Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pageant Minute: Miss Universe 2011--Preliminary Competition EVENING GOWNS: The Best!!

My Favorites of The Universe:

Well kids, it's down to the "Pageant Wire"!! Miss Universe 2011 Final Telecast is TOMORROW Monday September 12th, LIVE from São Paulo on NBC/Telemundo Networks. Last Thursday, September 8th were the very important Preliminary Competition--Swimsuit and Evening Gowns--where a "separate panel of judges" evaluated the 89 beauties from all over the world to cast their votes on who would end up as the Top 14 Finalists on Monday night. Well, for me here, never mind the swimsuit's ALL ABOUT THE EVENING GOWNS!!! Some contestants wore the same gowns they wore for their "Official Evening Gown Portraits" but most wore a different gown. Let's see which ladies--and their gowns--made my Top Picks.

Ready, Set...Here are my Miss Universe 2011 Best:

Miss Ghana Universe 2011 Erica Nego: Simply sublime!!! With so many out-of-control transparent HOOCHIE-Mommas (in a later post, I promise!!), so many sequined-overly poufed, overly embroidered & overly EVERYTHING gowns, when I saw this photo of Miss Ghana, I FINALLY breathed a Fashionista Sigh of "Now We're Talking!". It's Red Carpet material, elegant, entrance-making. The clean, modern hair and make-up just add to its overall gorgeous effect. This girl can go from the Miss Universe Preliminaries to presenting an award at the Emmy's in a hot minute--and still get in the "The Best on the Red Carpet" section the following day. Score: 10!

Miss Mexico Universe 2011 Karin Ontiveros: Karin changed her gown for the Preliminaries and it was WAAAY for the Better! From the top of her head to the last 1/4 inch of her pumps: Excelente! The light mauve/plum coloring is elegant, love the asymmetry of the neckline. It is draped beautifully on her and I also like that the sequins were kept to a minimum. She looks like a Queen--as well as a top Mexico City actress who should have LOTS of bodyguards around her! Score: 9.8

Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella: I am sure that this gown choice has been a "controversial" one out there in the "Pageant Fan Bloggersphere". It doesn't conform to any of those tacky over-the-top dresses that Missosologists (pageant followers) are used to. Where's the Slit? Nowhere. Where's the too-much applique'/sequins? Nowhere. Why aren't her boobies showing? Because she knows better! What many people don't realize lots of times, is that the judges--both Preliminary and Final Telecast--ARE NOT from the Pageant World and more from the Entertainment, Stylist, Designer, Manager/Agent world. And these people don't want to see tacky "Toddlers & Tiara's" gowns, they want to see an appropriate Red Carpet Stunner. And Alyssa's choice is that. It's very Marchesa-meets-McQueen Spartan Princess with its styling/silhouette and Sari-inspired embroidered gold trim. Score: 9.7

Miss Malaysia Universe 2011 Deborah Henry: Wow! Deborah might be the "Surprise of the Night", in that no one really payed attention to her before but after last Thursday's Preliminary Competition, she was on a lot of people's minds! For her evening gown, she chose a non-fussy elegant blue chiffon gown that made HER be the Star--as opposed to you only noticing her gown. It's simple, sexy and fits her perfectly. The icing on the cake was that she semi-slicked her hair back. It only made her look even more regal and up-to-date. PS: She has got some GAMS on her!!! Score: 9.7

Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2011 Viviana Ortiz: There were A LOT of these semi-see-through "transparent" gowns with embroidery and/or sequins covering the "important parts". I will follow this post with my "Photo Gallery" of those gowns...but for now, this one, was one of the best. I love the white color, the fit is AMAZING, and I can tell the beading and applique' work is EXPENSIVE!!! Notice the length kids! Do you see any shoes? Nope. thank you! Someone taught this girl just right! Score: 9.7

Miss Paraguay Universe 2011 Alba Riquelme: For the Preliminaries, Alba wore this Vanilla yellow tulle and satin strapless gown with metallic paillettes. It's an original design that stands out--and for good reason. The combination of tulle, satin AND metallic sequins could have turned out on the "Oh No You Didn't" section. But lucky for her--and her designer--it did not. She looks fabulous! I only wish the front was about 6 inches longer! What happened there? Score: 9.5

Miss Curacao Universe 2011 Eva Van Putten: Thank goodness Miss Eva changed her gown from what she wore on the Website's "Official Evening Gown Portraits". This strapless gold gown is a show-stopper for sure!!! It's designed by Venezuelan designer Lixidio Solarte and features a princess-seamed "Mermaid-Lite" shape in gold mini paillettes that gradate into oversized ones. I'm sure it's a HEAVY and LOUD gown but who cares?? I think she is "working it!" as my gays would say! Score: 9.4

Miss Ecuador Universe 2011 Claudia Schiess: Claudia also chose a gown by a Venezuelan designer, this time, it was Gionni Straccia--famous for outfitting all the Miss Venezuela Winners and several of the most recent Miss Universos from that country. The fuchsia color is gorgeous, the cut and asymmetrical silhouette of the gown is VERY "Beauty Pageant Gown 101" but...the way this designer picks his fabrics (silk crepe); his crystals (hand-beaded Swarovski) as opposed to cheap diamantes; the intricate draping and ruching, it takes it to a whole other level. Score: 9.4

Miss Albania Universe 2011 Xhesika Berberi: First of all---LOVE her name! She should have been a Figure Skater with that one! In terms of her gown: Perfectly Pretty. This chiffon lavender Empire-style gown features a ruched bust and a matching lavender crystal neckline detail. Elegant and very "I'm the classy girlfriend of an Eastern European Multi-Millionaire", and she's at a party in Monte-Carlo with him in this gown!!! Score: 9.4

Miss Ukraine Universe 2011 Olesia Stefanko: 23 year-old Olesia wore the SAME white chiffon gown she wore to her "Official Evening Gown Portraits".

She made my "Top Favorite" List then, and she makes it into my Top Favorites NOW!!! This gown is very Grecian-Goddess featuring a gold sequin Empire-waist and neckline trim. She seems to love "working" those multi-layers of chiffon and does it with the ease of a top runway model. It's a simple gown really, again, only emphasizing just how gorgeous she is. One of the Best in the white gown group. Score: 9.3.

Honorable Best-in-Gown Mentions:

Miss Angola Universe 2011 Leila Lopes: Loved her gown in the "Official Evening Gown Portraits"--same gown here (good call Leila!). Best in gold. There's "a lot" in this gown: The feathers, the gold embroidery, the sequins, the slit...but it adds up to be one of the Best, in my book!!!

Miss Aruba Universe 2011 Gillain Berry: Strapless, silver, metallic, no too-high slit, correct length, well-fitting, great hair (get rid of that cheesy bracelet though!)

* Up Next: The See-Through/Transparent Gown Ladies...

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