Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition Gown Fab: Some of my top favorite gowns from the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition, Las Vegas Nevada
The 65th Annual Miss USA beauty pageant is under way in Las Vegas Nevada with the finals occurring this Sunday at the just-opened T-Mobile Arena. This Wednesday, the ever-important Preliminary Competition happened. This is where the contestants vying for the 2016 Miss USA crown and sash competed in Swimsuit and Evening Gown in front of a panel of judges (different from the Final night judges) to determine the Top 15 Semi-finalists who will be announced on Sunday night's live finals.
Gown Gals: Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition Evening Gown Competition, Las Vegas Nevada
This year there are 52 contestants (as opposed to the usual 51 contestants covering the 50 US states plus the District of Columbia) with the 52nd one being "Miss 52 USA". This was a marketing/pr/promotional campaign organized by the Miss Universe Organization and fashion company Sherri Hill (who is a sponsor of the pageant) to pick a 52nd contestant to compete in the 2016 Miss USA pageant. Now, getting back to the subject at hand (Pageant Gowns!!)...as you know, I'm a big "pageant fan" and love discussing "Pageant Gowns" here on my blog so, naturally, it's time to review my picks for the Best Gowns of the 2016 Miss USA Preliminaries, beginning with my favorite one:
Miss South Dakota USA Madison McKeown: Out of the 52 contestants vying for this year's 2016 Miss USA title, in terms of evening gowns, Miss South Dakota SHUT IT DOWN. When she appeared onstage, I immediately knew that we had gone into non-Sherri Hill Couture Territory! Madison wore an ivory silk crepe gown that had an attached dramatic cape. She OWNED the stage and runway. The gown featured a hand-painted dip-dye of blue and silver. It fit her perfectly and well, she brought the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition to a new Haute level.
Not surprisingly, the gown was created by Lebanon-based Couturier Tony Ward...
Tony Ward Couture Fall/Winter 2015/2016: The gown is from his Fall/Winter Haute Couture collection which he showed in Paris. Normally a Couture gown like this (it has to be pre-ordered and normally, hand-made), can cost about $50,000-$75,000. It is usually a one-of-a-kind creation (or maybe 5-of-a-kind!). I would be interested to know if in fact the lovely Miss South Dakota USA paid such an amount for this Haute Couture creation and if not, if the Tony Ward Couture people were kind enough to let her borrow the sample. Comparing the length of the sample worn by the runway model vs. the lovely Madison McKeown, it certainly does not look like the runway sample since the length of the column gown (in the white section) seems much longer (I assume the runway model is 6 feet as opposed to Miss South Dakota's 5' 8" height) so...was it customized for Miss South Dakota? And for free? Inquiring Pageant Gown Bloggers want to know (i.e. Me!).
Miss District of Columbia USA Deshauna Barber: I loved this golden gown worn by Miss District of Columbia USA. The dress was designed by Juan Carlos Pinera and featured a nude organza base with gold metallic criss-cross detail. In addition, it had an iridescent organza attached overskirt which was a BIG TREND of the night and I will cover that in a separate blog post for sure! Nevertheless, this was one of the most outstanding gowns of the night.
Miss Georgia USA Emanii Davis: One of my favorite gowns of the Miss USA 2016 preliminaries was this ivory design worn by Miss Georgia USA. Emanii wore this crepe column gown that had a sequined shoulder detail and chiffon cape. I thought she looked regal and goddess-like. I also loved her styling (the slicked-back chignon was VERY "Miss Venezuela" fab!). If there was any criticism, the bust had awkward fit issues (that's for another blog!). The gown was from Sherri Hill Fall/Winter 2016 NY Fashion Week (as I am sure lots of others were, since the company is after all, one of the major sponsors).
Score: 9. 60
Miss Alabama USA Peyton Brown: Peyton wore this white with gold sequin trim "Grecian Goddess"-inspired gown. I thought it was an impressive showing and great gown design. The fit was perfect and I think she nailed the "Fashion" and "Pageant" components.
Miss Louisiana USA Maaliyah Papillion: Maaliyah made me yell an "Oh Dear!" when I saw her during the Miss USA 2016 Preliminaries as I watched online...and for good! I thought that this was a sexy, brave choice for the stunning Miss Louisiana USA beauty. The black gown featured a lace sequined-and-see-though column with an organza overskirt (there's THAT overskirt!) but more importantly, the gown had an attached leotard. This is something that we have seen from some Haute Couture designers such as Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab in the past years and while, sometimes, it may look a bit "Uh Oh!", here it worked.
Score: 9. 55
Miss Minnesota USA Bridget Jacobs: Bridget wore this silver and ivory sequined gown to Wednesday night's Miss USA 2016 Preliminaries. The gown looked elegant, expensive and fit well. I also LOVED the capelet detail. It was also nice to see a gown NOT featuring a super-high slit and OVERSKIRT (hello!). Oh, and it was the correct length (no tacky platform heels showing too much!). The design was a version of a Sherri Hill design shown on the Fall/Winter 2016 NY Fashion Week runway.
Score: 9. 50
Miss Wisconsin USA Kate Redeker: I am normally not so much a fan of a typical "pageant princess"-like gown such as this one worn by Miss Wisconsin USA but...I really liked this dress. The gown was a midnight blue-colored design with a pointed velvet bustier and iridescent organza gathered full ballgown skirt. She looked classic and like a princess. I also thought her styling--makeup, earrings and that super-chic chignon--were EXCELLENT! The gown design was shown during the Sherri Hill Fall 2016 NY Fashion Week show in a different color way--modeled by the current Miss USA Olivia Jordan (lower photo above).
Score: 9. 45
Miss Pennsylvania USA Elena La Quatra: Miss Pennsylvania USA wore this silver sequined gown which I thought was worthy of my Top Ten inclusion. I thought the design was very pretty, elegant and gown-sublime. I loved the delicate shoulder details and the nude-over-sequin design worked well. I also give her props for having the gown be the proper length and not showing the shoes.
Miss Kentucky USA Kyle Hornback: First off, I LOVED the bright canary yellow color of this ballgown. To be frank, Miss Kentucky USA did not have much runway grace while showcasing this gown at the Miss USA 2016 Preliminaries (she was close to looking like a truck driver attempting walk the runway!) but I did like this gown and design; it was impressive and impacting. I also liked her styling with the sleek center-part hair and minimal jewelry sans the earrings. Now, if someone could just teach her how to walk like a DIVA in this DIVA-worthy gown.
Score: 9. 25
Miss New Jersey USA Jessielyn Plumbo: I was very impressed with Miss New Jersey USA and her choice of this gold mermaid-style gown for the Miss USA 2016 Preliminaries. While the style isn't anything extraordinary or Haute Couture-worthy, it was impacting on the stage and the gold sequin fabric worked fabulously with her tan coloring and blond hair. Therefore, her gown made my Top ten Best Gowns of the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition.
**UP NEXT: My "Uh Oh" List of Breast-a-Licious Pads, Feather Cray-Cray, and Tacky Stripper Heels of the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition!
Here's a hint: