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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2016 Terno Fashion Show


SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2016 Terno Fashion Show

Miss Unirverse Goes Terno: The 65th Miss Universe Cultural Terno Show, Vigan Ilocos Sur, Philippines

If you have been keeping up with my latest "Sashes and Tiaras" blogs HERE and HERE, the 65th Annual Miss Universe Pageant is in full swing. The pageant is occurring in the Philippines. Throughout this past week and into the weekend, all the 86 contestants vying for the coveted international beauty title have been arriving and several activities have already taken place, which will all lead up to the Finals on January 30th. Sunday night, 20 Miss Universe contestants went to Vigan, a city located on the island of Luzon. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the few Hispanic towns--known for its cobblestone streets and Filipino/Oriental/European colonial architecture--left in the Philippines whose structures have remained intact.

Butterfly Sleeve Queens: Miss Universe 2016 contestants show off their Terno gowns--Miss Universe 2016 Cultural Terno Show, Vigan Phillipines

Sequins, Applique, Lace...Ternos: Display of Ternos from the Miss Universe 2016 Cultural Terno Show, Vigan Philippines

This was the site of the Miss Universe "Cultural Terno Show" which involved a fashion show showcasing the contestants in Terno gowns. Terno is the modern-day version of what was originally the Maria Clara or Traje de Mestiza back in the early 1900s. The gown features large "Butterfly" sleeves and usually a column-like fitted long skirt but could also be a fuller one.

Terno Duo: Miss Universe Bulgaria and Miss Universe Philippines pose with their Terno gowns--Miss Universe 2016 Cultural Terno Show, Vigan Philippines

It's become a popular look for many Miss Philippines to wear as their "National Costume" for international beauty pageants. The 20 Miss Universe contestants wore these Terno designs from various Filipino designers--both from Manila as well as from the Ilocos Province. Here are all the 20 contestants and designs with my scores...

Miss Universe 2016 Terno Fashion Show: Miss Universe Thailand, Miss Universe Venezuela, Miss Universe Belgium, Miss Universe Philippines--Which One of These Was my No. 1? Keep reading....

Miss Universe Nicaragua Marina Jacoby Santos: Of all the 20 designs, this one received my lowest score. This wasn't because it was cray-cray or tasteless, etc. Most of the Terno gowns that were shown at this "Miss Universe Cultural Terno Show" were quite nice and really, there weren't any real "misses". The reason this one, worn by Miss Universe Nicaragua, ended up here was because it was slightly boring in its design. The powder pink dress was very traditional and "just there"; while quite nice and pretty, there was nothing extraordinary about it. If you want to be the "Wallflower Terno Gal", wear this.
Score: 7.80

Miss Universe Malaysia Kiran Jassal: Next on my list is this design worn by Miss Universe Malaysia. This gown from Edgar Madamba was unique and a bit quirky. I liked the pointy bodice edges but I wasn't a fan of the "Butterfly sleeve"-shaped skirt. And the pink embellishments seemed a bit "Fashion School-y". And yeah, the too-short length and the fact that I could see her BEIGE WEDGE PLATFORM HEELS (What the HAILLL???), well, this is why I gave her...
Score: 7.82

Miss Universe Cayman Islands Monyque Brooks: This was a very interesting design worn by Miss Universe Cayman Islands. For whatever it's worth, this gown was supposed to have been worn (according to the pageant fans on the web) by Miss Universe Colombia but because she had just arrived in the Philippines, she was unable to be part of this group of 20 contestants. Anyhow...this design by Cherry Veric was an "original" version of the Terno. And while I appreciate this, it was a little too "wild" and kooky. I loved the colors and the designers' take on the iconic "Butterfly" sleeves was slightly too costume-y, and not in a good "Miss Universe" sort of way.
Score: 7.84

Miss Universe Great Britain Jamie-Lee Faulkner: Jamie-Lee wore this canary yellow and white Terno gown for the show. This Eroll Raminajes design was nice but basically, just that: Nice. I think the combination of the bright yellow and white took it to Prom-and-Pageant Betty territory.
Score: 7.85

