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SASHES & TIARAS.....MISS WORLD 2017 Finals! Winner + Top 15 Semifinalist's GOWNS RECAP!

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SASHES & TIARAS.....MISS WORLD 2017 Finals! Winner + Top 15 Semifinalist's GOWNS RECAP!

World Queen: Miss World India Manushi Chhillar is the new Miss World--Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

Most Photos Courtesy of Miss World Official Facebook Page

Saturday night were the Grand Coronation Finals of the 67th edition of Miss World, held in Sanya People's Republic of China. 118 contestants from all over the world (the most of any international beauty pageant this year!), competed for the coveted title of Miss World. The beautiful Manushi Chhillar, who represented India was crowned at the end of the competition as Miss World 2017.

Crowned: The outgoing Miss World 2016--Puerto Rico's Stephanie Del Valle crowning Miss World India Manushi Chhillar as Miss World 2017--Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

You Won! Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico congratulates Miss World India Manushi Chhillar on winning Miss World 2017--Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

World Costumes: Miss World 2017 contestants during the "Dances of the World" segment--Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

World Dancing: Miss World India (center) --and eventual Miss World 2017--during the Miss World 2017 Dances of the World segment--Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

Incredible India: Manushi stands 1.75 m (5' 9"), is 20 years old and until now, held the Femina Miss India 2017 title. Both of her parents are doctors and she was pursuing (at least until she dove 110% into being the Most Beautiful Woman in India--and now the World!) a medical degree at a Women's Medical College in India. I have a feeling she might be putting that on a temporary (if not permanent) hold.

Six Beauties--Miss World winners from India: (Clockwise, left to right) Reita Faria (Miss World 1966), Aiswarya Rai (Miss World 1994), Diana Hayden (Miss World 1997), Manushi Chhillar (Miss World 2017), Priyanka Chopra (Miss World 2000), and Yukta Mookhey (Miss World 1999). 

She also becomes the sixth Indian woman to be crowned Miss World. It had been since 2000 (when Priyanka Chopra was crowned Miss World) that an Indian woman had bagged the title. And if that is any indication--looking back at past winners who have become A-list Hollywood and Bollywood actresses like Priyanka and Aishwarya Rai--then Manushi is probably destined for World stardom.

Time to discuss...THE EVENING GOWNS!!! First, I HAVE to BOW DOWN to the outgoing Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle of Puerto Rico and HER GORGEOUS "Goodbye" Evening Gown:
Turquoise Queen: Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle (right) with Miss World 2013 Megan Young (R), co-host of the Miss World 2017 Beauty Pageant--Miss World 2017 Finals Sanya, China

When Stephanie came out in this glorious blue gown, I just about fell off my couch: INCREDIBLE! This gown was EVERYTHING!!! The design featured a light blue-over-nude sequined slightly fit-and-flare gown with azure chiffon back capes and thousands upon thousands of the MOST EXQUISITE crystals in deep blue, turquoise, and silver. The off-the-shoulder style gown fit her to perfection and was OUTSTANDING at any angle! It was THE DEFINITION of a fabulous 360 degree gown...

Side Gown Diva: Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle, crowing the finalists at the Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

The gown was the INCREDIBLE work of...
Puerto Rican designer Carlos Alberto: From the looks of it, it was inspired by that iconic Miss World crown and the colors in it. He used thousands of Swarovski crystals to create the very impacting jeweled details and embellishments that really made this gown ONE OF THE BEST IN A LONG TIME when it comes to pageant gowns. I really, really hope someone paid him A LOT of money for this, because YOU KNOW this will be knocked off by less expensive pageant gown manufacturers and he will not make a dime out of that--and we also know that just making a gown for free for a Miss World or Miss Universe isn't going to get 10,000 orders! Soooooo, let's just hope he was compensated VERY HANDSOMELY for this gorgeous one-of-a-kind gown! He's worth every dollar. Stephanie looked like like an Azure Caribbean Queen in this. One of the BEST handing-over-the-crown gowns IN A LONG TIME!

