MGI 2018: GB Fashion Patrol pick the best and the worst gowns of the competition

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RICARDO GUIRALDES

Ricardo Guiraldes, Chilean designer and illustrator living in London, where he has worked as Art Editor at Cosmopolitan and other magazines, and creator and director of www.chileancharm.com. As a journalist, he has covered the Miss World pageant throughout the 1980´s and 1990´s.

“A sea of on trend Nude colours and Transparencies"

In the ocean of transparencies, glitters, gauzes and nude colours - which is obviously the new wave at this type of competition - it seems difficult to choose a gown that stands out from the rest. But, without finding a very objective explanation, here goes my very personal opinion.

Thailand, with her siren like waist, accented with this superb design. It could be said that perhaps there are many similar styles, but never the same as this one. My winner!

Mexico mixed all the elements that make us admire her while she is walking on stage. Each element and detail seemed to be there to accentuate her figure.

India continues surprising me with the naturalness that manages to bring the elegance of her designs. I found that the design and color were a great success.

Venezuela managed to nail it with another elaborate evening dress, with cut outs and transparencies of high level of dressmaking.

Spain made use of the transparency trend, the nude color and the asymmetry of the cut outs, but on her, everything seemed original.

Japan broke all the rules and trends, by deciding to wear this so feminine powder blue gown, with an asymmetrical design around her waist.

Sweden decided to highlight her beauty wearing a model of modern geometric figures, which accentuated her figure with every step of her walk.

Brazil chose to wear a very elegant and sensual gown decorated with golden leaves and a magnificent low cut v-neck.

Chile wears a figure hugging gold suit, on which the metallic fringes fluttered with her movement. A trademark of the Chilean designer Bernardo Santander.

New Zealand monopolized my attention - and despite wearing a suit very different from the one that Mexico wore - its simple design beautifully highlighted her figure.

Indonesia knew how to mix the revealing cut outs on the sides, with a pronounced neckline topped by a raised neck.

 Thailand is Ricardo´s number 1 pick.

Thailand is Ricardo´s number 1 pick.

Thailand, however, got my perfect 10 for the night!

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ANDRE SLEIGH

Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, the co-owner of Global Beauties has lived in England, Taiwan, China and Poland. An avid pageant fan, he has helped several beauty queens preparing for their international challenges, especially the ones from South Africa. He´s also the founder and editor of Eye For Beauty Blog.

The Great:

India: Meenakshi looked incredible on stage. I thought her gown was perfect for her – it was elegant and glamorous in equal mix. It told a story, it told us about her. Elegant and timeless with an edge. Her hair and makeup were perfect too.

Indonesia: Nadia shone when it mattered. Her gown was phenomenal and the shoulder and neck detail on it something new and fresh. Perhaps the eye makeup was a bit too heavy and she could have toned it down slightly.

Japan: It’s official. She’s now my favorite Japanese delegate at any pageant ever. I was afraid that she might not choose a gown that did her beauty justice but she did just that and more. The look was perfect for me.

Kazakhstan: She looked incredible on stage. The cape was all the drama that we needed. She is climbing up my list.

Korea: Following Kazakhstan with a cape dress was not an easy task but Min aced it. She held her own and it was hard for me to decide who wore it better.

Laos: Smart choice, Laos. The midnight blue looked phenomenal on her skin tone and the stage lights really made the crystal detailing sparkle like a starry, starry night. It was a fairy tale princess look in the best way possible.

Macau: What a difficult color to pull of on stage but somehow it work. It was just popping. I loved the sleek look and the dramatic one shoulder elegance.

Mexico: Mexico found the look that worked the best for her. The gown was quite bold with a lot going on but it worked as a whole. I think it was her best look so far.

Myanmar: Fringe and gold seemed to be trending among the Miss Grand delegates. This was one was safe but stunning.

New Zealand: I appreciated Haley’s look because it was different from most other contestants’. Her styling was on point and the dress was a classic example of how you don’t have to show too much skin to look stunning and sexy on stage.

Philippines: I thought the whole look was extremely polished. It highlighted her beauty in the best way possible. Honestly, I underestimated her before the start of the competition but I have her high on my list now. Also, she recovered well from the little trip but that shows true composure. Well done, Eva.

Puerto Rico: There was a lot going on here but I kind of loved it. It could have gone very Xmas tree like Miss Venezuela 2012 at Miss Universe but surprisingly I was not too distracted. Loved this color on her.

Sri Lanka: This gown was a Wow for me. Maybe the gown was not even that great but the styling was amazing. Everyone just worked and it floated across the stage. I could not keep my eyes off her.

Suriname: This girl started making a huge impression on me in the later stages of the competition. Once again, she chose a gown that accentuated her beauty in the best possible way. Great color, great style, great look.

Thailand: Perfection. There’s nothing more to say.

USVI: Smart choice. The gown looked very expensive.

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The best? Thailand, of course.

Beautiful Girls, wrong gown choices:

China: Big no for me. Her styling has been questionable throughout. I don’t know what look she was going for. It was like The Little Mermaid meets Arabian Nights.

Ecuador: Major dress malfunction. It looked like the dress did not fit her properly. Too short and too small. And slit showed way more than what we should have seen.

Hong Kong: Craft project? Did she buy a ball gown and grabbed a pair of scissors? The top part was beautiful but from the waist down it went all wrong.

Kosovo: This dress was not flattering at all. It didn’t compliment her figure.

Moldova: Not glamorous enough for a major beauty pageant.

Mongolia: The dress looked ill fitted and poorly constructed. The whole look just did not come across as expensive or glamorous.

