This costume definitely reminds me, and I'm sure many of you, of the usual show girl or cabaret girl costumes. The bikini styled piece is filled with champagne colored jewels and fringe that make it much more elaborate than a bathing suit. What really wins this over is the feathers. Feathers are very fun and playful, and Iris added the color red to make them the emphasis of the piece. The head piece really adds to this beautiful and fun costume!
9. Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber
Talk about a warrior! Deshauna really channeled her inner army self with this costume and totally killed the game. She looks like a superhero, especially with the shield, which seems to be inspired by the famous Captain America shield from Marvel. The silver costume with thigh high boots and a cape is stunning, along with the simple red and blue accented shield.
8. Miss Universe Venezuela 2016, Mariam Habach
If you saw Mariam's evening gown for the competition, then you could say this looks very familiar! The styles and colors are the same. She really channeled what she felt would represent her country through this whole competition. The ombre blue accents along the outfit, even on all of the accessories and attachments, is beautiful.
7. Miss Universe Myanmar 2016, Htet Htet Htun
This is definitely one of he most unique costumes from the national costume competition. Yes, Htet Htet carried the whole prop with her! I love how she took something that usually isn't lifesize and turned it into something that she could represent with her body and creativity. I couldn't imagine carrying a puppet set around! She definitely stood out in the competition.
6. Miss Universe Peru 2016, Valeria Piazza
This gorgeous costume is definitely angelic to me with those gorgeous angel wings! This reminds me of something we might see on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show runway. There are so many beautiful accents added to this piece, like the feathers and leaf-like features around the costume. It's stunning!
5. Miss US Virgin Islands 2016, Carolyn Carter
This piece is incredible! Everything about this costume is truly stunning and so unique. Not only is the piece attached to her back and behind her incredible, but the colors and style of it are jaw-dropping. Her two-piece with the attached head piece and back piece is the perfect combination and really emphasizes everything surrounding her. I love this, and Carolyn looks amazing!
4. Miss Universe Indonesia 2016, Kezia Warouw
Wow! This fully golden bodysuit is jaw-dropping. The wings look crazy heavy but insanely stunning. Having a warm golden piece really stands out on the stage. Kezia looks beautiful, and she chose an amazing costume. Her nation's flag is beautiful and such a great touch to this beautiful costume.
3. Miss Universe Dominican Republic 2016, Sal Garcia
With all of the different designs, colors, fabrics and pieces of this costume, it is such a gorgeous look and really shows how well she loves and represents her country. The flower top, wrist and ankle pieces add a glamorous effect to the whole look and add a really nice touch with the rest of the outfit. Sal looks beautiful!
2. Miss Universe Nicaragua 2016, Marina Jacoby
Wow! First, I cannot imagine how long this took to make and how much hard work was put into this costume. Every little detail is stunning and the intricacy of the whole piece is truly beautiful. I love everything about this, especially how all of the silver is surrounded by stunning colors and feathers. This is so gorgeous!
1. Miss Universe Panama 2016, Keity Drennan
All of the colors, pieces, fabrics and details on this costume are truly stunning. The human statues on each side of her are so different but truly unique and stunning. Everything about this makes me speechless! Keity looks incredible and absolutely represented her country so well. I love how much detail and work was put into this. Amazing job, Keity and her team!
Top 10 Swimsuit Bodies at Miss Universe 2016
10. Miss USA, Deshauna Barber
With her long legs for days, Deshauna Barber, Miss USA, looked stunning in her yellow swimsuit on the Miss Universe stage. It is clear that she not only spent time working on her cardio, but she also watched her macro intake and eating plan.
9. Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier
Raquel Pelissier, Miss Haiti 2016, rocked her bandeau style bikini on the Miss Universe stage. Not only did this style of swim top stand out, but it also showcased her coconut shoulders.
Her rounded shoulders and toned arms pair perfectly with her long, statuesque legs. She clearly spent time prepping for her moment on stage, and the judges were able to see this dedication.