The Top 15 Semifinalists--Miss World 2017 Finals, Sanya China

Now, it is time to talk about the Miss World 2017 Top 15 Semifinalist's Gowns--starting with the eventual WINNER...
Miss World India Manushi Chhillar: Manushi wore this powder pink sequined gown from Indian-based designers/brand Falguni and Shane Peacock. The gown fit Manushi perfectly and was "Miss World Appropriate" with its delicate pink color, no "Hoochie" super high slit and nothing too exposed. While it might not have been extraordinary or "take-my-breath-away" Couture Fab, there was really nothing wrong with it; it was, as I suggested, Miss World Perfect.
Score: 9.10


Here are the rest of the Top 15--from Best Gown to OK--of the Miss World 2017 Top 15 Gowns (well, Top 14, not including Miss World India who I already discussed above):
1. Miss World Indonesia Achintya Nilsen: Achintya Milsen won the top award for her gown at the "Miss World--World Designer Competition & Fashion Show" with THIS gorgeous gown...so it was no surprise that she would also land as my Top Fave in Evening Gown at the Miss World 2017 Finals. The white mermaid-shaped gown she wore here was from Indonesian designer Priyo Oktaviano and was fit to perfection! The shimmery stiffened fabrication made the gown an architectural stand-out and featured side "cut outs" and a slimming torso silhouette. The subtle gold sequins down the front made for a nice touch.
Score: 9.50

2. Miss World Kenya Magline Jeruto: Kenya's representative--for me--had to be THE PRETTIEST WOMAN in the pageant! So I was happy when she made the Top 15. And happier when I saw her choice of gown; she looked chic and made her even prettier! I loved this pink sequined organza gown which featured a column dress with full overskirt. The pink color was just right against her GORGEOUS skin color and I loved the pointed sequin details especially on the upper torso and sleeves that really brought wonderful attention to that 3/4 shot. If there was any critique, it would be those black (Black??!! Really??!!) platform heels...with THIS color of a gown??? Oh huney. No. But I will overlook this detail only because she was so Lupita Nyong'o BEAUTIFUL!
Score: 9.30

3. Miss World India Manushi Chhullar: See my critique above.

4. Miss World France Aurore Kichenin: Aurore went the "Pageant princess" route with this very pretty white gown. The dress featured a full dress shape, gold paillettes, and a nice sweetheart neckline shape. Her styling was on-point with the gown (the up-do bouffant was just right) and her makeup as well as earrings were good. This contestant knew EXACTLY which pageant she was attending (not the va-va-voom Miss Universe huney!) and so she went with Elegant, Sweet, Virginal and Pretty. Good choice.
Score: 9.00

5. Miss World Mexico Andrea Meza: Andrea became the 1st Runner-up of Miss World 2017. She wore this white column gown which featured a sequined base with delicate silver and gold crystals. The strapless gown fit her well and was a good choice for her skin coloring and figure. Nothing extraordinary or Gown Fab...just safe...but I guess, that's not the name of the game when it comes to what these contestants wear for the Miss World. Obviously. Unless, you're giving up the crown like Stephanie Del Valle!
Score: 8.99


6. Miss World El Salvador Fatima Cuellar: This was the farthest a contestant from El Salvador has ever made it in Miss World so...Felicitaciones to her! Her pink colored column gown was pretty. Once again, she wasn't going to win the Supermodel of the Gown Fashion World with this. But yet, it was still a good choice. The dress had beautiful silver sequins enveloping her upper torso laid over iridescent pink fabrication. The length was right, the fit was good and she looked muy linda.
Score: 8.95

7. Miss World Russia Polina Popova: Polina wore this same red strapless gown with a paillette-covered overskirt for the "Miss World/World Designer Fashion  Show & Competition". I liked it then and obviously, still do now. The bold red is a nice color against her porcelain skin and blond hair. While it might look a teeny bit Christmas-y" to some people, I still get the nice gown impact. I just wish she had added a bit more volume to her hair. It was flat and lackluster.
Score: 8.90

