I loved that she went onstage and owned it, every second of it. This Sherri Hill creation featured wide leg pants and a shawl-collar Tuxedo jacket with tails, both of which were detailed with black sequined embellishments. This was UBER chic and ultra modern. Part of me wished it would have been all black a la Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking with super skinny pants, but this was great nonetheless.
Score: 8.25 

**WHICH ONES were YOUR TOP FAVORITE Evening Gowns of the 2018 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition???

...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:

9 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....MISS UNIVERSE 2018 Preliminary Competition: My TOP 20 BEST GOWNS!"

Leo Acejo said...

So happy to see Miss Philippines Catriona on the list. As always I love hearing what you had to say Nick thank you for always doing these.

Wanda Tara Prasetya said...

Thanks you nick nor the review, love from indonesia.

Boo said...

Pls let me know what do you think of miss china gown, it looks complicated thanks

၇ဲ said...

Love your Critics and never fail to come here and read it!

Angga said...

Indonesia ���� thx u @nicke verrreos ������

Dion said...

Indonesia 💖 💖 thanks @nickverreos

Unknown said...

Hi, Nick! Thanks for your on point critique of your top 20 gown choices!

Just curious - what are your thoughts on the lavish ball gown of Miss Kyrgyzstan which several vloggers have singled out as the high fashion best of the lot?

Unknown said...

Thailand waiting for your final round scores

Unknown said...

When are you going to give your review abt MU finals?