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Nick Verreos

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ICE STYLE.....2017 NHK Trophy Grand Prix of Japan FIGURE SKATING COSTUMES: PAIRS & ICE DANCE

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ICE STYLE.....2017 NHK Trophy Grand Prix of Japan FIGURE SKATING COSTUMES: PAIRS & ICE DANCE

Dance Fierce: Russia's Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov during their Short Dance--2017 NHK Trophy Osaka Japan

Finishing up my 2017 NHK Trophy ICE STYLE Costumes blogs, I have discussed the LADIES HERE, the MEN HERE and now it's time for the PAIRS and ICE DANCE Costumes. Some of the Pairs and Ice Dance skaters who skated at 2017 NHK Trophy--Sui and Han, Stolbova and Klimov, Virtue and Moir, and Hubbell and Donohue, for example--have already skated in some of the previous three 2017-2018 Grand Prix competitions/events and I have already covered them here in my blog. If you're wondering my thoughts on their costumes go HERE, HERE and HERE.


Now--it's time for the PAIRS and ICE DANCE costumes of 2017 NHK Trophy that I haven't discussed previously--let's start with the PAIRS:
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of USA: Alexa and Chris skated their Short Program to Come What May (Moulin Rouge soundtrack) wearing these costumes above. The color scheme stayed within a pretty lilac/lavender/purple category. Alexa's costume featured a beaded bustier-like corset-inspired costume giving hints of Nicole Kidman's in the movie/musical. What I really loved was Chris' look:


The subtle beading on Chris' neck was a nice touch, especially since there are so many close-ups of them while they are skating. I also liked the sheer softness of his top. 

Free Skate to Ghost - The Musical--For their Free Skate, Alexa and Chris wore these looks. they were less "costume-y" and quite classic and subtle. They were nice and I guess a good choice considering the musical accompaniment...well, at least the lilac-hued color story was similar to the Musical's posters!  Also.....
Alexa's costume reminded me of something Nancy Kerrigan might have worn and in addition, Alexa and Chris together reminded me of Gordeeva and Grinkov.

Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov of Russia: Short Program to Adagio For Strings by William BarberLacrimosa (from "Requiem in D Minor") by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and O Fortuna (from "Carmina Burana") by Carl Orff. These were great costumes worn by the Russian Pairs couple of Astakhova and Rogonov. There were elements of rawness and fight (mimicking the powerful music they skated to) plus the sweetness of the lightly dusted crystals and modernity of the asymmetrical hems. I also loved how both of their necklines were so similar and his costume looked like a perfect costume pair to hers. Speaking of her...

Love that open back: So Red Carpet/Runway Fab!

ICE DANCE:
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy: Cappellini and Lanotte skated their fun Short Dance to Cha Cha: Kaboom performed by Ursula 1000; Samba: Skip to the Bip performed by Club des Belugas; and Samba: 1008 Samba. While most of the Ice Dance men are utilizing this Samba/Rhumba/Cha-Cha Shorty Dance to be Muy Caliente Sexy Hot with their costumes (sheer, plunging and tighter!) here, while still super tight fitting, Luca is all covered up!! And in all black! I get that Anna's fuchsia-and-silver colored costume makes a bold color statement alone but still, I just wish he didn't look like a valet about to take my car away. Her costume, on the other hand, is one of my favorites of the season! It is spectacular with the crystal beaded bodice and fuchsia ruffled skirt that is just the right length for her teeny tiny frame. In a way, by making him fade away, it highlighted her even more...which was probably the point!

Free Dance to Biongiorno Principessa (from "La Vita e Bella" soundtrack), Life Is Beautiful (from "La Vita e Bella" soundtrack) by Nicola Piovani, arranged & performed by Mi Loco Tango, and La Vita e Bella (from "La Vita e Bella" soundtrack) by Nicola Piovani arranged by Claudio Mandonico. Cappellini and Lanotte are known for their very Italy-centric Ice dances and this Olympic Season was no exception for their Free Dance. She wore an ivory colored dress with beaded top section and nude illusion neckline. I thought she looked quite Mumsy and matronly and I just did not understand the nude illusion neckline; she looked like one of the ten wives of a cult leader! I did like Luca's high-waisted pants-and-shirt costume. The pants were super tight which was a good thing, but the colors were SOOOOO drab. I get the whole We're-Italian-peasants-dancing-up-a-storm theme but still, I wish they didn't look so sad and uninspiring.

Misato Komatsubara and Timothy Koleto of Japan: For their Short Dance to Salsa: Ahora Quien by Marc Anthony; Rhumba: Ahora Quien by Marc Anthony; and Samba: Samba do Brasil (Radio Remix) by Bellini, these are the costumes the Ice Dance team representing Japan wore. Remember what I said about how PLUNGING and how SEXY these Ice Dance men were costumed for their Latin-inspired Short Dances...Exhibit A: Timothy Koleto. Look at him compared to turtlenecked Luca Lanotte. Anyhow--I liked Timothy's look as well as Misato's dress. Her black and gold costume was exotic and more Near East Empress as opposed to Hello Havana...but it was great for the music/program as well as fun and impacting.