Miss Universe British Virgin Islands Erika Creque: Erika wore this gold and black jacquard fit-and-flare Terno gown from designer Barge Ramos. The gown fit nicely, but I wish the sleeves were a little more dramatic and the length was to the floor (it was too short); I was really NOT A FAN of seeing those peep-toe nude heels with this gown. They were NOT for this dress.
Score: 7.88

Miss Universe Vietnam Dan Thi Le Hang: Miss Universe Vietnam went "Terno Princess" with this Cathy Capistrano-designed gown. The red gown featured the traditional "Butterfly" sleeves and the skirt was full and more ballgown shaped--as opposed to the more popular column/fitted one. Once again there was really nothing tacky, tasteless or bad about this, it was just soooo "Miss World" Quinceanera Princess. She looked pretty but there was nothing sexy or Runway Diva about this.
Score: 7.90

Miss Universe Uruguay Magdalena Cohendet: I liked the contrast of the royal blue and ivory colors on this gown designed by Sunny Boy Mindo (Love that name BTW!). And the intricate applique details were quite beautiful but...for some reason this gown (maybe it was the too-high neckline and hairstyle) that made Magdalena look a bit mumsy and "Madame".
Score: 8.00

Miss USA Deshauna Barber: Deshauna wore this magenta and white Terno gown from designer Raffy Sy. I loved the colors and especially the OVERSIZED Butterfly sleeves; she was like Imelda Marcos on Design Overload! I was just concerned with the wrinkles on the gown and I think that hairstyle did not help.
Score: 8.10

Miss Universe Guatemala Virginia Argueta: Virginia wore this simple Terno gown designed by Mike Dela Rosa. I liked its clean column silhouette and the gold lace was beautiful. This gown worked beautifully on Miss Universe Guatemala. Her hair and makeup were on-point. If there was any critique, I wish the gown had a little more train, the sleeves were a little bigger and she wouldn't have worn those shoes.
Score: 8.15

Miss Universe Slovak Republic Zuzana Kolarova: Zuzana wore this emerald green gown from Filipino designer Jan Van Paquing featuring a chiffon overlay, column gown and fitted bodice. I loved the color and that black sequined applique in the front. The sleeves were perfectly puffy. Once again would I wish she wouldn't have worn those peep-toe heels: YES!!!! But, I am sure, she had no choice.
Score: 8.50

Miss Universe Bulgaria Violina Ancheva: Miss Universe Bulgaria wore this emerald green (a popular color!) Terno gown for the Miss Universe 2016 Cultural Terno Show. The dress, designed by Vince Sityar, looked well-made and featured duchesse satin fabrication and heavily beaded from heavy to light. It was quite pretty and expensive looking. She looked like a rich Terno-loving society gal!
Score: 8.55

Miss Universe Singapore Cheryl Chou Zhi Hiu: I thought that this golden sequined gown worn by Miss Universe Singapore was one of the better-looking ones from the show. The dress was designed by Jearsond Demovivas and featured shimmery golden colored sequined fabric, a center front slit and fuchsia colored jeweled beads in the torso and sleeves. She looked like a true Diva--or like the girlfriend or wife of a very, very wealthy diplomat--or arms dealer!
Score: 8.95

Miss Universe Netherlands Zoey Ivory: Zoey wore one of my top favorite Terno designs of the night. I liked the emerald color, the unusual and creative top section, as well as the ruffled tier design and nude illusion with gold sequin detail. The gown was designed by Danika Damo. This was a nice way to depart from the "traditional Terno" and still make it look chic and runway fashion. I wish the front went to the floor (Was it supposed to be Hi-Lo? Because if so, it need to be HIGHER!). But, look at her shoes: NO TACKY CLUNKY PLATFORM HEELS!! YEAYYYY Miss Universe Netherlands!
Score: 9.00

Miss Universe Brazil Raissa Santana: Miss Universe Brazil is causing quite a storm in the Philippines. Ever since she arrived, she's been one of the favorites for the crown and has been doing everything just right. Here she wore this ivory 1940's-like Terno designed by Joel Acebuche featuring a triple ruffle tiered peplum, and red flower applique. I loved everything about it and especially that BIG OL' flower in her hair; she looked like a jazz singer in 1944 in the most chi-chi club in Manila!
Score: 9.25

