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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2018 Finals: Winner + TOP 10 EVENING GOWN RECAP!

 Best in Gown--(L to R) Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray, Miss Universe Venezuela Shefany Gutierrez, Miss Universe South Africa Tamaryn Green, Miss Universe Vietnam H'Hien Nie, Miss Universe Thailand Sophida Kanchariran--Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night, Impact Arena, Thailand

This past Sunday night (Monday morning in Thailand), were the Finals of the 67th Annual Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. The pageant took place in Thailand with a record number of 94 contestants from all over the world vying for the coveted crown. The winner was PHILIPPINES: Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray--a big favorite to win from the beginning--took the top crown. The 1.78 M (5' 10") tall beauty was born in Australia from a Scottish-born Australian father and Filipino mother...

 Crowned Beauty--Miss Universe Philippines gets her crown from outgoing Miss Universe 2017, South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters--Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night, Impact Arena, Thailand

 And The New Miss Universe Is--(L to R) Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray holds hands with Miss Universe South Africa Tamaryn Green--Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night, Impact Arena, Thailand

Catriona Gray's First Runner-up was Miss Universe South Africa Tamaryn Green, another top favorite to win the crown. Many thought that South Africa would have a back-to-back Miss Universe but it was not to be and last year's Miss Universe, South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters ended up crowning the Philippines contender as opposed to her home country's beauty pageant holder.

 Pageant Queen--Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray is Miss Universe 2018--Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night, Impact Arena, Thailand

This marks the fourth time the country of Philippines has won Miss Universe, only three years after Pia Wurtzbach was crowned in Las Vegas during the infamous Steve Harvey-named-the-wrong-winner year. Catriona did a fabulous job at Miss Universe, from her FIERCE Swimsuit catwalk to the Gown (in my opinion, her walk was better than the gown....more on that below). To many in the pageant world, she had all the qualifications of being a Miss Universe and she did everything right.

 Swimsuit Fab--Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray during the Top 20 Swimsuit Competition--Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night, Impact Arena, Thailand

Catriona Crown--Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, from the Philippines

The model-singer and TV host is not a stranger to beauty pageants, having won several including...

And then going on to the Miss World 2016 Beauty Pageant where she placed Top 5 

Afterward, she went on to compete on the Binibining Filipinas/Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Beauty Pageant where she won (above photo)...and the rest is Miss Universe history.

Now, it's time to discus the TOP TEN Miss Universe EVENING GOWNS:
Gown Ladies--Miss Universe 2018 Top Ten in Evening Gowns--Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night, Impact Arena, Thailand

Let's start with the winner: 
Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray--Catriona wore this sexy red beaded gown from Filipino designer Mak Tumang, who also created her Preliminaries dress. The gown, entitled "The Mayon Gown", was inspired by the iconic Mayon Volcano (the most active volcano in the Philippines) which features a perfect symmetric conical form at the top. According to folk tales, it was named the "Mayon" volcano after the mythological heroine Daragang Magayon (Beautiful Lady). The designer said that Catriona can be considered as the modern-day Daragang Magayon...

My Critique: The dress was covered in thousands of multicolored crystals creating an effect of molted lava covering her figure and featured sculptural nude illusion panels showing almost a sliding-like path of the "lava" crystals. The design also had a super-high side slit showing off her long legs. While it wasn't my favorite gown of the Top Ten to be honest (it was a little too-mucheey in terms of leg for my taste), I liked the inspiration and it definitely had stage impact. Also, I just wished she wouldn't have worn those platform nude heels because they were distracting and, frankly not right with that gown (red strappy non-platform heels might have been a better choice, style-wise). 
Score: 8.95 (out of 10)

I did, however love that she wore the earring accessory that she also wore back when she won Miss Universe Philippines earlier this year...
Catriona's "Three Stars and the Sun" earring cuff, created by Tessara Jewelry. She said that she wanted to add a "patriotic" touch to her look: The earring accessory is inspired by the stars and sun in the Philippine flag. 

