Which One of These Two Got My Best Gown Top Prize? (Left to right) Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler and Miss Puerto Rico Monic Perez--Miss Universe 2013 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition, Crocus City Hall Moscow, Russia
Photos Courtesy of MissUniverse.com
Last night was the ever-so-important "Miss Universe 2013 Preliminary Competition"
at the Crocus City Hall
in Krasnogorsk Moscow Oblast, Russia--sight of the Final Show. I actually watched live on the MissUniverse.com
site 8 AM yesterday from the comfort of my home in Los Angeles.
Miss Universe 2013 Contestants--Miss Universe 2013 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition, Crocus City Hall Moscow, Russia
The Preliminaries are when a separate group of judges (separate from the LIVE Telecast ones), get to chose who the Top Fifteen Semi-Finalists are--that will be announced soon after the LIVE Telecast begins this coming Saturday November 9th (an extra semi-finalist will also be announced from the "Fan Votes" online). Two competitions occurred during the Preliminaries--the Swimsuit and Evening Gown. Well, naturally you know what I'm interested in, of course: THE EVENING GOWNS! Here's my "Nick Top Pick's" for BEST Evening Gowns of this year's Miss Universe Preliminary Evening Gown Competition--and yes--in case you are wondering--in a following post, I'll have my "OH NO, She Didn't!" Post!)--So...Here are my Best Evening Gowns of the "Miss Universe" Preliminaries out of all the 86 contestants and gowns shown, in reverse order...I begin with No. 20:
No. 20 Miss Brazil Jaklyne Oliveira:
Jakelyne wore a peach colored sequined and appliqued gown with nude illusion (a big trend!) and side front slit. The color of the gown was great and I especially liked all the multicolored sequins in the gown. The dress is very "Nefertiti/Cleopatra" and I like that. I also think her side-swept hairstyle was good.No. 19 Miss Canada Riza Santos:
Riza wore one of those very popular nude illusion "Figure Skating" gowns. This was a good one. It was a creme-nude color and had crystals throughout and a plain chiffon bottom half. From head to toe, it worked. Therefore, Riza--and this gown--is in my "Top 20".No. 18 Miss South Africa Marilyn Ramos:
Marilyn wore a black velvet "Le Smoking" tuxedo gown with a satin shawl collar and skirt hem band and long sleeves. It was very "Yves Saint Laurent" (THE Yves Saint Laurent, thank you very much!) in its style and silhouette and therefore I appreciated it. Classic, chic, elegant and no sequins!!! Who knew!!No. 17 Miss Colombia Lucia Aldana:
Lucia went the "Grecian Goddess" route with this very floaty white chiffon gown with sequined trim midriff/waist detail. She looked muy bella
in this and I especially liked the shoulder "falls" of chiffon (very dramatic) and the "covered-up" center front slit.No. 16 Miss Curacao Eline de Pool:
Eline wore a strapless silver gown in sequined lace applique that went over a "mini dress" lining. The gown looked both sexy and red carpet/runway fab! I also loved her overall styling: her hairstyle, makeup and lack of distracting accessories. Oh, and KUDOS for the gown being the PERFECT length!No. 15 Miss France Hinarani de Longeaux:
Hinarani wore a white crepe halter-neck style gown with gathered front and golden/silver sequined details. She looked like a Princess. Sublime from head to toe. If only her presentation/walk would have matched this gown; she didn't bring the "DIVA" that one would want to bring wearing this gown. But, still--one of the BEST!No. 14 Miss Nicaragua Nastassja Bolivar:
Nastassja won the Best National Costume Award tonight and she also shined during the Preliminaries. I liked this gold lace long-sleeve gown with a scalloped plunging neckline. She looked very elegant. I liked her side-slicked hairstyle; perfect for this look. I may add, this look is also very "old school" Yves Saint Laurent Couture circa late 1990s. I LOVE that!No. 13 Miss Netherlands Stephanie Tency:
Stephanie wore a white gathered chiffon gown with a illusion-backed multicolored beaded neck-piece and waist. This was very "Pageant Safe" yet still PERFECT! Nothing wrong with the gown and her styling. Good job Stephanie. No. 12 Miss India Manasi Moghe:
Manasi wore a blush-colored "Mermaid Lite" gown featuring gold and silver jeweled sequined and feathers. The gown looked great on Manasi and all that detail and sequin work screamed "Expensive!". If there was any criticism, I could have done without the nude chiffon/illusion neckline piece; it should have just been strapless. That detail took it to a semi-Figure Skating Costume level.No. 11 Miss Spain Patricia Rodriguez:
Patricia--who is one of the favorites to take the top crown (and I can see why!)--wore a white Mermaid-style gown with a nude illusion-backed sequined applique torso section and tulle bottom skirt. It was very"Pronovias"
! Not sure how necessary those big ol' earrings were to finish the look but Patricia could get away with it!No. 10 Miss Panama Carolina Brid:
Carolina stunned in this raspberry-colored "Mermaid Lite" silhouette silk ziberline gown with scroll-like sequined detail at the torso. The gown itself was very "Miss Venezuela" Couture in its fit, style and construction. Someone in the "Miss Panama" Organization has their pilas
on. In other words--they know what they are doing! I also liked it because it reminded me of one of my NIKOLAKI Collection gowns:
NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos & David Paul--raspberry-colored silk ziberline gownNo. 9 Miss Indonesia Whulandary Herman:
Whulandary wore an off-white lace applique-over-nude gown with a high neck, long sleeves and side cut-out's. It was very Runway/Red Carpet Fab and perfect for her figure. I only wished her hair style didn't look so severe (the center front hair part). Besides this, I feel Whulandary is one of the BEST of the contestants representing the Asian continent in the "2013 Miss Universe" pageant.No. 8 Miss Russia Elmira Abdrazakova:
It is a sure fact that Elmira will make the Top Fifteen--just because the contest is in Russia. So that's a given. With that being said, I am glad that she "brought it" when it came to the Preliminary Evening Gown portion (because she probably could have worn a MESS of a dress and STILL, she would have made the cut!). I thought Elmira looked amazing in this fire-red Mermaid silhouette strapless gown. It was SOOOO dramatic and she gave the gown "runway" justice" onstage. I also loved the beautifully-fitting bust section.No. 7 Miss Philippines Ariella Arida--
Colombian couturier Alfredo Barraza
designed this chartreuse gown for Miss Philippines. I thought this was a beautiful gown choice for Ariella and the color--especially--was very impacting (unfortunately, there was another contestant who wore the same color and stole the evening gown show). I liked the fit of this strapless Mermaid-shaped gown with lightly strewn crystals in the midriff. One of the Best!No. 6 Miss Bahamas Lexi Wilson:
Lexi wore a gorgeous bubblegum pink chiffon gown with a dramatic back cape and front keyhole and slit detail. She looked SPECTACULAR! And PS: her body is OUT OF CONTROL!No. 5 Miss Haiti Mondiana Pierre:
One word--WOW! When Mondiana appeared onstage in this black and silver gown, I just about dropped my morning coffee--and in a good way! (remember I was watching at 8AM!). Mondiana looked so Couture Fashion Week in this creation, I was LIVING for it! The dress was created beautifully and she worked it onstage! If there is any criticism, I just wished that it was strapless. But this is a very minor critique. C'est Superb
.No. 4 Miss Ukraine Olga Storozhenko:
Olga looked every bit a "Miss Universe"
in this white chiffon gathered upper torso gown with a sequined neckline. While I have my questions about "Miss Russia"
being in the Top Fifteen/Sixteen...Olga, "Miss Ukraine" DESERVES
to be there! She looks angelic and so pretty. The gown fits her well, it is the perfect length, it is styled correctly...Yes, she is my No. FOUR!No. 3 Miss China Jin Ye:
OK, this woman needs to be in the Top 15/16 Semi-Finalists List solely on her Evening Gown "performance": SHE BROUGHT IT! I thought Jin Ye looked like a Runway Diva in this one shoulder white and nude illusion gown with oversized jeweled crystals. In addition, her look, and hair--were PERFECT!No. 2 Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler:
Gabriela wore this nude colored silk ziberline gown completely covered in oversized Swarovski
jeweled crystals from Venezuelan fashion designer Gionni Straccia
. Now, let me discuss what happened during her "Evening Gown" portion. IMMEDIATELY, after the Preliminaries ended, she got criticized on the web and all the "Pageant Sites" for her "poor" evening gown performance. And there were some good reasons: the gown was so stiff that when she came down the stairs, she could barely walk and you could hear an audible gasp from the audience (and I bet, most of the Venezuelan public watching on the web!). Her face froze, she looked nervous and not at all "Miss Venezuela" fab. She knew there was a problem instantly.
This is not her fault but I have to ask: WHY didn't she practice walking in this gown beforehand? Walk up and down the halls of the hotel! The "Emergency Exit" stairs, for Goodness sakes!
Besides what happened at the Preliminaries, I am still putting this gown as one of my TOP TWO Best: I thought the gown was COUTURE sublime and certainly one of the most fabulous ones of the night--irregardless of the fact that there should have been a SLIT for her to walk more comfortable in! Speaking of: I hope that Osmel Sousa
(the Miss Venezuela National Director/"Beauty Czar") has sent Gabriela a message instructing her to bring this gown to the "Miss Universe" Wardrobe Dept. to open up the center back and put a slit...so she could walk easier. Por Favor!No. 1 Miss Puerto Rico Monic Perez:
My Top Evening Gown Prize goes to Monic Perez " Miss Puerto Rico"
for this strapless chartreuse-colored gown from fashion designer Harry Robles
Close-Up of "Miss Puerto Rico" Gown
Photo Courtesy of Harry Robles Facebook
Sketch of "Miss Puerto Rico" gown by Harry Robles
The gown was EXQUISITE featuring horizontal pleated body and side volants
/cascade ruffles with hand-sewn sequins. It was a big surprise that both "Miss Philippines"
and "Miss Puerto Rico"
wore the same colored gown for the "2013 Miss Universe Preliminaries"
but Monic's gown definitely WON! So much so, that it was my TOP Favorite.Click Below to Watch The 2013 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition:**NEXT UP: My "Oh Dear!/Oh No She Didn't!" Gowns for the "2013 Miss Universe Preliminary Evening Gown Competition!!! Stay tuned!