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SASHES AND TIARAS.....TOP 25 BEST OF 2017 PAGEANT GOWNS!

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SASHES AND TIARAS.....TOP 25 BEST OF 2017 PAGEANT GOWNS!

Best of the Best: Best Pageant Gowns of 2017: (L to R) Miss Venezuela 2017 Sthefany Gutierrez, Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp, Miss International 2017 from Indonesia Kevin Lilliana, Iris Mittenaere Miss Universe 2016, and Stephanie Del Valle Miss World 2016

Time for MY FAVORITE "Best of 2017" BLOG: BEST PAGEANT GOWNS OF 2017! As you know--if you read my BLOG and especially my "Sashes And Tiaras" Blog here--I love discussing Pageant Gowns as well as Pageant National Costumes...heck, I even wrote a "Pageant Coloring Book" to honor my love and to have others out there who enjoy it too have some Pageant Gown Sketching Fun!

Pageant Illustrator: Nick Verreos sketches of (L to R) Miss Grand International 2017, Maria Jose Lora; Miss International 2017 Kevin Lilliana; Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere; Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle

So...yes, I love me some pageants and now, following my BLOG tradition of doing "Best Of" Lists, here is my BEST OF 2017: Pageant Gowns Edition. These are my TOP 15 BEST GOWNS from some of the top beauty pageants across the world, including Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International, Miss Earth, Miss Venezuela, Miss Universe Philippines/Binibining Pilipinas, and Miss USA.

Let's begin with my No. 1 BEST OF 2017 PAGEANT GOWN:
1. Miss International 2017, Kevin Lilliana Miss International Indonesia: Miss International Indonesia, the beautiful Kevin Lilliana, wore THE BEST GOWN of the Miss International 2017 Finals and No. 1 FAVORITE of the entire year! I absolutely loved her aquamarine sequined gown designed by Ivan Gunawan. The dress--entitled "Thallasa: Mother of Sea" featured exquisite textured sequined applique on a slight fit-and-flared column gown and beautiful silk chiffon sleeve capes...


Indonesian Sea Queen: The gown was inspired by the blue water surrounding Indonesia and it was impacting even if she didn't have a fan blowing the chiffon, like in the staged studio photos above! This was a SUPERB gown!

2. Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp: When Maria entered the stage in this midnight blue shimmering gown at last month's Miss Universe 2017 Finals, I just about fell off my chair and started shouting "COUTURE DAHLEEENG COUTURE!!!". I LOVED this stunning gown designed by Asava Thailand . This design had DRAMA, chic style, elegance, stage-impact (the beautiful blue and silver sequins!) and an homage to traditional Thai dresses with those GORGEOUS shoulder "flaps" and back tulle capes. Maria looked like an imaginary FASHION Empress of Thailand!


3. Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle:  When Stephanie came out in this glorious blue gown, I literally was screaming at the TV: BRAVISIMA! Del Valle was last year's winner of Miss World and therefore, this was her "Giving Up Her Crown" Gown at this year's Miss World. This gown was EVERYTHING: The dress, created by Puerto Rican designer Carlos Albertofeatured a light blue-over-nude sequined slightly fit-and-flare gown with azure chiffon back capes and thousands upon thousands of the MOST EXQUISITE crystals in deep blue, turquoise, and silver.

The off-the-shoulder style gown fit her to perfection and was OUTSTANDING at any angle! It was THE DEFINITION of a fabulous 360 degree gown. From the looks of it, the gown was inspired by the iconic Miss World crown. He used thousands of Swarovski crystals to create the very impacting jeweled details and embellishments that really made this gown ONE OF THE BEST IN A LONG TIME when it comes to pageant gowns.


4. Miss Venezuela 2017--Sthefany Gutierrez, Miss Delta Amacuro 2017 (eventual winner): Of all the 24 gowns during the Miss Venezuela 2017 Evening Gown Competition, this strapless sequined gown was my top favorite, and now, one of my TOP BEST of 2017! The crinoline based gown, designed by Alejandro Fajardo, was completely covered in crystals and featured a sweetheart neckline. It was stage-impacting, fit gorgeously and looked like Gown Couture Art! ESSSSSSStunning.