Miss Universe Czech Republic Andrea Beldekova: I loved this black Terno gown designed by Mimi Pimentel. Even though it lacked color and elaborate sequin applique, it still made a strong impact. I thought it was not only modern, chic but Paris Haute Couture runway fab.
Score: 9.35

Miss Universe Sierra Leone Hawa Kamara: Hawa is quickly becoming the fashionista of this year's Miss Universe Pageant, posting all these fab selfies of her outfits, always looking very fashion-forward. Here, she continued her fashion-savvy title (Will there be a "Most Stylish Contestant" at Miss Universe 2016?) with this Darwin Ramirez-designed red Terno gown. The style was SPECTACULAR; I loved the bright red color, the perfectly fitting design and especially the way it looked on her. She did keep lifting it up because it was a bit too long but, she still looked Terno-gorgeous!

Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina: Maxine looked like a QUEEN in this gorgeous gown from Filipino Couturier Albert Andrada. The silver sequined-and-white gown fit her beautifully and honestly, there was nothing wrong with it; the length was perfect, no platform heels...virtually flawless. If a very wealthy Filipina socialite/actress is going to get married soon, look no further, this is your Wedding Terno Gown darling!
Score: 9.50

Miss Universe Belgium Stephanie Geldof: One of my Top Three Favorite Terno Gowns of the night was this design worn by Miss Universe Belgium. I adored this jewel green gown designed by Russ Cuevas. Everything about it was perfection: The fit, the white applique, those gorgeous Butterfly sleeves. And just look at that perfect length! Even her center-parted hair style was on-point.
Score: 9.65

Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane: This was a DIVA Terno Gown if I ever saw one. The Rian Fernandez design and all the intricate sequined lace work was exquisite! I also loved the stiffened overskirt which added major DRAMA to the design. And I would be remiss if I did not highlight those fabulous Butterfly sleeves: WOW! If you want to make an entrance, this is a sure fire way of doing so. PS: I feel bad for the other girls (Miss Universe Nicaragua, Malaysia, Great Britain) who got the "economy class" versions of this.
Score: 9.85

Miss Universe Venezuela Marian Habach: And my Top Favorite for Best Terno Gown is...Frederick Berches' design for Miss Universe Venezuela. This gold mermaid-shaped Terno gown was EVERYTHING! I loved the fabrication, the silhouette, the fit, the folded volants...this was the Rolls Royce of Gowns at this Miss Universe Cultural Terno Show. Stunning.
Score: 9.95 

What did you guys think? Which one was YOUR Favorite?


SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2016 National Costumes: Part 2


SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Universe 2016 National Costumes: Part 2

Sea Goddess: Miss Universe Venezuela  Mariam Habach rises from the Caribbean Sea with her "Miss Venezuela" National Costume for Miss Universe 2016

Continuing with my "Miss Universe 2016 National Costumes Preview", in my last post HERE, I discussed the national costumes that some of the Miss Universe 2016 contestants will be wearing for the international beauty pageant. Now, it's time for my Part Two Post--with ten more National Costumes from Miss Malaysia to Miss Vietnam. Some are quite breathtaking, super-fab and in contention for Best National Costume at the 65th Annual Miss Universe:

Miss Universe Malaysia Kiran Jassal:  This costume for Miss Universe Malaysia has caused quite a stir on social media for being so "out there"/non-traditional and yes, avant-garde. Designed by the duo of Rizman Ruzaini, the national costume is a glittery silver jumpsuit inspired by the Petronas Twin Towers--which is prominently featured on her shoulders and arms.

The design is embellished with thousands of Swarovski crystals over a nude-colored fabric base. The crystal choker on her neck represents the sky bridge that connects the two towers. Personally, I think it's SUPERFAB and kudos to the designers for thinking outside the traditional national costume box.

Miss Universe Nigeria Unoaku Anyadike: Miss Universe Nigeria went traditional with this red and white applique costume entitled the "Queen of Benin Kingdom". I LOVE the headdress and the beaded neck-piece and jewelry but, I just wish there was a way of making this look a bit more "Haute Couture-meets-Victoria's Secret Fashion Show". Can we put her in a red and white jumpsuit with red beaded feathered wing?? On second thought...maybe not. What do you guys think?