8. Miss World South Africa Ade van Heerden: Take a guess what I am going to say? Yep: Pretty. The South African representative wore this baby blue sequined off-the-shoulder gown featuring plumage at the bottom. This was Pageant Nice. Nothing super chic, or extraordinary just "Pretty Pageant Gown 101". Been there-done that. But, it works for "Miss World" and the feather plumage was a nice touch at the hem.
Score: 8.50

9. Miss World South Korea Ha-eun Kim: OK, part of me is intrigued by this gown--the shape...the silver sequin detail. But...Ha-eun just keeps HOLDING the darn gown and all I want to do is SCREAM and say "DROP IT so I can SEE IT!!!" The blush color is nice and the fit looks great. It looks like an expensive NOT off-the-rack gown and I give her points for that. And yes, I still do love that silver sequined applique! But yeah: DROP IT and Own it like a Pageant Diva!
Score: 8.45

10. Miss World Nigeria Ugochi Ihezue: Ugochi won the Miss World Top Model title, which is understandable since she is like EIGHT FEET TALL (OK, just six feet+) and has the ideal size 2 model figure and...she's gorgeous! For the Miss World 2017 Finals, she wore this blue gown featuring rhinestone trim and sequined details and (GASP!) sexy side cut-outs! While I think she looks HOT, I think she might have missed the Memo that this wasn't Miss Universe but instead, Miss World. This was just TOO MUCHEY SEXY for the Miss World Organization. A) It wasn't pink. And B) There was too much skin exposed. My suggestion is that she save this for when she is reassigned to compete in a future Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. But, I still give her points for "bringing" the sexy to Miss World. Thank you darling.
Score: 8. 40


11. Miss World England Stephanie Hill: 2nd runner-up Stephanie Hill wore this baby blue colored gown featuring a column dress with a demure high neckline, flowing overskirt and sequined appliques around the midriff. It was pretty, had nice stage impact. Her side swept hair was also pretty (take note Miss World Russia!).
Score: 8.30

12. Miss World Jamaica Solange Sinclair: Solange also chose a blue color for her evening gown, but her blue was more vibrant, more "royal". The lace sequined dress featured a nude background, sweetheart scalloped neckline and upper neck/drop shoulder detail. The gown fit nice and the vibrant color was perfect for her. I just wasn't a fan of the lace front torso panel pointing to "that area" and the nude right underneath it. I would have liked it better if the sequined lace slowly went from heavy to light as it made it's way down to the hem.
Score: 8.15

13: Miss World Macau China: Congratulations for Miss World Macau China in being the first representative from that Chinese territory (formally a Portuguese colony) for making it into the Top 15 at Miss World. She wore this lilac-hued tulle and sequined gown. While I liked the ice-looking encrusted paillettes in the gown, the style looked a bit "clunky" on her, and she looked more like an Ice Dance Figure Skating competitor--as opposed to a Miss World contestant. And speaking of clunky...WHAT ARE THOSE TACKY WHITE PUMPS!!!??? #OhNo
Score: 8.00

14. Miss World Japan Haruka Yamashita: Sorry Miss World Japan but this was a Gown Fail. She's pretty and I get the whole "Miss World Demure" look but this dress looked like something one can find in one of those Santee Alley stores in Downtown L.A. It was soooo $199 Basic Prom. She also succumbed to the the Accessorized Virus (get rid of that necklace, those earrings...). And once and for all: LADIES!!! DROP THE DARN DRESS!!! On the good note, the bold color was nice.
Score: 7.50

15: Miss World Mongolia Enkhjin Tseveendash: Now, I'm a sucker for a big dramatic ballgown. If it is done well. This was just TOO MUCH and TOO BIG. The gown and all that fabric literally swallowed her up. She was just too covered up! It lacked the refinement or exclusivity of say, one of those UBER EXTRAVAGANT creations from Michael Cinco, for example. And the sequined appliques of butterflies (and are those branches?) looked a little like an afterthought. I get this as a wedding dress for a Mongolian Bride but not as Miss world evening gown.
Score: 7.45


