This is a guest post by Robin Fleming, the owner of La Casa Hermosa. This post provides insight into the process that went into picking the Mac Duggal evening gowns that Miss Peru and Miss Slovak Republic will wear during the Miss Universe Pageant (NBC Saturday, November 9, 9/8c)
As a stylist and a designer, working with girls competing at Miss Universe is always an exciting challenge for many reasons; language barriers, time zone differences, cultural parameters. Add to that the usual tasks of finding the winning look, fittings, and figuring out packing a competition wardrobe for global travel, and you have a high-pressure, high-stakes moment in the dressing room. Many times we are working long distance, via email and skype or texting, and working through a range of challenges to make it work. However this year Miss Universe Slovak Republic and Miss Universe Peru were able to visit in-store and our team at LA CASA HERMOSA was able to style them with our existing stock of gowns, in two completely different, but both captivating, winning looks for each.
Factoring in all the elements of hair, skin and eye coloring, along with physical attributes such as height, figure and form is key to creating the best winning look for any competitor on any stage. It is also critical to work both with clients stated preferences and encouraging them to think ‘outside the box’ during the selection process. Below is a thumbnail recap of how we arrived at two equally beautiful, but uniquely different evening gown statements for our Miss Universe clients this year.
Miss Universe Slovak Republic Jeanette Borhyova is a beautiful blonde with a creamy complexion, the embodiment of old Hollywood glamour images. She is also one of the younger contestants,and we needed to add sophistication and capitalize on the fascination with all things Hollywood. After trying on many different gowns in neutral colors, blush, champagnes, whites and blacks, we finally selected a Mac Duggal gown that was slightly ‘Art Deco’ in construction. Her black form-fitting gown features liquid beading on a sweetheart bust line, fitted through the hips and dropping in diagonal points down to sheer chiffon illusion panels, with a side slit for easy stage navigation. For preliminary evening competition, she paired her gown with traditional Slovak earrings in gold filigree and pulled her hair over in a loose side bun, for added glamour.
In working with Miss Universe Peru Cindy Mejia, it was clear from the beginning that she exuded sex appeal and high energy, with dark hair and eyes, and bronzed skin. She was seeking a gown that was the best representation of her personality, that also would showcase her outer beauty and attributes to the best effect. We had her try on a completely different palette of colors, all bright, vibrant, jewel tones with bling and movement. We selected a brilliant red Mac Duggal gown that had three-quarter sleeves, a plunging bust line completely embellished in Swarovski Aurora stones and flowing chiffon skirt, which captured the essence of her energy. She chose to keep her hair long in waves and a bright red lip to really ‘pop’ on stage during her evening gown presentation.
It’s always an honor to work with any client for any stage, but the stakes are higher at Miss Universe, and our clients who aspire to that level of competition are usually part of the styling process even more so, as they have to feel like they can win in their gown, and work the massive stage in front of a global audience, not just look the part. Our goal is to create a perfect balance of beauty, unique and eye-catching attributes in gown construction, and a high-impact first impression, for a winning style.
Telemundo Utah aired this fascinating footage of Miss Peru talking (in Spanish) about how she chose her gown for Miss Universe.