5. Miss Grand International Maria Jose Lora, Miss Grand Peru: It isn't normally the case that the eventual winner of the entire pageant wears MY FAVORITE gown but...it happened at this year's Miss Grand International.The golden/nude/blush sequined gown was designed by Maritza Mendoza Atelier of Lima Peru and fit her to PERFECTION, skimming her figure like a very thin second skin. It looked effortless, sexy, well-made and the stage impact provided by the stunning Maria Jose was the icing on the gown cake! This was my top "Nude"-style gown at an international pageant in 2017.



6. Miss Venezuela 2017--Miss Distrito Capital 2017 Sofia Santa Rodriguez: This silk gazar ballgown--designed by Alejandro Fajardo (same designer as the winner's gown)--was my second BEST gown choice from the Miss Venezuela Pageant--a pageant which this year had A LOT of stunning designs as part of their iconic "Desfile de Trajes de Noche"/Evening Gown Fashion Show. This gown, worn by the contestant representing the Capital of Venezuela, featured a plunging neckline and conic/godet shaped pieces that formed the architectural shape of this incredible dress. I also loved the contestant's styling of her swept-back chic hair and also her beautiful earrings. The dress made such an impact that even one of the hosts gasped while describing the gown, saying how "spectacular" it was. And it WAS!


7. Binibining Pilipinas/Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Pageant--Contestant #39 Elizabeth Clenci: This was by far my FAVORITE gown of the Binibining Pilipinas/Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Pageant, and therefore I had to include her in my Best of 2017 TOP 25 Gowns List. I thought this ivory one shoulder column gown was sleek, chic and super-fabulous! The look was perfect enough for the red carpet of a top awards show and so not "Pageant Betty". It was refreshing to not see a sequined/over-applique'ed gown in the pageant; it was almost like a breath of fresh air! She also was vibing a little bit of Minorka Mercado "Miss Venezuela" at the "Miss Universe 1994" with this look. Classy and supremely elegant!


8. Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere: While taking her Final Walk at this year's Miss Universe Pageant, the outgoing Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere wore this gorgeous red sequined gown from Dubai-based Filipino Designer Michael Cinco Couture. I was there in the theater in Las Vegas and let me tell you, the ENTIRE audience gasped! The strapless ombré red sequined gown featured a very plunging sweetheart neckline, a column base gown and attached crinoline-backed overskirt. She looked fabulous! The gown fit beautifully and was Couture Perfection! All I kept thinking was "THIS Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you look when giving up your crown: FIERCER and more Haute Couture than ANY of those other Miss Universe contestants!

9. Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarb: This was by far the most Haute Couture-looking gowns of all the 92 contestants vying for Miss Universe 2017. Miss Universe Thailand chose a white shimmering gown from Thai designer/brand Surface by Joe Surface and wore it during the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Competition. The strapless gown was custom made for her and featured a sequined crinoline/tulle fabrication and folded cascade drapes with a back overskirt. It was dramatic, stage-impacting and Paris Runway Fab.

10. Miss Universe Venezuela Keysi Sayago: During her entire time in Las Vegas for the Miss Universe 2017 Pageant, Keysi was a fashion Diva...looking always styled to perfection at every event, rehearsal and restaurant photo-op. For the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Competition, she wore what turned out to be one of my TOP 25 BEST PAGEANT GOWNS of 2017. This silver/white sequined crinoline strapless design from Venezuelan designer Alejandro Fajardo. Alejandro also designed her national costume which I loved. The dress fit perfectly, hugged every part of her flawless figure and the shimmering white color stood out against her naturally tanned skin. I also loved the bun and earrings as well.


11. Miss World Indonesia Achintya Holte Nilsen: Achintya wore this beautiful creme colored gown from Indonesian brand and designer, Provocate by Melta Tan. to the Miss World 2017 Designer Dress Fashion Show/Top Model Competition, and not surprisingly, it was judged to be the BEST design. The gown was gorgeous and very Haute Couture in its style, design and perfect fit. The dress featured that very popular "nude dress" look with a see-through ivory colored silk tulle base with gold sequin applique/embroidery. The design was topped off with a stiffened overskirt that had a sweeping train and the same gold applique that was featured in the main dress. It was pretty much THE PERFECT Miss World gown and one of the Best of 2017.

