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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2018 Preliminary Evening Gowns: My TOP 15 BEST!

The Top Gown Ladies--Miss USA 2018 contestants (L to R) Miss Maryland USA Brittinay Nicolette, Miss District of Columbia USA Bryce Armstrong, Miss Illinois USA Karolina Jasko, Miss Nevada USA Carolina Urrea and Miss Tennessee USA Alexandra Harper--Miss USA 2018 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition

Welcome back to my "Sashes and Tiaras" BLOG! Next Monday are the finals for the 67th Annual Miss USA Beauty Pageant so it's time for my Miss USA Evening Gown Recap! Friday night was the Miss USA 2018 Preliminary Competition, held in Shreveport Louisiana with the 51 contestants competing in Swimsuit as well as Evening Gown. Naturally what I care most about are THE GOWNS and what they wore...

Gowns, Gowns, Gowns--(L to R) Miss Georgia USA Marianny Egurrola, Miss Mississippi Laine Mansour, Miss Massachusetts Allissa Latham, Miss Washington USA Abigail Hill--Miss USA 2018 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition

The beautiful women paraded in lots of glittery, see-through and high slit designs. Sherri Hill is one of the big sponsors and from the looks of it, I assume that every contestant was possibly offered a Sherri Hill gown to wear for the Preliminaries--and LOTS of the contestants chose it (or already had decided to wear Sherri Hill)--while a small group did not. Let's take a look at my TOP 15 BEST--and two "Oh Dear's! (wait for that at the end!): 

No. 1 Miss District of Columbia USA Bryce Armstrong--My top favorite gown of the night was this one worn by Miss District of Columbia USA. The gold lame strapless gown featured beautiful side draping/pleating, a dramatic side overskirt and an attached column gown with side slit. The overall effect was "Old Hollywood Glamour" 50's fabulousness. Her clean styling, lack of accessories and not-too-fussy "Pageant Betty" hairstyle added a touch of modernity and freshness.
Score: 9.90

No. 2 Miss Nevada USA Carolina Urrea--When Carolina sauntered, yes SAUNTERED, down the stage/runway, it was PERFECTION! She exuded Miss Universe caliber as opposed to Miss USA. I loved this silver/gold all over sequined gown which fit her like a second skin and really had a strong stage impact. She looked like a COUTURE Disco Diva!
Score: 9.88

No. 3 Miss Maryland USA Brittinay Nicolette--Brittinay Nicolette looked GORGEOUS in this royal blue and nude sequined gown and this is why she made my TOP 3 BEST GOWNS of the Miss USA 2018 Preliminary Competition. The gown, which featured intricate sequined applique over see-through/nude tulle, had DRAMA, elegance, sexiness and she OWNED the stage, especially with those back chiffon "falls". With that stunning red hair of hers, in combination with the powerful royal blue...Brittinay looked like a Modern Day Rita Hayworth arriving at the Oscars.
Score: 9.85

No. 4 Miss Mississippi USA Laine Mansour--Miss Mississippi USA looked exquisitely exotic in this nude with turquoise stones gown. When she entered the stage, I instantly recognized that this was no off-the-rack gown--this was Alta Moda darlings! I loved the jeweled sequins and how they gradated from heavy to light through the column gown. I also ADORED that her earrings matched the stones in her dress: WOW! I know that Laine is of Lebanese descent but she looked like a Bollywood former-Miss World the Cannes Film festival. Superb Laine!
Score: 9.83 

No. 5 Miss Illinois USA Karolina Jasko--Rounding out my TOP FIVE Best Gowns of Miss USA 2018 Preliminaries is this shimmering number worn by Miss Illinois USA. The gown featured black sequins with an attached jeweled necklace and matching STUNNING jeweled waist. It made her look like an Egyptian Princess from a Hollywood film. The dress fit her perfectly and she styled it well with her slicked back hair, clean makeup and gorgeous drop earrings.
Score: 9.80

No. 6 Miss Georgia USA Marianny Egurrola--Marianny Egurrola WORKED her Evening Gown presentation at the Miss USA 2018 Preliminaries.She wore a royal blue-over-nude tulle base heavily sequined gown featuring a super fitted top section. The upper torso was accented with bugle beaded fringe at the shoulders, back and front. this was the perfect color for her naturally tanned skin and dark hair. In a sea of golden/blush/nude gowns, I love when someone does a strong color and defines what Stage Impact looks like! Here was another example of a Miss USA contestant acting, looking and DRESSING like a Miss Universe finalist huney!
Score: 9.70

No. 7 Miss Tennessee USA Alexandra Harper--Now, speaking of those aforementioned Golden/Nude designs..I give you one of the BEST: Miss Tennessee USA. She wore this beautiful dress featuring delicate yet striking sequin applique throughout--from heavy at the top to light at the bottom--and a side front slit as well as back overskirt. This was Pageant Perfection; the gown fit well, she looked amazing and it had beautiful stage impact.
Score: 9.65