8. Miss Argentina, Estefania Bernal
Estefania Bernal, Miss Argentina, gracefully walks the Miss Universe stage and showcases her washboard abs. It is clear she put in the hard work the past months leading up to the pageant.
Abs like Estefania's are made in the kitchen just as much as they are made in the gym!
7. Miss South Africa, Ntandoyenkosi Kunene
Can we just take a moment to appreciate Miss South Africa's perfectly perky pony during the swimsuit phase of competition? Not only was her hair on point, but the sunny yellow of her bikini looked fantastic on her skin.
Her long, lean legs showcase her tall stature, but also her tiny waist is shown in her perfect posing and stance.
6. Miss Sweden, Ida Ovmar
Ida looked stunning on stage during her swimsuit portion of the competition. She already has a slender frame, but it is easy to tell she also worked hard to create the tonality and muscle definition in the months leading up to the competition.
Genetic makeup only goes so far when prepping a physique for a pageant. It takes dedication to healthy, nutritious foods, paired with a workout routine. I mean look at those calves!
5. Miss Venezuela, Mariam Habach
Apparently, there is something in the water of South America. Maybe I should just move down there in order to look like a bodacious bronze goddess?
Mariam has a tiny waist already, but her hard work and dedication to keeping away from the donuts are apparent. Her petite upper body is only made more perfect by her toned and strong-looking legs.
4. Miss Iceland, Hildur Maria
I absolutely love how Hildur kept her very feminine figure for her swimsuit portion of the competition. Not only do her legs have a very shapely tonality, but her hourglass figure still takes center stage.
There is a unique, soft and curvaceous outline to her shape. This curvy figure juxtaposes perfectly with her defined quads and slender arms.
3. Miss Germany, Johanna Acs
Although I wasn't thrilled by her swimsuit choice (a beautiful swimsuit, but the print was a bit distracting for my taste), Johanna Acs, Miss Germany 2016, killed the swimsuit walk and confidence portion of the competition.
I always think it is encouraging to see strong women on stage that are not rail thin. Johanna has clearly worked hard at the gym to earn her stunning figure. Her long, lean torso creates ab-envy and something to strive for! Just one more sit-up!
2. Miss France, Iris Mittenaere
It is clear what the judges saw in Iris, not just in her grace and dignity through onstage question and evening gown, but her level of fitness is not to be taken lightly.
Her quads show her definition and the fact that she spent numerous hours at the gym squatting and developing her muscles. This, combined with high protein intake, has clearly worked well for her flawless figure. No wonder Iris is our new Miss Universe!
1. Miss Brazil, Raissa Santana
I am so thrilled to see women on the global pageant stage that showcase every body type. My number one pick for this list had to be Miss Brazil, Raissa Santana, because she truly embodies the fact that strong is sexy.
Her quads and calves show her definition in a feminine way. She looked utterly confident and at peace on that stage, strutting her stuff in a chili red bikini.
Top 10 Evening Gowns from Miss Universe 2016
10. Miss Universe Kazakhstan, Darina Kulsitova
Darina Kulsitova's evening gown was one of the most unique gowns to grace the Miss Universe 2016 stage. I love the way this ball gown silhouette not only is adorned with details that immediately catch the eye but also doesn't take attention away from Darina's beautiful face. The bulk of the detail sits along the hem, adding excellent movement as she walks. She tied her whole look together with a choker necklace that matches her gown perfectly.
9. Miss Universe Myanmar, Htet Htet Htun
Htet Htet Htun was a vision in yellow on the Miss Universe stage. This column silhouette is beautifully adorned with elegant floral detailing scattered throughout the bodice and hem of the gown. In my opinion, the bodice makes this gown. The straps feature a dual sleeve, one stretching around her neck as a halter and the other wrapping around her shoulders. She added in a bit of sex appeal with side cutouts and an illusion mesh skirt. A dramatic train follows behind her as she walks across the stage, adding excellent movement.