12. Miss World Venezuela Ana Carolina Ugarte: Miss World Venezuela Ana Ugarte made the Top 40 at this year's Miss World and while we didn't get to see much of her, I couldn't take my eyes off of her while on stage in this beautiful pink sequined gown! The dress featured a strapless rhinestone-studded column gown with a pink duchesse satin attached overskirt. There were touches of that pink overskirt fabric in the base gown itself, as well, in draped details at the midriff and bust. I loved all of it. It was classic, elegant, looked very Haute and overall, so perfect for Miss World! Bellisima!

13. Miss Grand China Xuejia Chen: Xuejia gave you DRAMA, runway Diva and Pageant gown style when she wore this to the Miss Grand International 2017 Finals. I loved this golden/nude/blush colored sequined gown. The dress featured a "Nude"/golden base dress filled with cascading gold paillettes and a nude illusion back. She accessorized it with a dramatic sequined feathered cape that really "stole the gown show!". In fact, the judges at Miss Grand International 2017 voted this THE BEST GOWN of the night! And for all those above reasons, she is my No. 13 out of 25 Best Pageant Gowns of 2017.

14. Miss Universe Colombia Laura Gonzalez: Laura did her country proud at this year's Miss Universe, coming in second. She made me proud by wearing this stunning silver sequined dress as her final evening gown. The dress was designed by Hernan Zajar  and featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, and was completely covered in sequins (50,800 of them--all hand-sewn!) shaping her figure vertically and diagonally. The flower applique in the upper torso gave extra detail that was also nice for the close-up shots. I also loved that there was no too-high slit and the length was just right and her center-parted sleek hairstyle was perfect. Muy chic y muy linda! 



15. Miss World Philippines 2017 Pageant--Contestant No. 15 Laura Lehmann (eventual winner): As one of the many contestants at this year's Miss World Philippines, Laura Lehmann (who eventually won the pageant!) wore this beautiful red gown for the Evening Gown Competition. The strapless silk satin gown was designed by Filipino designer Mark Bumgarner and featured asymmetrical draping/pleating at the bustier and gorgeous triple folds/volants that formed an overskirt at the dress/skirt portion. It was beautifully made, looked very "Italia Alta Moda" and fit her perfectly. It was almost as if whoever "assigned" her this gown, already knew that she would win the crown. 


16. Miss World Philippines Laura Lehmann: Laura Lehmann--as well as designer Mark Bumgarner --do it again: Two for two. Laura, who went on to Sanya China to represent the Philippines at the Miss World 2017 Finals, chose to wear another red gown from Bumgarner...and why not? It was SUPER GORGEOUS! This was by far one of the BEST GOWNS worn by a Miss World 2017 contestant at this year's Finals and now of the entire year. This fabulous strapless ballgown featured a coral colored silk satin organza ballgown shape with exquisite side fold draping and an open side front slit. This reminded me of those Good Ol' Days of Angel Sanchez/Guy Melliet Miss Venezuelas. 


17. Miss World Cote D'Ivoire Mandjalia Gbane: Mandjalia wore this SUPER FAB gown above at the Miss World 2017 Designer Dress Fashion Show/Top Model Competition and darlings, she SLAYED IT! She was not only beautiful but supermodel fab, especially in her runway presentation. The brick-red colored gown itself also was great, featuring lots of drama with that outstanding cape and gold detail and the fit was impeccable. The design itself reminded me of a fabulous vintage Azzedine Alaia Diva Gown I could see Grace Jones wearing! 

18. Miss International Lithuania Patricija Belousova: THIS GOWN. Was. Everything! I thought Miss International Lithuania's dress was so chic, so Haute Couture Refined. Loved it. The design featured that popular column gown-with-attached-overskirt design but done in a clean, modern way. The dress--I think--is made of neoprene, which would be fabulous! I love that one can achieve the same kind of elegant drama, fit for an international beauty pageant, without using a single sequin!