No. 8 Miss Florida USA Genesis Davila--Genesis is no first-timer when it comes to pageants; she was Miss World Puerto Rico in 2014, was crowned Miss Florida USA 2017 but then disqualified for having "outside assistance" on hair and makeup but came back this year to win, fair and square as they say. For her Miss USA 2018 Preliminaries Evening gown moment, she donned guessed it!...golden/blush/nude gown. While the style wasn't Earth-shattering in terms of Couture Design, it fit her perfectly and you cannot deny that she looked like a Top Beauty Queen in it, showing off her well-toned arms and gorgeous shoulders. Her top bun was AMAZING as well. If she makes it to the Semi-Finalist round, I am crossing my fingers she changes to something more ALTA MODA FABULOUS, since if anyone can pull it off, it's Genesis.
Score: 9.50

No. 9 Miss Massachusetts Allissa Latham--I LOVE me some canary yellow! if you think I'm kidding, scroll down my Instagram HERE and take a look at the Custom NIKOLAKI Prom Dress we made for my niece Casia. Allissa was an instant gown DIVA from the moment she stepped onto that long runway and swished--yes swished!--that gown of hers. The dress featured a satin halter neckline with jeweled accent, fit-to-flare long gown-skirt, side front slit and voluminous overskirt which she worked OVERTIME! Allissa gets TEN points for her runway walk and this close-to-10 for her gown:
Score: 9.45

No. 10 Miss Kansas USA Melanie Shaner--Speaking of ten, at my No. 10 spot in Top 15 Best Gowns is Miss Kansas USA. She wore this shimmering and fringe-spectacular number in a golden/blush color. The dress fit her beautifully, had DEFINITE stage impact and probably made Liza Minnelli blush with all that bugle-beaded fringe! I want to shimmy shimmy with Melanie all night long!
Score: 9.20

No. 11 Miss Montana USA Dani Walker--Dani wore this red ballgown for the Miss USA 2018 Preliminaries and it instantly got my attention because it was DIFFERENT--and in a good way--from almost all of the other gowns! It was bright red and not golden/nude/ wasn't fitted and tight...I couldn't find a slit...and it was a BALLGOWN. While this could have gone "Scarlett O'Hara"-meets-QuinceaƱera  in a hot minute, it didn't. I loved it all, the feathers, off-the-shoulder style and the way Dani served you gown realness huney.
Score: 9.10

No. 12 Miss Washington USA  Abigail Hill--Abigail wore this shimmering golden/blush halter style gown. The design featured hundreds if not thousands of encrusted crystals, a split-open skirt and an open back. I thought she looked sexy, glamorous and like a top Hollywood star. Normally I am not a big fan of the front slit being soooooo open but here it worked.
Score: 9.10

No. 13 Miss South Carolina Tori Sizemore--Tori wore one of my Top 15 Best Gowns in this emerald green halter-style dress. The gown exuded Hollywood actress elegance with its simplicity yet enough sparkle to give it interest. I also liked the silky overskirt which flowed in the back and looked marvelous on stage.
Score: 9.05

No. 14 Miss Oklahoma USA Cheyene Darling--Three words: Lady In Red. Cheyene wore this strapless red sequined gown at the Miss USA 2018 Preliminaries. While it was simple in its design, it was all about that lipstick red color, the sequined fabrication and Va Va Voom fit! I thought it was a wise choice to have such sleek hair to almost mirror the sleekness of the gown.
Score: 9.00

No. 15 Miss California USA Kelley Johnson--Last in my Top 15 list is Miss California USA's gown. The very statuesque (6' 2"!) beauty wore this black gown featuring a very fitted lace sequined applique top section and split-front full skirt. It was elegant, impacting and stood out among all those golden/nude/blush sequined column dresses. But I have to say, being that she is so tall, if anyone can pull off a lean and mean column sequined body-con's Miss Kelley Johnson so...maybe she'll change if she makes the Semifinalist roster.
Score: 8.90

The OH UH'SSS: There were TWO "Oh Dear!" gowns during the Miss USA 2018 Preliminary Competition which I had to highlight--or LOWlight. these two ladies were "Gown Ill Advised". Period. Full Stop. Let's start with...
Miss New York USA Genesis Suero--OK, I already told you guys how much I was a fan of canary yellow. But Oh My Oh My, when Miss New York came out in this I almost spit out my wine! this was Belle from Disney Tackylicious. The fabric looked cheap; I'm not a fan of the wired "curly" hems; the POINTED bust neckline (Ayyy Mija!) but then...

THAT HAIR BUN!!!! It was just too mucheey. I get a Pageant Bun but this one was like on HAIR STEROIDS!!! On a good note, I'm sure there were some Dominican or Puerto Rican Drag Queens in New York that were like YOU GOOOO GURL!!!"
Score: Ayyy No!!

And the second "Oh Dear" Gown Prize goes to:
Miss Ohio USA Deneen Penn--Three Words: Pick Up Pouf. No. I seriously have no idea why anyone in their right mind still designs these tacky 80's Gowns! I guess maybe because there are still ladies that--against their better judgement--buy them!  Deneen is so pretty and I'm sure intelligent as heck! But someone has to tell her 1983 called and they want their dress back...


**STAY TUNED HERE to my "Sashes and Tiaras" BLOG for my Miss USA 2018 Finals Gown Recap after the crowning on Monday Night!

...And Don't Forget about my "The 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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