Nuestra Queen: Francisca Lachapel "Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015"--Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015 Finals
The ninth annual "Nuestra Belleza Latina" Reality TV Show and Beauty Pageant aired the Season Finale this past Sunday. In case you have no idea what this is, "Nuestra Belleza Latina" (translates into "Our Latina Beauty") it is a combination of "America's Next Top Model" with "Miss Universe" but with a Latina twist! The Univision-televised and produced show gets HUGE ratings and is seen as a "trampoline" of sorts for the winners.
Crowned: Francisca Lapachel, originally from the Dominican Republic, being crowned by last year's "Nuestra Belleza Latina" Aleyda Ortiz--Nuestra Belleza 2015 Finals
Besides getting a chance to win $200,00 in cash and prizes, they also become contracted to the powerful Univision Network and get to appear on many of its programs and specials. The winner doesn't really get paid for any of that but it's "incorporated" into her so-called "cash prizes" and well, the p.r. is invaluable.
Francisca Lachapel is a 25 years old model, TV show host and actress. She emigrated to the USA in 2010 and is married to Rocky Lachapel. Yes, kids, you can be married and compete in this beauty pageant. She beat out 12 other ladies (during the entire season). During the Season Finale this past Sunday , the show was down to the Top Four.
Swimsuit Toned: Francisca Lachapel during the Swimsuit Competition--Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015 Finals
Let's get to the GOWNS!!! First, co-host Chiquinquira Delgado:
Chiqui Change: Venezuelan Chiquinquira Delgado had FOUR outfit changes. Or, shall I say, GOWN changes. The former "Miss Venezuela" finalist and "Miss Venezuela Flowers Queen" (as well as soap opera actress and TV host) had a busy backstage changing room I am sure! Of all these looks, I really liked the canary yellow-with-black-bands gown as well as the final black paillette-over-nude lining look.
Now, let's get to the Top Four Gowns:
Clarissa Molina of the Dominican Republic: Clarissa eventually got 4th place. I have to say that in terms of gowns, I really liked this. Loved the shape of this strapless ball gown and the unusual print. Her soft hair and "light" makeup also helped.
Catherine Castro of Puerto Rico: Catherine--who eventually got 3rd Place, wore this bronzed sequined gown. It was lovely; nothing extraordinary. I appreciated the horsehair-trimmed hem in terms of couture construction and the long sleeves, deep v-neck were very much on-trend with what's happening in pageant gowns. Thank goodness there was NO Hoochie slit in sight!
Nathalia Casco of Honduras: Nathalia went very Couture Old School in this strapless fuchsia silk ziberline gown with silver sequin applique. The gown was very "Miss Venezuela 2003" in terms of shape, style and look. I think the dress fit her nicely but in a way, it aged her and didn't make her look like a "modern" pageant queen; if there is such a thing.
Francisca Lachapel of Dominican Republic: I cannot lie--I am not a fan of this gown. The strapless ice-silver sequined dress looks a bit cheap. It's too long on Francisca and in terms of fashion, there's nothing at all that makes my heart beat a little faster. In essence: this gown looks off-the-rack. From 2005. On a good note: I like her modern hair and makeup--and lack of over accessorizing. Gracias.
Top Two: Finally it was down to these two--Francisca Lachapel of the Dominican Republic (left) and Nathalia Casco of Honduras (right)--Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015 Finals
Then...they did a Gown Change. Of course...
Nathalia Casco: Nathalia wore a chartreuse green one-shoulder gown designed by Mexican fashion designer Benito Santos, featuring a heavily sequined bodice and one sleeve, and a long fit-to-flare attached gown skirt with pleated cummerbund and cascade folded detail. The dress was impacting---especially in its color. But, it was very five years ago in its style. I did like seeing a more modern style to her hair, as well as the jewelry choices (nice bracelet and earrings!).
Francisca Lachapel: Two words. Oh Dear. I really did not like this Douglas Tapia-designed gown on Francisca. I know that she won and all that but...this gown was so...not...cute. It was dated. It had nothing to do with what is going on with fashion right now. The illusion vs. neckline nude coverage panel was tacky...I could go on and on. At least, there wasn't a Hoochie-licious slit showing her you-know-what. But yes, overall, this style and gown reminded me of dresses I saw during the 1990 Miss Universe Pageant. Can we please evolve???? Pageant Gown Wise????
The 90's Are BAAACK!!! Top Two 1990's Inspired Gowns--(L to R) Francisca Lachapel and Nathalia Casco--Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015 Finals
And The Winner Is...
CONGRATULATIONS and Felicitaciones Francisca Lachapel. Hopefully she won't ever have to wear this gown again. Por favor.