19. Miss Venezuela 2017 Pageant--Miss Zulia Mariangel Galban: Miss Zulia came at the end of the Miss Venezuela 2017 Evening Gown Fashion Show and it did not go unnoticed by me! After a slew of endless all-over sequined/crystal, nude/gold/blush colored gowns, this GORGEOUS vision of red appeared and I literally got up from my couch and clapped! This "Valentino Red" silk ziberline dress was designed by designer Joan Delgado and looked dramatic, elegant and architectural on the lovely Mariangel. And I even loved those UBER large earrings. Fabulosa!



20. Miss Universe Ghana Ruth Quashie: I absolutely LOVED this canary yellow gown worn by Miss Universe Ghana at the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Competition. It made such an impact that I had to add it to my TOP 25 BEST PAGEANT GOWNS of 2017! This dress was designed by Pistis Ghana by Kabutey Dzietror  and Sumaiya Mohammed and featured yellow duchesse satin with hand-beaded Kente-style embellishments. I thought the color, style and fit were PERFECT! And the gown made Ruth a stand-out in a sea of Nude/Silver/Gold gowns at the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminaries. I was also VERY HAPPY that she wore the correct shoes and not those platform ones that too many of the contestants wore.

21. Miss USA 2017 Pageant--Miss Ohio USA 2017 Dinaleigh Baxter: This black and fuchsia dress worn by Miss Ohio USA 2017 was probably my favorite of all the gowns at the Miss USA 2017 Pageant. One of my all-time favorite color combinations are black and fuchsia mainly because Cristobal Balenciaga utilized this combination in a lot of his super stunning Haute Couture creations back in the day, so when Dinaleigh came out, I was like "Bravo!". Her gown had a very fitted black velvet base gown with plunging sweetheart neckline and a GORGEOUS satin cape that was precariously knotted and twisted into these tiny shoulder straps. It was dramatic, entrance-making and yes, VERY fashionable and Cristobal Balenciaga-like. 

22. Miss Earth Vietnam Le Thi Ha Thu: Even though Miss Earth Vietnam got the Bronze (3rd Place), during her group in the Miss Earth 2017 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition, her golden gown was my favorite of this group and memorable enough to make it into my Best of 2017 List here. The halter neckline gown--designed by Joli Poli Vietnam--featured that VERY POPULAR gold/nude/blush coloring and had golden sequin applique designs along panels of iridescent organza. It also had a dramatic and quite fabulous cascade draped overskirt. The gown design was regal and stage impacting. 

23. Miss Universe Indonesia Bunga Jelitha: Another fashionista at this year's Miss Universe was the tall and fabulous Miss Universe Indonesia. Bunga chose this pink silk chiffon draped gown from Indonesian designer Andreas Odang which she wore at the Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Competition. I LOVED the bubblegum pink color and the "Old Hollywood Glamour"-meets-Grecian Goddess style of the gown, as well as that gorgeously draped/gathered bustier section. I was just bummed that she didn't get to show this off on the "big stage" of the Miss Universe 2017 Finals since she didn't even make the Semi-final round. But, she made MY TOP 25!

24. Miss World Thailand Patlada Kulphakthanapak: I LOVED this elegant and classic gown design worn by Miss World Thailand to the Miss World Dress Designer /Top Model Competition. The golden silk design featured a sheath/column gown style with a dramatic "Queen of Siam"-like cape and gold sequined embellishment on the neck and back of the cape at the hem. This was one of those perfect examples of a unique gown that had "hints" of its Thai origins but still did not look like a costume and remained Runway Fab! Simple, chic and architectural. Patlada looked like a Thai royal greeting ambassadors at her royal residence!

Finally, my No. 25 BEST PAGEANT GOWN of 2017 is...
25. Miss Universe Jamaica Davina Bennett: The DIVINE Miss Universe Jamaica Davina Bennett causes many a senstation at this year's Miss Universe--and for all the right reasons: Her fabulous Afro hairstyle was EVERYTHING! She had incredible poise and answered her questions intelligently and all the while looking FAB-U-LOUS in this canary yellow gown! Normally, I would have said that this was a CRAY-CRAY-LICIOUS gown: There's A LOT going on including the sheer iridescent fabric, the oversized "Flaura & Faura" appliques, the back capes...the bright "Highlighter Yellow" color...But, Davina WORKED IT OVERTIME and made me drink the CRAY-CRAY Gown Kool-Aid! 