8. Miss Universe Dominican Republic, Sal Garcia
Representing the Dominican Republic, Sal Garcia stepped out in this sophisticated column silhouette. The fit is impeccable and the cut of the neckline and bold cap sleeves are a true compliment to her figure. Sal was one of just a handful of contestants that played with texture for her evening gown. I love the complete asymmetry of this design from top to bottom as my eye never gets stuck on one area.
Want to see what Sal wore when she won her title of Miss Dominican Republic?
7. Miss Universe Ukraine, Alena Spodynyuk
Alena Spodynyuk truly stood out among the rest because of her evening gown of choice. Unlike many of the gowns seen on this year's Miss Universe stage, Alena's evening gown featured a column silhouette with a bold overskirt and puffed long sleeves. She was also one of the few contestants that chose red as her evening gown color of choice. With this much fabric and detail, she still manages to project such confidence that she is not overwhelmed by the gown itself. Her sophistication and regalty truly stood out.
6. Miss Universe Poland, Izabella Krzan
One of many contestants that stepped out in a gold evening gown, Izabella Krzan wore this incredible column silhouette with a tulle overskirt. The fabric cascades beautifully down Izabella's every curve, hugging her body and accentuating her slim frame. This particular evening gown complements Izabella immensely well. It’s an entirely fluid presentation. If you have one detail that is too overwhelming or dramatic on your gown, you can run the risk of drawing too much attention to that specific element and the “you” can get lost among it. This was not the case for Izabella.
5. Miss Universe Brazil, Raissa Santana
I myself was a little shocked when Brazil did not make the top 6; however, she looked phenomenal on stage the entire time. I could stare at Raissa in this gown for hours; it is so beautifully detailed and complements her incredibly well. This gold gown against her flawless caramel complexion is so striking and I love that she chose to embrace her natural hair. The unique beading updates this look and separates it from being just a run-of-the-mill pageant gown.
4. Miss Universe France, Iris Mittenaere
The new Miss Universe, shown here as Miss Universe France, wore a gown of sheer elegance that shouted classic pageant beauty with a modern twist. This gown has it all: figure glittering, ornate beading, pushing the envelope with a sexy neckline, and enough glitz to command the stage and the attention of the judges. There is no doubt we will be seeing this style of evening gown hitting pageant stages everywhere this upcoming year.
3. Miss Universe Venezuela, Mariam Habach
In my opinion, Mariam Habach, Miss Universe Venezuela's evening gown did not get the attention it deserved. This gown is breathtakingly beautiful with a perfectly fitted column silhouette, a dramatic overskirt, beautiful crystal detailing, and a unique ombre effect gliding down the skirt. The bodice stops right above her rib cage with a crystal waistband to help her legs appear longer and slim her waistline. Mariam looked showstopping, especially when she removed the full overskirt to reveal her perfectly toned physique
2. Miss Universe Philippines, Maxine Medina
I was disappointed to see that Maxine Medina had swapped out her gowns for the final pageant. Although emerald green is not as prominent on the pageant stage as it once was, I fell in love with this gown on Maxine. She made the Philippines proud when she stepped on stage in this sensational gown. Maxine won over the hearts of the world with her unique style and effervescent personality. Her emerald green evening gown with a stunning fringe skirt oozed confidence and reflected her personality perfectly.
1. Miss Universe Colombia, Andrea Tovar
Andrea Tovar is the picture of elegance and showcases how you can balance two entirely different design aesthetics. Pretty, polished and poised. Andrea chose to wear this gown during both the preliminary pageant and the final pageant and it is obvious why. This gown is more like a masterpiece than an evening gown. Various shimmers and sheens radiate under the stage lights, and you simply can’t ignore the tiered skirt and delicate designs.