EXTRAS: I wanted to end my Miss World Gown Recap on a more positive note, highlighting some Gowns that I thought were QUITE FABULOUS but from contestants that didn't make the Top 15. These three ladies made the Top 40 but afterwards, just stood in the background. All I wanted to do was pull them to the front and replace some of my not-so-favorite Top 15 Semifinalist's Gowns with THESE ladies! So....for that, they get a SPECIAL GOWN MENTION here:
Miss World Philippines Laura Lehmann: This was by far one of the BEST GOWNS worn by a Miss World 2017 contestant at this year's Finals! The style, the silhouette, the gorgeous DRAPING, the GLORIOUS color! This fabulous strapless ballgown was designed by Filipino designer Mark Bumgarner  and featured a coral colored silk satin organza ballgown shape with exquisite side fold draping and an open side front slit. This reminded me of those Good Ol' Days of Angel Sanchez/Guy Melliet Miss Venezuelas: Beautiful!....and the shoes!! TO DIE FOR!
Score: 9.90

Miss World Venezuela Ana Carolina Ugarte: Speaking of Miss Venezuelas, I LOVED this pink sequined gown worn by Miss World Venezuela Ana Ugarte. When I was watching the Miss World 2017 Beauty Pageant, and all the contestants were onstage in their gowns, I just couldn't take my eyes off of her! And this dress! I thought this was a Haute Couture Pageant Fab version of that "perfect Miss World dress"; Princess-like, Pink, Elegant, nothing vulgar or too sexy with a touch of drama...just right! I LOVED the sequined column gown but the star was the beautiful taffeta ballgown overskirt and the gathered midriff draped panels. Bellisima!
Score: 9.85

Miss World Vietnam My Linh Do: This is another one of those gowns that got my attention as I "surveyed" all the 118 Miss World 2017 contestants onstage. Now, you may ask, what got my attention? HELLO THE GOLD SPARKLY SEQUINS!!! At first I thought this was VERY "Showgirl" Too-Mucheey but...after seeing the other BORING and too-prissy Miss World gowns, I was like "Yep! LOVE THIS!!" She wore this gold sequined "nude" gown featuring a halter neckline, side front slit and golden feathers sweeping the train/hem. With her hair up, the nude pumps and cross earrings, I thought she looked pretty fab!
Score: 9.4

Now, after doing a little bit of web research I realized that those feathers were a "late" edition to the gown. How do I know? Exhibit A:

Miss World Vietnam 2017: Same Gown, pre-feathers.

Lastly...
Miss World Ukraine Polina Tkach: Polina wore this UBER grand ballgown for the Miss World 2017 Finals--as well as the Miss World "World Designer Fashion Show and Top Model Competition".  I thought this strapless blush-colored gown was impacting and definitely could be noticed from the "nose-bleed" section! The sequined netting-like fabric seemed luxe and overall, this had elements of a fab Haute Couture-style gown. If there was any critique, I thought the inner crinoline petticoat was too short. Look at the photo and see where it stops...like almost TWO FEET from the bottom of the outer gown! it doesn't make any sense. that inner petticoat should be almost to the floor so...the gown is completely sitting on it as opposed to partially. But other than that: Fab gown Miss World Ukraine!
Score: 9.3

CONGRATULATIONS Manushi Chhillar on being crowned Miss World 2017 and being the SIXTH representative from India who has won the coveted crown!...