The gown was designed by Uzuri International, and I bow down to them, but especially Davina for bringing everyone at "The AXIS"/Planet Hollywood to their feet when she came out in this gown during the Miss Universe 2017 Finals and worked those capes OVERTIME! Every drag queen in the room was almost crying huney! And for all of that, this gown makes my Top 25 Best pageant Gowns of 2017 List. Bravo!


Which Gown was YOUR FAVORITE Pageant Gown of 2017??

And don't forget about my NEW "The Pageant Coloring Book"! Where you can create your very own Evening Gown Competition with 25 of my hand-drawn Pageant Queen illustrations. Click HERE to purchase NOW on amazon.com:
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WHO WORE WHAT?.....BEST OF 2017: 25 BEST RED CARPET Looks from Cannes & Met Gala

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WHO WORE WHAT?.....BEST OF 2017: 25 BEST RED CARPET Looks from Cannes & Met Gala

Cannes Divas and Met Gala Goddesses: Best of 2017 Red Carpet Moments of 2017 Cannes Film Festival and 2017 Met Gala (L to R) Araya A. Hargate, Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Zendaya, and Tracee Ellis Ross

I have already discussed my picks for Best of 2017 Red Carpet at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes HERE, Best of 2017 Emmy Awards and SAG Awards HERE and now, it is time for my last BEST OF 2017 RED CARPET BLOG Installment: 2017 Cannes Film Festival and the 2017 Met Gala! These two red carpet events are BIGGIES when it comes to FASHION with a capital "F"! For some reason, actresses, models...you name it...go above and beyond on the red carpet when it comes to what they wear! I get the Met Gala (it's all about GIVING FASHION of course!) but Cannes...it's like these actresses feel a certain sense of Fashion Freedom when it comes to what they wear at the French Icon of Red Carpet events. And I LOVE that they do it!

Here are my TOP 25 RED CARPET LOOKS for 2017 Cannes and Met Gala:
Aishwayra Rai in Michael Cinco Couture Fall 2017: Aishwarya Rai looked like an Empress of her own nation with this stunning baby blue silk organza/applique gown from Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco and his Couture Fall/Winter 2017 "Infanta Maria Theresa". The off-the-shoulder sweetheart neckline ballgown featured a powder blue crinoline-backed fabrication and was completely embroidered by hand. It was A MOMENT, dear kids! Bow down to Aishwarya for giving us this moment.

Aishwarya Rai in Ralph & Russo Spring 2017 Couture: Oh yes...everyone bow down to Queen Aishwarya...AGAIN! She wore this glorious red strapless ballgown to the "120 Beats Per Minute" Premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. I love that she basically showed up to this year's Cannes Film Festival to show everyone in the world why she was crowned...Miss World many, many years ago. This gorgeous actress/model/Bollywood Diva has still got it (not that anyone thought she lost it!). DIVA of 2017.

Araya "Chompoo" Hargate in Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2014: Araya wore this entrance-making gown from French designer Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2014 to "The Meyerowitz Stories" Cannes 2017 Premiere. This style may be from a 3-year-old collection, however, it was still SO NOW, and SO RED CARPET FAB! The strapless design featured an off-white column gown with a gorgeous lipstick red quilted overcape attached in the bust line with volants and an Empire-waist bustier. In case you needed a reminder: All that stitching you see on the overcape was done BY HAND; it's Haute Couture after all. Araya sure knows how to make an entrance. Oh and yes, she was five months pregnant at the time. 


Araya "Chompoo" Hargate in Zuhair Murad Haute Couture Spring 2017: This is another fabulous gown that Araya wore to the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, this time to the Premiere of "120 Beats Per Minute" (120 Battements Par Minute). This UBER Princess gown is from Zuhair Murad Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture and it was EVERYTHING. The ballgown featured multi-layered silk tulle and a silk satin one shoulder draped bow top. Araya has learned that if there was ever a moment to wear SUPER HUGE ballgowns...it's Cannes. 


