After all, pageants are still fashionable affairs
Filipina beauty queens in their evening gown at Miss Universe pageant
Many pageant fans would argue, but if you asked them what is their favorite part of beauty contests, the evening gown competition always rises to the top. Fashion has been long associated with pageantry, and that sense is best depicted in the said segment. Although pageant organizers have made it clear that the evening gown part of the show is all about how candidates elegantly carry themselves, the muse-designer aspect of it still plays an important role in the chances of a candidate bringing home the crown.
This couldn’t be more true in the case of Filipina beauty queens hoping to snag a Miss Universe crown. With beauty queen dressing now becoming more of a statement, a lot goes into the dress Pinay candidates wore on the coronation night in the past years. Just a rewind of the pageant’s 68th edition, candidates’ voices can be heard, describing what they are wearing and how their dress represents them as they sashay down the runway.
As we enter another Miss Universe season again, relive the journey of our Filipina beauty queens on the pageant stage with the evening gowns they wore for the competition. From exploring new concepts to the hands that made them, these dresses have been the embodiment of the country’s international pageant camaraderie and the peak of Filipino design talent.
Venus Raj in Alfredo Barraza (2010)
After almost a decade of not making it to Miss Universe top cuts, Venus Raj broke the placement drought and won the fourth runner-up spot in a silver, flowy dress by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza.
Shamcey Supsup in Alfredo Barraza (2011)
In another Alfredo Barraza creation, Shamcey Supsup dazzled Sao Paulo, Brazil in a nude illusion glitter dress and was crowned third runner-up.
Janine Tugonon in Alfredo Barraza (2012)
Barraza yet again demonstrated his expertise in making pageant dresses with 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon’s pale blue gown with an embellished top and a sheer pleated skirt.
Ariella Arida in Alfredo Barraza (2013)
Ariella Arida went bold with color donning a bright yellow mermaid gown by Barraza, which helped her to earn the fourth runner-up placement.
MJ Lastimosa in Alfredo Barraza (2014)
MJ Lastimosa donned an ethereal white mermaid dress by Barazza, made even more daintier by cascading floral appliques
Pia Wurtzbach in Albert Andrada (2015)
Earning the Philippines’ third Miss Universe crown is Pia Wurtzbach in an Albert Andrada royal blue creation that mimics the Philippine seas, with a linear design at the back that represents the sun.
Maxine Medina in Rhett Eala (2016)
Rhett Eala crafted a silver-red evening gown for Maxine Medina. The designer actually created 10 looks for Maxine to use for the pageant.
Rachel Peters in Val Taguba (2017)
Setting aside the issues surrounding her evening gown, Rachel Peters stunned everyone with her pick of a silver, curve-baring dress with a feathered skirt detail by Dubai-based designer Val Taguba.
Catriona Gray in Mak Tumang (2018)
Wearing a piece of home with her dress on the competition, Catriona Gray made a statement with the lava gown, a Mayon Volcano-inspired piece by Mak Tumang. It definitely suited her Mikimoto crown.
Gazini Ganados (Photo from Cary Santiago Instagram page)
Gazini Ganados in Cary Santiago (2019)
Taking a more haute couture look was Gazini Ganados with a red number designed by Cary Santiago.
Images from Miss Universe website and Shutterstock.