Miss Universe South Africa Tamaryn Green--Tamaryn, who ended up as Almost-Miss-Universe--or First Runner-up, wore this silver crystal gown for the Miss Universe 2018 Final Crowning Night. In all honesty, this was my Top Favorite Gown. The design was from Galluzi e Gini, the same designer/brand that created her preliminary Gown (which I also loved HERE). The strapless column gown featured a side cowl drape and open side front slit. The fit and length were spot-on, unfortunately, because of that side skirt panel, it had a "life of its own" and kept wanting to crawl into her walking space. It really affected her moment on the stage but luckily, later she realized what to correct--in terms of her walk--to make up for that clumsy runway mishap. Even with that, the gown itself was TOP NOTCH. And I loved the styling including her hair and the matching silver crystal strappy heels.
Score: 9.90

Miss Universe Canada Marta Stepien--My No. 2 Best Gown at the 2018 Miss Universe Finals was this fabulous design worn by Miss Universe Canada. Marta SHUT THE GOWN DOOR DOWN with this over-the-top design from Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco. She actually wore this gown for the Preliminaries but only featured the dress--and not the 5-tiered crinoline overskirt. She overtook the stage--and the Evening Gown Competition--when she stepped out in this, SLAYING everyone else (except Miss Universe South Africa's dress). I loved the Couture look, fabulous over-the-top effect and You-Only-Get-One-Miss-Universe-Gown-Chance so...
Score: 9. 89

Miss Universe Venezuela Sthefany Gutierrez--Sthefany wore this same gown for the Miss Universe 2018 Preliminaries and while it would have been nice to see something different, it was a strong design to show--especially for those viewers who had no knowledge of what she had already worn at the Preliminaries. The gown was from Venezuelan designer Nidal Nouaihed and featured silver sequins over a nude illusion base...

Sthefany's gown was THE definition of the popular "Nude--or Naked-Dress", inspired by the one-and-only Cher, and designer Bob Mackie at the 1974 Met Gala (above photo). I thought Miss Universe Venezuela looked great.
Score: 9.35

Miss Universe Curacao Akisha Albert--My 4th Favorite Gown of the Miss Universe 2018 Finals was this silver sequined one worn by Miss Universe Curacao. The fit was perfection and Akisha looked every bit a Pageant Goddess in it. I loved the radiating upper torso crystal details and how it framed her figure and the styling was on-point--including her chignon hairstyle, makeup and earrings. She was ELEGANZA defined!
Score: 9.25

Miss Universe Vietnam H'Hien Nie--Next up is Miss Universe Vietnam in this silver sequined gown. I thought she looked marvelous, elegant and exuded Pageant Royalty in this shimmering custom gown by Linh San Couture. The column fitted dress had an open-scoop neckline, center front illusion panel, side front slit, long sleeves. The length was perfect and the fit was 100 %. I just wished she would have worn silver strappy heels.
Score: 9.20

Miss Universe Thailand Sophida Kanchanarin--Miss Universe Thailand changed her gown from the Preliminaries to the Finals. And I was a happy Gown Blogger for it: I really loved this custom gown designed by Asava. The design  featured a fitted silhouette with many panels (pattern-making marvelousness!) and gorgeous sequined jewels hand-sewn throughout. It was a true example of Haute Couture. I just wished that it was a teeny bit longer and more sweeping-dramatic.
Score: 9.10

Miss Universe Puerto Rico Kiara Ortega--Kiara wore this silver/nude gown from Sherri Hill  (I was a bit surprised she didn't wear a design from a Puerto Rican designer, but "oh well", as they say) for the Miss Universe 2018 Finals. The column/fitted dress featured a lunging v-neck and mini cap sleeves. She looked sweet but Pageant Impacting. It was very beautiful, and "gown safe"--nothing too "fashion'y" or daring.
Score: 8.50