Top 6 Onstage Questions and Answers from Miss Universe 2016
6. Miss Philippines 2016, Maxine Medina
Question: "What is the most significant change you've seen in the world in the last 10 years?"
Answer: "In the last 10 years of being here in the world, is that I saw all the people bringing in one event like this, Miss Universe. And it’s something big to us that we are one, as one nation, we are all together. Thank you."
5. Miss Kenya 2016, Mary Esther Were
Question: "Arguably, no United Sates president has had a more active first 10 days in office. What are you most excited about and what most concerns you about the presidency of Donald Trump?"
Answer: "Politics.. ah.. it’s… okay, let me start over. Donald Trump, having been elected President of the United States, may not have been the choice of many people living in the United States because of the divided support system for the outgoing president Barack Obama, who was supporting of an upcoming woman president, who was supposed to be a woman president Hillary Clinton. So, so many people opposed his position but I feel that once he took up his position he was able to unify the entire nation. Thank you very much."
4. Miss Thailand 2016, Chalita Suansane
Question: "Name a current or past world leader who you admire and why."
Answer: "Hello Philippines! For me, that would be the King of Thailand. His majesty has been working tirelessly on behalf of the Thai people ever since I was born. For all the Thai people, his majesty has been like a father to us. Thank you very much. "
3. Miss France 2016 (Miss Universe 2016), Iris Mittenaere
Question: "Given today’s worldwide refugee crisis, do countries have an obligation to accept refugees or do they have a right to close their borders?"
Answer: "The countries should have the right to open or close their borders. So, throughout the world people can choose to have their borders opened or closed. In Europe, we have open borders. In France, we want to have the most globalization that we can; we want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change but now, we have open borders. Having open borders allows us to travel more throughout the world and to find out about what’s out there in the world. Thank you very much."
2. Miss Haiti 2016, Raquel Pelissier
Question: "On January 21st, an estimated 4.8 million people marched worldwide for human rights, women’s rights, and other issues. If you were able to participate, what would you have been marching for?"
Answer: "Hello everybody. One of my, one of the women I admire in the world is Eleanor Roosevelt because she fought so much for human rights and I feel like that’s what we need in the world. We are just one. A hundred thousand years ago six species of human lived in the world. Now we are just one and we all need each other and we need to respect each other. "
1. Miss Colombia 2016, Andrea Tovar
Question: "Why do you believe that violence is so prevalent in today’s society? And what can we do about it?"
Answer: "Good evening. Well, I come from a country that does have violence and this is my reference point. And although there are presidents who don’t get along with others, we work together to be able to unite. Campaigns, respect and inclusivity, to be able to have a social transformation that will educate our children. Thank you very much."
Top 3 contestants Mittenaere, Pelissier and Tovar had to answer this quesion:
"Name something from the course of your life that you failed at, and tell us what you learned from that experience.”
Miss Colombia – 2nd Runner-up
Tovar went first in this round and answered with the aid of an interpreter. This was her answer:
“I think that many times, one makes mistakes for many things. During moments when you may not accept someone due to their differences, to not accept them due to their sexual preferences, and to not be capable of accepting their error. I think any of those experiences gives you the opportunity to have strength and value and principles.”
Tovar centered her answer on the general situation of people not accepting each other’s differences and delivered it with composure and elegance.
When Steve Harvey announced Tovar’s name as part of the Top 13, Tovar hugged the host – whose blunder no one can ever forget – to show that all is well. That’s another winning moment for Miss Colombia.
Miss France – Miss Universe 2016
Next to answer was Mittenaere, accompanied by an interpreter. Here’s her answer:
"I've failed several times in my life, so I thought that I failed the first time that I went out on a casting, because my name wasn't on the list. The very next day, I found that I was in a new book.
So I think that when you fail, you have to be elevated, you have to try again, and keep going. If tonight, I'm not one of the winners, I will still have the great honor of being one of the three finalists, so I think that I have failed before, but I think this is a great first opportunity."
