Evening Gown Best & Uh Oh: Bibibining Pilipinas Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Finals
And the Winner Is...Maxine Medina is crowned Binibining Pilipinas Miss Universe Philippines 2016
Photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook
The finals of the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 occurred Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines. The winner of Binibining Pilipinas becomes "Miss Universe Philippines" and goes on to represent her nation in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant slated for the end of this year.
Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina
There were 40 total contestants vying for the coveted crown and the winner was #29 Maxine Medina representing Quezon City. Medina is an interior designer and model who, according to Wikipedia, stands 5' 7 1/4" (that 1/4" is very important!). She will now try and follow in her predecessor's high heels (!)--last year's winner Pia Wurtzbach--who won the Miss Universe title. Speaking of Pia, she was present to crown the new winner and for her traditional "Farewell Walk". She looked radiantly gorgeous in a white satin gown with nude illusion top section:
Byeeeeeeee!!!!! Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach during her "Farewell Walk" at the Binibining Pilipnas 2016 beauty pageant
Photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook
Best Costume Design goes to... Bb #3 Angela Fernando in Frederick Peralta
Photo courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook
And now to I want to really discuss: THE EVENING GOWNS!!!
Photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook
Gown Parade: It is always a thrill to see the evening gowns in a top national pageant, such as Binibining Pilipinas/Miss Universe Philippines. This year's gown parade featured LOTS of very "Pageant and prom"-looking gowns. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but as I was watching the show--and then looking at the individual photos--it seemed more and more as if the organizers had gone to one big "Pageant & Prom" store (albeit a little more upscale one!) and gathered up 40 gowns to then be worn by the contestants. There was LOTS of glitter, lots of semi-Pageant Betty, and of course, a mermaid...or three, as well as enough illusion backs to make a figure skater blush with delight! Within the 40 gowns on display, I have narrowed down my Top ten Favorite as well as my top 5 Not-So Favorites. So, let's begin with...
My TOP TEN Favorite gowns of Binibining Pilipinas 2016:
All photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook
Bb #16 Vina Openiano: If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this canary yellow gown worn by Vina Openiano. I loved the color, the sequin applique and the shape fit her very well. She looked like a Pageant Goddess. Her hair and makeup were DIVA-licious, as well!
Bb #36 Maria Gigante: coming in a close second was this strapless silver sequined gown with a layer of aquamarine iridescent tulle, worn by Maria Gigante. I though the gown was exquisite and regal-like in its elegant simplicity. The bustier sequin detail was quite nice and she looked fresh and modern with her hair and makeup choices.
Bb #37 Jehza Mae Huelar: I thought this was one of the better gown styles, especially because of its clean and elegant lines and no-fuss and overly glittery "pageant" design. The "Mermaid Lite" shape on this emerald green satin gown showed Jehza's silhouette quite well and I loved the diagonal crystal details as well as one shoulder neckline. If there was any critique it was that I would have suggested no earrings with this; keep it clean and simple.
Bb #3 Angela Lauren Fernando: Angela's red paillette and silver sequin gown was a stunner onstage, particularly because of the impacting color and royal-looking sequin applique detail. The gown fit well and made a definite statement with the sweeping hem.
Bb #31 Kylie Buenaventura Verzosa: Kylie was one of the favorites to win the pageant and instead, she had to settle for the Binibining Pilipinas International tile, or basically, she was the First Runner-up (not a bad place to be!). She wore a very flowy voluminous chiffon gown that featured a fitted sequined top section and violet-hued ombre shaping effect. She worked the stage overtime and was very impacting. It was nice to see a non-fitted design and especially one that was very pretty.
Bb #33 Leonalyn dela Cruz: My favorite part of this design and gown is the bust section and that intricate sequin work. I wished the gown did not have that side-front slit, but I get the design decision to put it in there; it's very Pageant-perfect. But for a true red carpet fab gown/design, it wouldn't need that high slit.
Bb #13 Joanna Louise Eden: Simple, elegant...chic. Love the emerald green color, the lack of sequin cha-cha-ness (quelle surprise!!??). This is a gown that would truly be worn at a top red carpet awards show and/or worn by Queen Rania at a Gala fundraising event; very elegant.
Bb #32 Jennyline Carla Malpaya: Love the blue and white strapless gown worn by Jennyline. The bold sequin design is almost national costume-like but it makes such a strong impact.