Miss Universe Paraguay Andrea Melgarejo: Andrea's national costume is inspired by "The Legend of Mburucuya Flower", a story about forbidden love between a Spanish catholic girl an a local Indian boy. The story goes that when she found out that her lover had been killed on her father's order, she decided to kill herself by stabbing her heart with an arrow, then she died next to her lover. After the tragedy, a peculiar new plant grew on the unfortunate couple's grave. The plant opens its charmed beautiful flowers during day, and closed at night. It's a bit macabre but the same time. I love the bold print and strong violet color and I think the immensity of the sweep of the dress will be quite impacting.

Miss Universe Poland Izabella Krzan: Miss Universe Poland went with a hybrid of Fashion and Traditional. The Fashion comes in with the asymmetrical white gown silhouette while the traditional is seen in the headdress and flower embroidery. It's OK but not memorable, especially compared to some of the others I have already shown.

Miss Universe Puerto Rico Brenda Jimenez: This costume from Miss Universe Puerto Rico is designed by Javier Arnaldo Santiago--in collaboration with Fabian De La Puente and Jesus Manuel Davila who did the crown and accessories. The entire look represents the Puerto Rican crest/coat of arms--or escudo (photo above). I think Brenda will make quite a National Costume impression with this for sure!

Miss Universe Sweden Ida Ovmar: This costume is designed by Avid Arik Herman (who also designed Miss Universe Austria's national costume. It is entitled "Dress of Dreams", which according to this, represents the vision that every child has the "opportunity to be loved and the possibility to fulfill their dreams". The strapless asymmetrical hi-lo ballgown design is quite simple and features photos of children on the dress. We'll see how it will be accessorized to make a stronger stage impact like last year's fabulous Miss Universe Sweden costume:

 Miss Universe Sweden 2015 Paulina Brodd National Costume

Miss Universe Switzerland Dijana Cvijetic: Dijana's costume is far from being a traditional Swiss folk costume. The look featured a gold "Mantilla"-like headdress, a leotard/bodysuit and bold sequined embroidered overskirt. I'm thinking her costume celebrates the Swiss art of lace and embroidery--especially from the town of St. Gallen--known for providing laces and embroidery from Jakob Schlaepfer and Bischoff, for Haute Couture fashion houses. Just my guess...or at least if I wrote the P.R. release, that would be the "story".

Miss Universe Thailand Chalita Suansane: One of the most anticipated national costumes for this year's "Miss Universe" is the one designed for Miss Universe Thailand. Entitled "Jewel of Thailand", it features a gold long sleeve top with a sabai, and matching skirt. It was inspired by a type of traditional Thai dress named "Siwalai", which Queen Sirikit used to wear decades ago:

Thai Couture Diva: Queen Sirikit of Thailand

The designer won 20,000 Thai baht (about $560 US dollars at today's exchange rate) for his winning design entry; I'm thinking he should have gotten much more! The design is spectacular and worthy of being in a Costume Museum and certainly more than a $560 prize; Creating that costume alone--sewing, fabric, pattern, fittings and design fee...well, any designer worth their design resume would charge about $10,000.

Sketch and accessories: The costume was designed by culture scholar Hirankrit Pattaraboriboonkool and is decorated with 100,000 Swarovski crystals including the platform stacked heel pumps (as seen from photo above). Although it's not as fun-fab as last year's Miss Universe Thailand national costume, it might get lots of attention still...

Last year's Miss Universe Thailand National Costume Winner "Tuk Tuk" costume--Winner of the "Miss Universe 2015 National Costume" Award

Miss Universe Venezuela Mariam Habach: Her national costume is designed by Venezuelan designer Nidal Nouaihed and represents a Sea Goddess, inspired by the Caribbean Sea, with lots of pearls, sea horse allegory, and multi tiers suggesting the sea's waters and waves. It is a work of National Costume Haute Couture Art!

Miss Universe Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang: Miss Universe Vietnam's has FIVE--count them--FIVE costumes. Well, The public had to chose ONE. I wonder which one was chosen.

Personally, I love all of them, but...the one inspired by Bamboo/Rattan Knitting (photo above) is my favorite. But, seriously, any of these would be going ABOVE-AND-BEYOND the National Costume Design level!

Which ones are YOUR FAVORITES so far???