The Best Gowns: Collage of some of my favorite gowns from the Miss Universe 2015 Evening Gown Portraits
Photos courtesy of MissUniverse.com
The Finals of the Miss Universe 2015 beauty pageant are not until this upcoming Sunday December 20th in Las Vegas Nevada, but this past weekend, the "Official Evening Gown Portraits" were released on the MissUniverse.com site. Any pageant fan--and pageant gown aficionado (and critic)--yours truly included--always looks forward to the Miss Universe Evening Gown Portraits. It's a chance to see the taste level of the contestants and see the variety of gowns--some Good and some "Oh Dear!".
A lot of these gown may not be necessarily what the contestant will end up wearing during the all-important Preliminaries or the Finals night--especially if she is chosen as a Semi Finalist. Some of these gowns are just provided and borrowed from the "Sherri Hill rack" the show's Wardrobe/Costume Department will have in case the contestants would like to wear something other than what they have brought. BUT... some of the gowns are indeed the ones the contestants brought themselves. Now that we have that out of the way, it's time for me to discuss my Top Faves of the Gowns as well as ones that Disappointed me...or "Could Have Been Better".
Let's start with the Muy Bien (Very Good):
Miss Argentina Claudia Barrionuevo: I thought this was a wonderful choice of a gown for Claudia. The style is very Zuhair Murad/Elie Saab but it obviously isn't (those go for $80,000-$100,000 and to borrow them, you'd have to really be in the "In" crowd with their PR departments!). I love the style, color and red carpet grandness of it . I also think it was style-smart of her to keep her accessories at a minimum; very modern, especially with such a big gown.
Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez: Ariadna is one of the favorites to win the crown (it might be a consecutive Miss Universe win for Colombia) and she is surely looking like a winner in this emerald green duchesse satin strapless gown. The fit is amazing and I also like the bust folds/drapes. Thank goodness it's not too pointy in the front. This is an entrance-making gown for sure. One of the best of the Portraits. I also LOVE her Rita Hayworth-like side-swept hairstyle. Ariadna is smoldering in this entire look!
Miss Thailand Aniporn Chalermburanawong: Aniporn is also a top favorite and she also is racking up positive Miss Universe Pageant Points with this gown choice. It's clean, elegant, fits perfectly. Her styling is on-point as well. Pretty flawless head to toe.
Miss Indonesia Anyndia Kasuma: I love this gown on Anyndia. The unusual sequin fabrication as well as fishnet/cage-like pearl details add a bit of "Sexy Medieval" inspiration to this gown; she's like a Couture Guinevere! And once again--like the two previous gals--great modern model-like hair. Simple, as it should be when wearing this heavily-sequined style.
Miss Paraguay Myriam Arevalos: I'm a sucker for canary yellow and simple crepe column silhouette. It's chic, sleek and oh-so-sexy. Notice Ladies: you don't have to show all that cleavage or leg to have the same effect. The gold belt is very Gucci circa the Tom Ford days. And her swept-back hair is PERFECTO. She's a Supermodel not a Pageant Gal for sure. Pay attention IMG/WME.
Miss Brazil Marthina Brandt: Marthina is another heavy favorite for the Miss Universe 2015 crown and she did very good in wearing this blush-and-black tulle and sequined gown for her Official Evening Gown Portrait. This gown intrigues me and in a good way; it's ethereal, seductive and looks fabulous on Marthina. Notice how the black diagonal beads all lead to the waist, cinching it in giving the look of the teeniest of waists (which in fact, she already has!).
Miss Poland Weronika Szmajdzinska: I loved this golden sequined-over-black netting gown on Miss Universe Poland. The circular and geometric gold sequin detail is great and really makes this simple silhouette of a gown a stand-out! I also liked that the neckline wasn't too revealing. I'm also happy to see proper lengths on a lot of these gowns. No tacky "stripper platforms" in sight! (Thank You!) But if I had one little critique it would be the nude peek-a-boo/panel right at her belly button. I'd get some extra gold sequin trim and cover that up. ASAP.