Nepal: The print was a bold choice but sorry it did not work.

Norway: It did not look modern to me. It looked like a trip to a few decades to me. Dated and frumpy, sadly.

Paraguay: Beautiful dress but she needed more support at the top where the girls looked a bit lopsided.

Taiwan: Stage curtains meet dressing gown and this is the result.

Zambia: The color was great on her but the neck was too much. It looked like she was being choked. It looked super uncomfortable.

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PETER SERENO

Peter Sereno is credited solely for putting Australia back on the beauty pageant map. His first gig coaching Jennifer Hawkins resulted in Australia's second Miss Universe winner and since 2004 every single talent he has coached has either won or placed in the top 5 earning Australia the reputation of being a pageant power house in the region. Known internationally as the Queen Maker, he is the creator of Australia's leading pageant resource centre, Dear Pageant Girl, and also heads Pageant Girl Travel.  together with his team at Flight Centre Sandy Bay, he now takes care of Australian beauty queens travel needs. Claire Parker, Miss Grand International 2015, was coached by Peter!

Just like the rest of you, I am an armchair Judge Judy when this time of the year comes around. I’m sure many of you share the joy and excitement I feel when we get that first look at what the delegates have in store for us for Evening Gown.

I generally base my scoring on how the gown compliments the girl. It’s not about the dress - the dress is meant to serve you. In this instance however, I am basing my judgment on how photogenic the gown is, as the majority of us don’t get to watch it live, we rely on photos posted online immediately after the fact, or from the livestream sections that we manage to catch which I was fortunate enough to link into all the way here in Australia. Unfortunately a few countries did not feature in the livestream due to connectivity problems but this is to be expected. I’m hoping the countries that missed out manage to get themselves into the finals so that they get their opportunity to show off!

I’m basing my review on gown performance, this is not my top predictions on who I think will do well in finals and this is neither a list of my favourites. In fact, hardly any of my favourites made the evening gown review, which was disappointing.

To be honest, I did not get excited until Ghana came out. In a sea of silvers, golds and neutral sequinned column gowns (and I found myself actually eye rolling each time another gold gown came out) Ghana’s green ball gown had me sitting up. She looked like a modern day princess and it was DRAAAMAAAAA.

Loved Haiti’s scarlet gown. Sexy and elegant at the same time, she was another stand out for me.

Jamaica’s cobalt blue gown was similar to Haiti minus the dramatic train, she could have given it that dramatic modern edge if she had slicked her hair back.

Japan was a jaw drop moment. Absolutely stunning in that sky blue gown. She really surprised me by wearing a traditional pageant gown when Japan is generally known to be rather quirky when it comes to their fashion, but in saying that, she looked divine and joyful. A welcome surprise. Hands down one of the best looks on stage that night.

My heart sank when I saw Kazakhstan and Korea come out together in what could have been mistaken to be identical gowns. Talk about unlucky. Both wore it well but I have a feeling one of these two will make it into the finals....PM ME YOUR GUESSES!

Speaking of drama, Lebanon’s gown is what India’s gown wants to be when it grows up. WOW. The Lebanese designers are famous for stunning creations and this one did not disappoint.

Russia was another stunner in blush pink. Her styling was on point. Very soft and romantic.

Sri Lanka. Absolutely beautiful in her yellow gown and high bun. Dare I say one of the best Sri Lanka has ever sent to a Miss Grand pageant. This girl was giving face, body, attitude.

Question...if the girls aren’t holding up their capes like they’re flying, why are they also flicking it up? Seriously distracting. Please don’t. Let the fabric flow and do as it will. If it’s not meant to be flying because there’s no wind machine, then leave it be. It looks very amateurish when girls do that.

If I must mention a gold sequinned gown, I will have to take my hat off to Thailand who NAILED it. It fitted her perfectly, it showed off her waist and legs, the sillhouette and beading exquisitely engineered. Loved the simplicity of her hair, makeup and jewellery which was a beautiful contrast to her intricate gown. Thailand just goes from strength to strength each year.

I must say China has some serious potential here but the styling has not really brought out the best in her, and I think better coaching would have helped her a lot. The girl can model and walk, but needs to be reeled in. The gown got my attention but not for the right reasons and I’m hoping that with the right wardrobe and better coaching we will see her again in another pageant.

My heart bled for Ecuador - that split was way too high and I think she looked a bit uncomfortable there and looked like she was praying she wouldn’t have a wardrobe malfunction.

I think many countries cruised along and played it safe this year and that in itself is one of the most dangerous things to do in a pageant, when the aim of the game is to stand head and shoulders above the rest.

 Japan´s is Peter choice for Best Gown!

Japan´s is Peter choice for Best Gown!

But if I had to choose the best look for evening gown prelims I would have to give my vote to Japan.

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SALLY-ANN FAWCETT

Sally-Ann Fawcett is a former 80s beauty queen and now a regular judge of British pageants including Miss International UK, Miss Wales World, Miss Northern Ireland World and Miss Great Britain. She has also written three books - the Misdemeanours series - looking at the history of pageants and the controversies that made the headlines.

Hits:

-Thailand (Evening Gown winner)
-Mexico
-US Virgin Islands
-Russia
-Japan
-Tatarstan

Misses:

-Taiwan
-Norway

 With Sally-Ann´s vote, Thailand has 3 votes against one given to Japan. Therefore, it´s the Best Evening Gown of the year for MGI 2018. Congratulations!!

With Sally-Ann´s vote, Thailand has 3 votes against one given to Japan. Therefore, it´s the Best Evening Gown of the year for MGI 2018. Congratulations!!