Clever Mittenaere was able to use her own Miss Universe experience to answer her question. She used the onstage question portion to show that no matter what happens, she will handle the result with humility and a positive perspective.
There was a little commotion about the interpretation of Mittenaere’s answer, which was brought up by half-French, half-Filipino celebrity siblings Solenn and Erwan Heussaff. Solenn said that the interpreter was wrong on using the word "casting" because Mittenaere meant to say "1st year of medical books." (Mittenaere is a dental student.)
Erwan, who speaks fluent French like his sister, tweeted his interpretation of the Mittenaere's answer.
Despite the differences in translation, the heart of Mittenaere's winning message remained intact. She has now broken France's and Europe's Miss Universe drought.
Miss Haiti – First Runner-up
Among the three, Pelissier had the most emotionally-charged answer:
"About seven years ago, I survived the earthquake. I feel I was failing myself because I was not living my dreams, I was living day by day in that earthquake, it was a bad event, but I choose to be a very positive person and learn a great lesson from it. Because if I am here today, it's because I am living my dreams."
The devastating earthquake in Haiti left the country and the world in mourning and shock. Miss Haiti’s answer was very heartfelt and it was evident that the audience felt for her.
Pelissier was clearly (and understandably) emotional as she was answering the question but she managed to keep her composure – a real class act.
Pageant onstage question is nerve-wracking, especially in front of an international crowd. The question for the Top 3 finalists didn't require rocket science but delivering an impressive answer under time pressure is another story.
Congratulations to Iris, Raquel and Andrea for conquering the onstage question!
The Miss Universe 2016 competition left many fond memories of the 86 candidates, particularly in their pageant tour in Manila where the coronation night was held last January 29. Miss Universe Jamaica, Isabel Dalley, surely had the best time of her life being a part of the prestigious pageant except when she got sick a few days to the final event.
Miss Jamaica 2016 failed to join the National Gift Auction charity gala and fashion show because of feeling ill and was forced to pull out from the show on doctor’s orders. This resulted to a public meltdown by her assigned designer, Dr. Joyce Pilarsky, after being misinformed on why she won't come up on stage that night.
A group of Filipino designers were assigned to create a gown for each of the Miss Universe contestants for a fashion event. Joyce Penas Pilarsky, grand winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Fashion Week Design Competition and former Classic Mrs. Asia International 2014, was chosen to design for Miss Jamaica, Isabel Dalley. Despite not being able to see the candidate, she was able to contour a gown based on the given measurements of Dalley and the event’s theme. “Miss Jamaica was 6 feet 6 inches, the tallest among the candidates with a waistline of 24 inches. She was assigned the color red,” detailed Pilarsky.
The efforts of Pilarsky and her team went in vain after receiving a text from the organizers that her gown did not fit Miss Jamaica. It was late and was expecting to see her creation displayed on the runway but did not because she was not informed during the fitting session.
The designer expressed her disappointment on social media. The Real Story Creative director of Miss Universe 2016, Jonas Gaffud, clarified everything on media that Dalley did not make it to the show because of stomach cramps. During fitting, she had a hard time standing up so they decided to excuse her from the event. He also posted the photo of Isable Dalley wearing Pilarksy’s red gown during fitting. It was the right fit and even looked stunning on the Jamaican beauty queen.
Dalley posted a formal and heartfelt apology on her Instagram account saying, “I want to formally apologize to designer Dr. Joyce Penas Pilarsky for not being able to walk for you earlier on the runway in the fashion show. Unfortunately I fell ill and was pulled from the fashion show and advised by the doctors to get some rest. I am greatly disappointed and truly sorry for any embarrassment caused.”
Both Pilarsky and Dalley are now able to move on from the disappointment during the Miss U 2016. Despite the unfortunate event, the latter enjoyed the whole experience especially in participating in benefit events like the charity auction in the Philippines.
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