Araya "Chompoo" Hargate in Olivier Theyskens Spring 2017: This is a third look I loved from British-Thai actress Araya Hargate at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Can we say she had a Cannes 2017 Fashion Trifecta??!! With  this black strapless gown from French designer Olivier Theyskens she was very much on the 90's Prom Trend. I thought she looked quite elegant, sexy and dare I say, vampy--the gloves, the shape of the gown...the necklace...it was all Cannes Fab! And one of the BEST of 2017.



Sonam Kapoor in Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring 2017: Bollywood actress and L'Oreal Paris Ambassador wore this golden gown from Elie Saab Haute Couture to "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" Cannes 2017 Premiere. The gown featured gold and crystal hand-cut lace applique over nude tulle column gown with overskirt and a plunging sweetheart neckline. She looked DIVINE. The gown was the finale "Wedding Gown" look of Saab's Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection shown in Paris in January of this year. The gown--as seen on the runway--was a tad bit more "revealing" as seen in the photo above: For Sonam, there were more golden appliques added to cover her up and the sequin work was changed so it didn't look so much like palm trees in a Dubai dessert oasis. Overall, this was a FIERCE red carpet gown and by the way...soooooo many beauty pageant contestants tried to copy this gown this year in international pageants, it was INSANE! So, not only was this one of the BEST of 2017, you can also add One of the Most Copied....or "Inspired" Gowns of 2017.

Sonam Kapoor in custom Elie Saab Couture: Yes kids, Sonam Kapoor is now TWICE on my Best Dressed Cannes 2017 List--as well as BEST OF 2017. This Bollywood Diva SLAYED it! I loved this pink sequined-and-organza-crinoline gown that she wore to "The Meyerowitz Stories" Cannes 2017 Premiere. The gown had a gorgeous column base dress with a soft silk georgette overskirt. It was belted and she accessorized it with FABULOUS jewels including those incredible finger-to-wrist bracelets. Oh, and by the way,  did I mention that her gown was CUSTOM? So, yeah, not just Haute Couture but really, really, really...made JUST FOR HER. Gorgeous. This was another style that many an international beauty contestant tried to replicate, but never achieving this fabulosity!

Andie MacDowell in custom Roberto Cavalli: Actress Andie MacDowell looked gorgeous at "The Meyerowitz Stories" Cannes 2017 Premiere in this black and violet gown from Italian fashion brand Roberto Cavalli. The gown was elegant, chic, and sexy and MacDowell looked AMAZING in it. I loved the shape, the dramatic bow, the draped bodice and side front slit. I love a fab FASHION moment and this gown was that!


Lana El Sahely in Ralph & Russo Couture Fall 2016: Freelance stylist and founder of LArmoireDeLana Blog, Lana El Sahely wound up wearing one of my Best Dresses from Cannes 2017 as well as one of my Best of 2017. She wore this gown to "The Killing of a Scared Deer" Cannes 2017 Premiere. The style featured a white silk crepe gown with pale blue silk organza overskirt with multi-tiered ruffles. The main gown itself was embellished with lilac/blue silk thread-work, crystals and glass bead embroidery. This was simply gorgeous and one of the Best of 2017 Red Carpet.


Deepika Padukone in Brandon Maxwell: Styled by  A-list celebrity stylist Elizabeth Salzman (who styles Gwenyth Paltrow and Uma Thurman), Denmark-born Bollywood Indian actress (and another) L'Oreal Global Ambassador) Deepika Padukone, wore this teal green gown from designer Brandon Maxwell at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The one shoulder gown was daring and sexy, featuring a high side-front slit opening and beautiful back drape "fall" detail. She looked clean, elegant and made a fab statement.



Naomi Campbell in Atelier Versace Spring 2017: Leave it to Miss Naomi Campbell to make it onto my Best of 2017 Red Carpet, and this time for this gown. She wore this super sexy Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2017 gown at the "Cannes Fashion For Relief" fundraiser gala. The blush colored silk georgette dress featured an intricate Swarovski crystal encrusted web over the base of the gown, as well as side front slit to show off Campbell's iconic legs. This was a perfect choice for Naomi and she, naturally, wore it fabulously. It's a gorgeous blush/nude colored gown that stood out in a year FULL of those...Nude/Blush colored Gowns.