Miss Canada Paola Nunez: Dominican-born Paola chose this silver halter-neck gown featuring silver jeweled applique detail and silver sequin skirt fabrication. It's quite effective in creating an impact, looking sexy but not Hoochie or tacky. I also like the metallic belt. I'd rather not see those too-high Stripper Platform heels poking out from the hem but other than that, she looks Very Good, Tres Bien & Muy Bien.
Miss Jamaica Sharlene Radlein: Wow. Sharlene knows how to pose and how to pose in this fabulous gown. the silhouette is perfection, and looks amazing on her. I appreciate that the cleavage is not too-revealing (tacky!) and that the front torso is instead, covered in this rich-looking silver heavy lace sequin applique. I love how she has this look of "Who Me? You think I look cute?" Yes, huney, WURK it Miss Sharlene!
Miss Russia Vladislava Evtushenko: Did someone say "Billionaire's Much-Younger Wife at a Gala"? Nineteen-year old Vladislava is an Ice Princess in this glittering ivory/silver sequined gown with a sweetheart neckline. It looks elegant on her and fits her nicely. I also like her center-parted chignon hairstyle. And can we talk about THAT gorgeous face of hers???
Miss Curacao Kanisha Sluis: I actually love this turquoise blue duchesse satin gown on Kanisha. It looks very expensive and very luxe, especially with all the interesting folds and drapes; it's a modern ball gown style. If there was any critique, I think the rest of her styling is a bit on the "too sweet" side. I would have rather seen sleek straight runway model hair on her as opposed to this "Miss Teen USA" style.
Miss Cayman Islands Tonie Chisholm: Finally, I wanted to include Miss Universe Cayman Islands' gown in my "Good" bunch. I love the royal blue color, the almost Ming Vase-like applique work and the silhouette works for her. It's definitely an impacting gown. She could have done without those earrings but other than that, very good.
The Could Be Better------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This following group are gowns that I think could have been better--or at least--I wished the contestants would have chosen other gowns. While, they looked OK in these, they just didn't make my (style) heart skip a beat. These gals are some of the favorites with pageant followers to get the Miss Universe 2015 crown and well, these gown choices were not "Bow Down to Me B*tches!" choices. Just sayin'...
Miss USA Olivia Jordan: OK, several things--Olivia is absolutely stunning and she's a pro when it comes to this whole beauty pageant thang (she was the US representative at the Miss World 2013 Beauty Pageant after all). So, one would think she would have worn a fabulous, chic, modern, very red carpet-like design. Instead she went with this. It's not bad, but it's not "I'm going to the Oscars". I'm sure that on a stage or runway, this gown looks amazing, but it just doesn't strike me as High Fashion enough. There are ball gowns--and then there are ball gowns darlings.
Miss Italy Giada Pezzaioli: Oh Giada, what happened? Dimmi quelo che successo? Giada is a strong candidate at this year's Miss Universe and I would have thought, especially as a model, she would have "brought it" in terms of a fierce and fabulous gown. And yet, all we got was this; disappointing. This is not worthy of winning Miss Universe but instead of a bridesmaid at a wedding; and not a very expensive one.
Miss Venezuela Mariana Jimenez: We all expect the Venezuelan contestant to bring her "A" game in terms of evening gowns. But this was not that. While I like the cowl back jersey design (and that back detail under the cowl is quite interesting), this was just "meh". I am sure she is waiting for the Preliminaries and/or Finals to bust out the $20,000-worthy Venezuelan Couture gown from one of the Miss Venezuela Organization designers, but I just wished she would have worn one of those designs here. Even what she wore when she won the Miss Venezuela title over a year ago was better.
Miss France Flora Coquerel: Another disappointment in terms of a gown choice was the gorgeous Flora Coquerel "Miss France". Flora is six feet tall and a model and she decides to look like the second wife of a French minister...at a wedding. No. There must be a young up-and-coming French designer that could lend her a fabulous gown. I'm not asking for Jean Paul Gaultier or Bouchra Jarrar, but anything but this.
**UP NEXT: The Miss Universe 2015 Evening Gown Portraits PAGEANT BETTY'S, OH Dear and "Go-Girl Gown! Award...