And don't forget about my NEW "The Pageant Coloring Book"! Where you can create your very own Evening Gown Competition with 25 of my hand-drawn Pageant Queen illustrations. Click HERE to purchase NOW on amazon.com:

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ICE STYLE.....2017 NHK Trophy Grand Prix of Japan FIGURE SKATING COSTUMES: PAIRS & ICE DANCE

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ICE STYLE.....2017 NHK Trophy Grand Prix of Japan FIGURE SKATING COSTUMES: PAIRS & ICE DANCE

Dance Fierce: Russia's Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov during their Short Dance--2017 NHK Trophy Osaka Japan

Finishing up my 2017 NHK Trophy ICE STYLE Costumes blogs, I have discussed the LADIES HERE, the MEN HERE and now it's time for the PAIRS and ICE DANCE Costumes. Some of the Pairs and Ice Dance skaters who skated at 2017 NHK Trophy--Sui and Han, Stolbova and Klimov, Virtue and Moir, and Hubbell and Donohue, for example--have already skated in some of the previous three 2017-2018 Grand Prix competitions/events and I have already covered them here in my blog. If you're wondering my thoughts on their costumes go HERE, HERE and HERE.


Now--it's time for the PAIRS and ICE DANCE costumes of 2017 NHK Trophy that I haven't discussed previously--let's start with the PAIRS:
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of USA: Alexa and Chris skated their Short Program to Come What May (Moulin Rouge soundtrack) wearing these costumes above. The color scheme stayed within a pretty lilac/lavender/purple category. Alexa's costume featured a beaded bustier-like corset-inspired costume giving hints of Nicole Kidman's in the movie/musical. What I really loved was Chris' look:


The subtle beading on Chris' neck was a nice touch, especially since there are so many close-ups of them while they are skating. I also liked the sheer softness of his top. 

Free Skate to Ghost - The Musical--For their Free Skate, Alexa and Chris wore these looks. they were less "costume-y" and quite classic and subtle. They were nice and I guess a good choice considering the musical accompaniment...well, at least the lilac-hued color story was similar to the Musical's posters!  Also.....
Alexa's costume reminded me of something Nancy Kerrigan might have worn and in addition, Alexa and Chris together reminded me of Gordeeva and Grinkov.

Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov of Russia: Short Program to Adagio For Strings by William BarberLacrimosa (from "Requiem in D Minor") by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and O Fortuna (from "Carmina Burana") by Carl Orff. These were great costumes worn by the Russian Pairs couple of Astakhova and Rogonov. There were elements of rawness and fight (mimicking the powerful music they skated to) plus the sweetness of the lightly dusted crystals and modernity of the asymmetrical hems. I also loved how both of their necklines were so similar and his costume looked like a perfect costume pair to hers. Speaking of her...

Love that open back: So Red Carpet/Runway Fab!

ICE DANCE:
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy: Cappellini and Lanotte skated their fun Short Dance to Cha Cha: Kaboom performed by Ursula 1000; Samba: Skip to the Bip performed by Club des Belugas; and Samba: 1008 Samba. While most of the Ice Dance men are utilizing this Samba/Rhumba/Cha-Cha Shorty Dance to be Muy Caliente Sexy Hot with their costumes (sheer, plunging and tighter!) here, while still super tight fitting, Luca is all covered up!! And in all black! I get that Anna's fuchsia-and-silver colored costume makes a bold color statement alone but still, I just wish he didn't look like a valet about to take my car away. Her costume, on the other hand, is one of my favorites of the season! It is spectacular with the crystal beaded bodice and fuchsia ruffled skirt that is just the right length for her teeny tiny frame. In a way, by making him fade away, it highlighted her even more...which was probably the point!

Free Dance to Biongiorno Principessa (from "La Vita e Bella" soundtrack), Life Is Beautiful (from "La Vita e Bella" soundtrack) by Nicola Piovani, arranged & performed by Mi Loco Tango, and La Vita e Bella (from "La Vita e Bella" soundtrack) by Nicola Piovani arranged by Claudio Mandonico. Cappellini and Lanotte are known for their very Italy-centric Ice dances and this Olympic Season was no exception for their Free Dance. She wore an ivory colored dress with beaded top section and nude illusion neckline. I thought she looked quite Mumsy and matronly and I just did not understand the nude illusion neckline; she looked like one of the ten wives of a cult leader! I did like Luca's high-waisted pants-and-shirt costume. The pants were super tight which was a good thing, but the colors were SOOOOO drab. I get the whole We're-Italian-peasants-dancing-up-a-storm theme but still, I wish they didn't look so sad and uninspiring.

Misato Komatsubara and Timothy Koleto of Japan: For their Short Dance to Salsa: Ahora Quien by Marc Anthony; Rhumba: Ahora Quien by Marc Anthony; and Samba: Samba do Brasil (Radio Remix) by Bellini, these are the costumes the Ice Dance team representing Japan wore. Remember what I said about how PLUNGING and how SEXY these Ice Dance men were costumed for their Latin-inspired Short Dances...Exhibit A: Timothy Koleto. Look at him compared to turtlenecked Luca Lanotte. Anyhow--I liked Timothy's look as well as Misato's dress. Her black and gold costume was exotic and more Near East Empress as opposed to Hello Havana...but it was great for the music/program as well as fun and impacting.

Free Dance to Where Is It Written? by Barbara Streisand, Michel Legrand, End Credits (from "Sabrina" soundtrack) by John Williams, and A Piece of Sky by Barbara Streisand, Michel Legrand--Komatsubara and Koleto wore the blue and black looks above for their Free Dance. These were romantic and pretty costumes. The beautiful rhinestones on her upper torso looked like a starry sky and I loved how they went from blue to silver. And I also appreciated how he got some of those rhinestones on his top--as if while touching her...or just being near her...he was "sprinkled" with Swarovski crystal dust!

Oleksandra Nazarova and Maksim Nikitin of Ukraine: Well HELLO FABULOSA!!! For their Short Dance to Rhumba: Chuvirico (from "Wanted") by Perez Prado; Mambo: Cu-cu-rru-cu-cu-paloma (from "Mambo No. 5) by Perez Prado, Rosemary Clooney; and Mambo: La Pantera Mambo (Pink Panther Theme) by Henry Mancini, this Ukrainian Ice Dance team--and especially her!--went all out Cha-Cha Queen. While admittedly, this is on the more "Kray-Kray" side of the Fiery Hot Samba/Rhuma/Cha-Cha costumes the ladies are wearing, it was still A LOT OF FUN to look at! I loved the bold purple and gold fringe and how it literally wrapped around her leg. With so much going on with her, it was kind of a nice "fringe commercial break" to have him just in black with a purple tie! 

Lastly...
Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalopov of Russia: One word: SEXYLICIOUS! This Russian Ice Dance pair were oozing S.E.X. I'm surprised the ISU didn't give them a "Not appropriate to be viewed by anyone under 16" rating! For their Short Dance to Rhumba: Agua de beber by Al Jarreau; Samba: Balumukeno by Bonga Kuenda; and Samba: Batacuda Brasileira, they wore these looks above. Nikita was "comfy sexy" in his un-tucked gray/black shirt and tight pants; not much there to see. It was Victoria who was Muy Caliente in her attire--if you could even call it that; she was barely wearing anything! Victoria's costume consisted of a beaded bra top and two swaths of asymmetrically cut fabric...and that's it! I thought the side cowl drape was interesting and I was kind of fascinated how she just looked as if she went into a bin and wrapped a couple of fabric scraps around her and called it a day. But in closer inspection...


These weren't just any fabrics but this beautiful silver gray paillette encrusted silk chiffon! And Ladies and Gentlemen, can we just take a minute to look at her incredible and fat-free SIX PACK ABS of STEEL!!??? Even Nikita was like "OH DEAR!!!!"

Free Skate to Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 18 and Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov--For their Free Dance, they went much, much, MUCH more subdued, which made sense, especially with their classical musical accompaniment. They stayed in the same gray/black color theme as in their Short dance but this time, Victoria got a little more fabric yardage for her dress. I liked the delicate look of her costume and the shimmering waistband. In terms of Nikita, I have to be honest and say that I just didn't really understand his "shredded" and ripped shirt I-just-came-from-the-Apocalypse vibe. I wished he was more elegant here. 

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