Sara Sampaio in Zuhair Murad Spring 2017: Portuguese model (and Victoria's Secret Angel) Sara Sampaio, dazzled at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in one of my favorite gowns of the year--this fire-red design from Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad and his Spring/Summer 2017 Couture collection. The ballgown featured sequins sewn by hand to look like fireworks (the collection was in fact, inspired by the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival in Japan) over a silk organza and crinoline tulle base with a full A-line shape skirt and semi-plunging neckline. As you can see, the silk satin draped waist piece was removed to create a cleaner, seamless look. Along with Aishwarya's red ballgown at the top of this post, this was one of THE BEST red gowns of the 2017 red carpet.


Elle Fanning in Vivienne Westwood Couture: Actress (and yet another L'Oreal Brand Ambassador) Elle Fanning, looked marvelous and so 90's Prom Fab with this white strapless ballgown from Vivienne Westwood Couture. The gown was custom-made for her and the artwork was hand painted, naturally.  Westwood's team said that it took 10 people to work on the dress and it took more than 300 hours to finish over the course of 10 days. Add all that up and that comes to A TON OF MONEY! Luckily for Fanning, she didn't have to pay for it. I think she looked very pretty and Grace Kelly-esque. 

Uma Thurman in Atelier Versace Fall 2016: What U.S. actress Uma Thurman is wearing on the 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival Opening Night "Ismael's Ghosts (Les Fantômes d’Ismaël)" Screening Gala ended up as one of my favorite Red Carpet Looks of 2017. This was one of my most-loved gowns from that Atelier Versace collection and so it was wonderful to see it being worn on the red carpet, with slight changes. Notice how the original runway version has a one-side ruffled peplum but Uma's gown does not. Also, the original one had these "peek-a-boo" black Swarovski crystals--all hand sewn--under the volants/ruffles. In Uma's gown, they are not there. Regardless of the changes, Thurman's gown was elegant, chic and made her figure look AMAZING!


Fan Bingbing in Christopher Bu: One of my favorite Fashion Divas is actress Fan Bingbing and she was ON-POINT throughout her time at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and this is the first of three fabulous red carpet looks she gave. In the photo above, at the "Amant Double" (L'Amant Double) Film Premiere, she wore this printed silk gown from her longtime stylist, Chinese designer Christopher Bu. I loved this design because of its bold sequined applique "print" (the print is actually ALL SEQUINS!), sculpted silhouette and the "Watteau"-back like cape.  I loved all of it! Bingbing gave you DRAMA and STYLE darlings: Definitely one of the BEST of 2017.

Fan Bingbing in Elie Saab Spring 2017 Couture: Let's continue with the fabulous Fan Bingbing since she kept giving fabulous COUTURE at this year's Cannes Film Festival and therefore, I had to include her in my BEST OF 2017 LIST.  I absolutely love this Elie Saab Haute Couture aquamarine colored silk chiffon dress. The delicate torso hand pleating is gorgeous and I was a big fan of the attached gathered neckline cape. Fan Bingbing looks like the queen of a country at a black tie official dinner event, greeting ambassadors from all over the World!


Fan Bingbing in Atelier Versace Spring 2017: Oh Fan Bingbing, you make me smile! And you make my BEST OF 2017 RED CARPET List THREE TIMES! Bingbing wore one of Donatella's Haute Couture designs for the Cannes 2017 Closing Ceremony and it was one of my favorite looks of 2017. The gown followed in the "Naked Dress" trend with see-through details juxtaposed with Swarovski crystal-encrusted boning that were strategically hand-sewn throughout the gown, forming a mermaid-like caged silhouette at the bottom. The gown was covered in silk tulle with fan accents. Yes...FAN ACCENTS, for Fan Bingbing!