Miss Universe Nepal Manita Devkota--First off, a big Congratulations for Miss Universe Nepal for making the Top 10 of the 2018 Miss Universe; not sure when the last time that her country made the cut. This gown was not my favorite. The one shoulder silver sequined design had a salmon pink ombre skirt lining that was a bit weird, to be honest. But more awkward was how the waist lining stopped and was so blatantly on display. The beautiful Manita would have been better served with an ivory sequined column gown that had no "break" in the line as this one did.
Score: 7.99

Miss Universe Costa Rica Natalia Carvajal--Last on my Top 10 Gown List from this year's Miss Universe, is this royal blue design worn by Miss Universe Costa Rica. I am going to be honest here: While it fit her very well and showed off her figure perfectly, this off-the-shoulder sequined/lace applique dress was too 1998 Pageant Betty for my taste. And then, she styled it with those silver platform "Stripper Heels" (NOOOO!!!). It was all a bit to dated, except for her hair and makeup, Gracias!
Score: 7.95

Now, speaking of Fashion, while we're at it...Did anyone else notice What DESIGNER Host Steve Harvey was wearing???
I'm Wearing Who?? Miss Universe 2018 Host Steve Harvey made it a point to single out his custom-made suit featuring hundreds of crystals, saying the larger stones represented the 94 nations competing in the Miss Universe Competition. He then proceeded to show the fab lining featuring the names of the countries...One had to pay close attention to the end credits to find out it was designed by none other than Dolce & Gabbana:

Hmmmmmmm....Very interesting. Especially since, well...considering all that has recently occurred with the brand: The cancellation of their Shanghai show because of alleged racist comments made on Instagram by Stefano Gabbana, as well as the controversial videos advertising the show highlighting an Asian model trying to eat pizza with chopsticks...let's just say I was a bit surprised that a fashion industry watchdog like DIET PRADA didn't notice this and put it on their Instagram.

Moving on!!!...
CONGRATULATIONS Catriona Gray, as the new MISS UNIVERSE!!!

7 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2018 Finals: Winner + TOP 10 EVENING GOWN RECAP!"

Unknown said...

i beg to dis agree out of millions great comments for catrionas gown against yours!

Cagsawa Ruins said...

Me too i disagree. Catriona's gown was a standout against those boring silver glittery gowns. When the light hits the gown it creates an illusion of a molten lava dripping. I agree with the shoes though. It would have been better if it's a red ankle strap heels with a little bit of platform but not too much.

Paula g said...

Hey nick you really need to stop criticizing these platform heels that the girls wear. You obviously don’t wear heels and you have no idea how painful it is to stand and walk in heels for hours! Most girls choose platforms not out of style but comfort! You have no idea how painful strappy sandals are! Especially the flat front ones! And especially when you have to walk and pose and stand in them for hours!

Cagsawa Ruins said...

I agree the strappy sandals with flat front is not comfortable to wear at all. It needs to have a little bit of platform but not too thick.

The one and Only said...

Hey Nick ,

Best gown to me was Venezuela & Canada. ( i am from SA )I loved Tamaryn's Styling. The pony tail just had to be a bit neater. Had another contestant worn the Catriona's gown , peoples comments would not have been so favourable. it also looks a bit like Tye-dye. Her performance was awesome but the Dress just did not do it for me. WRT the shoes , Tamaryn didn't wear platforms so the excuse for hours on your feet is immediately gone. Shandi Finnessey and Susie Castillo also dont like these platform shoes. it makes the dress look less elegant. Your reviews are always great.

Unknown said...

I love your critiques. It's just that you forgot about demi's outfit, too...

Unknown said...

I agree re: Catriona's gown. Overall, I like it (and being Filipino myself, I love the inspiration behind it) but that slit is way too much! She sold it on the runway but it was not a knock out. Meanwhile I found South Africa's gown to be way too simple and not impactful. Her styling and charisma sold it for me but she really should've stuck to her ethereal prelims gown. My choice for best in Evening Gown was Vietnam - hands down!