Bb #27 Dindi Joy Pajares: I love a good one-shoulder gown and this was a nice one. While I am not so sure how necessary it was to add that iridescent organza cascade over-layer, it did add a multi-dimensional interest to the gown silhouette. The nude pumps, however, were a MISS! Silver strappy heels would have been much, much better!
Bb #1 Gail Doraine Ventic: Finally, in terms of my Top ten, I wanted to add what I thought was one of the best of the Mermaid Queens. This blush colored gown with white scroll-like applique was impacting and made a statement on the stage. I would argue that the pointed lace applique at the hem of the gown wasn't necessary, however. This was a simple case of leave it alone...keep it simple, elegant and chic.
Honorable Gown Mention: 1990's Over-the-Top Good
Bb #26 Jennifer Ruth Hammond: Finally, I want to add Jennifer's gown and design in my Top Ten list as a "Gown Alternate". First off, in terms of any negatives, it is A LOT of gown and yes, it is a bit 1996 in it's design. But...the red color looks beautiful on her and the sequin work on the torso is quite nice. Does this gown remind one of a Figure Skating Costume gone Gown-haywire? Probably, but, Jennifer still worked it overtime!
And now...My "Uh No!" List-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bb #17 Priscilla Kimberley dela Cruz: Well, where do I begin with this one? Priscilla wore this silver gown with what seemed like Christmas ornaments stuck to her shoulders and all around her gown. It's a bit of a mess. The design was like Star Treck-meets-Christmas. And that's not a good thing. And then, someone gave her the unfortunate advice to actually ADD those too-big earrings and a necklace! This was the definition TOO MUCHEEY.
Bb #20 Geisha Naganuma: I am assuming that there was a pearl and sea theme to this gown design. This might have worked if it was a Fashion Student design competition inspired by French Polynesia. But as a gown for Miss Universe Philippines...nope. The cray-cray holes in the gown were dumbfounding. Truly.
Bb #34 Sarah Christine Bona: For a hot minute, I almost thought this gown design was kind of fabulous. But then I put down my glass of red wine. On a positive note: I do like the gold applique detail which is very "Met Museum Guo Pei-like" but the nude iridescent organza (tacky) and the pointed applique right there in her YOU-KNOW-What...even more tacky. Sorry Sarah, this was an 'Uh-Oh" gown for sure.
Bb #24 Niza sabrina Sophia Limjab: This green lace and silver sequined strapless gown looked cheap. Plain and simple. I think the combination of the bright green and silver was not a good thing but I especially think that it did not help to bring so much attention to her...sistahs! This design was verging on something a Vegas stripper might wear to one of her clubs "red carpet events".
Bb #35 Mariella Castillo: At first glance, I thought "OK, this seems to be an OK gown". But then I put on my reading glasses (to get a close-up look at the gown) and saw these awkward darts on the bust. I IMMEDIATELY knew what they were about: the gown did not fit the beautiful Mariella correctly and someone--the alterations person--decided to do a "Mickey Mouse" (what I call a quick sewing fix) and alter the bust to fit her better. But kids, I noticed it, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one...
Bust Side Dart Not: In fact, it looks like a store-bought dress that has been altered at the last minute by someone who had about one semester's worth of sewing class. As they say in the South: Bless Her Heart.
Last but not least, I have to add the Winner--the beautiful Maxine Medina--and her gown choice, in my "Uh Oh" section...
Bb #29 Maxine Medina: While I LOVED the deep raspberry/fuchsia color of her gown and the fit was perfection, the overall design was two seconds away from a Pageant Betty/Prom & Pageant-licious Gown. I might be slightly too design critical but, this design was not worthy of the winner of Miss Philippines Universe and I sure hope she looks somewhere else when it comes to what she wears at the Miss Universe 2016 pageant. What took it over the tasteless edge for me was...the bow in the back. While it was sweet and pretty, it was rather amateur; I wish the bow was more of a couture-like Obi or abstractly-draped bow, but just a regular ol' bow?? A future Miss Universe doesn't wear bows on her gown; that's for her 15-year old cousin.
CONGRATULATIONS to all the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Winners and to Maxine Medina, the new Binibining Pilipinas 2016. Let's hope she stays away from Pageant Betty bows.