BEST OF 2017 RED CARPET: 2017 Met Gala
Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Haute Couture Fall 2015: Zendaya showed up to the Met Gala 2017 to slay it. And she did. I loved this over-the-top printed silk SUPER ballgown from Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Fall 2015 collection. Dolce & Gabbana's Alta Moda collection is their Haute Couture arm, so yes, every garment is (mostly) hand-made and yes, each garment can set you back about $100,000, if not more! Zendaya (and her stylist) very wisely knew that the Met Gala is THE red carpet event to show up in a MAJOR gown like this one. This look is unforgettable, fashionable and Diva-like. It may have had nothing to do with the Met Gala's Exhibition of Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons but...WHO CARES when you looked like that!


Solange Knowles in Thom Browne Fall 2017: I know that many people out there will think "Oh No Nick!" but...YASSSSSSSSS!!!! I thank Solange for GIVING ME Puffy Queen! Thank goodness this wasn't a basic creme or "Nude/Blush" colored gown. But then again, I didn't expect Solange Knowles to show up in what everyone else is wearing...especially to a Met Gala. I loved this black puffy jacket with train and those faux ice skating shoes...TO DIE!! I want those for when I attend next month's 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose! #NotKidding


Lily Collins in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2016: Actress Lily Collins wore this strapless ballgown from Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2016 to attend the 2017 Met Gala and it was GORGEOUS! The gown features an exquisite and delicate combination of gathered silk tulle,  duchesse silk satin and hand applied crystals. It's sweet and perfect for an Heiress Sweet Sixteen bash like the Crillon Ball but...Lily made it fresh and more modern with that cropped black wig, honoring Rei Kawakubo's iconic hairstyle. 



Jennifer Lopez in Valentino Spring 2017 Haute Couture: It wouldn't be a BEST of 2017 Red Carpet Wrap-up without La J. Lo huney! Here, this aquamarine silk chiffon "caftan" gown was DIVINE and Miss Lopez served you some Elizabeth Taylor-like fabulousness. The original gown on the runway was in "Valentino Red" and featured a plunging neckline and more un-fitted tunic shape. Jennifer Lopez' design was in that gorgeous blue and had a more fitted inner dress and non-plunging neckline. She looked like an heiress on a yacht in Mykonos ready to have Ouzo and some Feta Cheese Aperitifs. DEEEEVA.

Tracee Ellis Ross in Comme des Garcons: I LOVED this bold blue coat on Tracee Ellis Ross. She gave you fabulous; she gave you Fashion Diva, she gave you QUEEN huney! I admired the simple cocooning-like effect and what a fabulous statement it made. I have never seen Miss Ellis Ross look soooo CHIC. This jacquard coat had the same effect as an Haute Couture Gown!


Zoe Kravitz in Oscar de la Renta: Zoe Kravitz wore this Millenial Pink gown from Oscar de la Renta designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. The duchesse silk satin gown featured an overcape and bust accented with black ruffled embellishments. Kravitz looked regal and supremely chic, especially with that bleach-blond pixie hairstyle. I loved the juxtaposition of her almost-punk severe look and the Alta Moda "old school" style of this beautiful gown. 

Lily Aldridge in custom Ralph Lauren: Model Lily Aldridge gave her best avant-garde Fashion Diva look at the Met Gala 2017 with this white silk jersey gown with skin-revealing peek-a-boos from---of all brands--Ralph Lauren! This sexy-licious gown has NOTHING to do with Ralph Lauren (seriously was this "Ralph Lauren by Donatella Versace??!!) but I am willing to give it a pass only because she looked AMAZING! That's why I put her in my Best Dressed  and this design in my BEST OF 2017. 


Lastly...
Lily-Rose Depp in custom Chanel: I absolutely loved this bubblegum pink strapless Chanel ballgown on Lily-Rose Depp that was made especially for her. The drop-waist design seems simple and classic and yet, there is the added detail of the sequined roses (for Lily-Rose perhaps?) and raw hem. Her makeup (those fab cat-eyes!) and hair were GORGEOUS! I loved the color and classic shape of this design...enough to make it into my BEST OF 2017 RED CARPET List!

Which one of these was YOUR FAVORITE of 2017??

And don't forget about my NEW "The Pageant Coloring Book"! Where you can create your very own Evening Gown Competition with 25 of my hand-drawn Pageant Queen illustrations. Click HERE to purchase NOW on Amazon.com:
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