Free Dance to Where Is It Written? by Barbara Streisand, Michel Legrand, End Credits (from "Sabrina" soundtrack) by John Williams, and A Piece of Sky by Barbara Streisand, Michel Legrand--Komatsubara and Koleto wore the blue and black looks above for their Free Dance. These were romantic and pretty costumes. The beautiful rhinestones on her upper torso looked like a starry sky and I loved how they went from blue to silver. And I also appreciated how he got some of those rhinestones on his top--as if while touching her...or just being near her...he was "sprinkled" with Swarovski crystal dust!

Oleksandra Nazarova and Maksim Nikitin of Ukraine: Well HELLO FABULOSA!!! For their Short Dance to Rhumba: Chuvirico (from "Wanted") by Perez Prado; Mambo: Cu-cu-rru-cu-cu-paloma (from "Mambo No. 5) by Perez Prado, Rosemary Clooney; and Mambo: La Pantera Mambo (Pink Panther Theme) by Henry Mancini, this Ukrainian Ice Dance team--and especially her!--went all out Cha-Cha Queen. While admittedly, this is on the more "Kray-Kray" side of the Fiery Hot Samba/Rhuma/Cha-Cha costumes the ladies are wearing, it was still A LOT OF FUN to look at! I loved the bold purple and gold fringe and how it literally wrapped around her leg. With so much going on with her, it was kind of a nice "fringe commercial break" to have him just in black with a purple tie! 

Lastly...
Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalopov of Russia: One word: SEXYLICIOUS! This Russian Ice Dance pair were oozing S.E.X. I'm surprised the ISU didn't give them a "Not appropriate to be viewed by anyone under 16" rating! For their Short Dance to Rhumba: Agua de beber by Al Jarreau; Samba: Balumukeno by Bonga Kuenda; and Samba: Batacuda Brasileira, they wore these looks above. Nikita was "comfy sexy" in his un-tucked gray/black shirt and tight pants; not much there to see. It was Victoria who was Muy Caliente in her attire--if you could even call it that; she was barely wearing anything! Victoria's costume consisted of a beaded bra top and two swaths of asymmetrically cut fabric...and that's it! I thought the side cowl drape was interesting and I was kind of fascinated how she just looked as if she went into a bin and wrapped a couple of fabric scraps around her and called it a day. But in closer inspection...


These weren't just any fabrics but this beautiful silver gray paillette encrusted silk chiffon! And Ladies and Gentlemen, can we just take a minute to look at her incredible and fat-free SIX PACK ABS of STEEL!!??? Even Nikita was like "OH DEAR!!!!"

Free Skate to Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 18 and Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov--For their Free Dance, they went much, much, MUCH more subdued, which made sense, especially with their classical musical accompaniment. They stayed in the same gray/black color theme as in their Short dance but this time, Victoria got a little more fabric yardage for her dress. I liked the delicate look of her costume and the shimmering waistband. In terms of Nikita, I have to be honest and say that I just didn't really understand his "shredded" and ripped shirt I-just-came-from-the-Apocalypse vibe. I wished he was more elegant here. 

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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss International 2017 Finals: Winner + MY TOP 10 BEST GOWNS!

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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss International 2017 Finals: Winner + MY TOP 10 BEST GOWNS!

First Ever--Miss International Indonesia Kevin Lilliana is crowned Miss International 2017, Tokyo Japan
Some Photos Courtesy of Missosology as well as Miss International's Instagram 

Tuesday night was the Finals of the 57th Annual Miss International Beauty Pageant, which were held in Tokyo Japan! I have already discussed 28 of the NATIONAL COSTUMES from the pageant's Opening "National Costume Parade of Nations" Competition which you can see HERE...so now it's time for the BIGGIE: The Winner and THE GOWNS!!! 

First the WINNER:
INDONESIA!!!!! Miss International Indonesia Kevin Lilliana is Miss International 2017--Miss International 2017 Beauty Pageant Finals, Tokyo Japan

The winner was Kevin Lilliana, the contestant representing Indonesia. This is THE FIRST TIME that Indonesia has won a Miss International. In fact, it is only the second time the nation has won the top prize at ANY of the Grand Slam "Big 5" International Pageants including Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Grand International and Miss Earth. The first was by Ariska Putri Pertiwi, who was the winner of Miss Grand International 2016, just last year. So, they are on a roll!!  The doll-like 21-year-old Lilliana is a professional model, attended Maranatha Christian University in West Java Indonesia and stands 1.77 m (5' 10"). She bested 68 other beauties from around the globe for the title.

Crowned Beauty: Outgoing Miss International 2016 Philippines' Kylie Verzosa crowns the new Miss International--Indonesia's Kevin Lilliana--Miss International 2017 Finals Tokyo Japan

Swimsuit Gal: Miss International Indonesia during the Swimsuit Competition of the Miss International 2017 Finals, Tokyo Japan.


International Queen and her Court--Miss International 2017, Indonesia's Kevin Lilliana (Center) with (L to R) 1st Runner-up Miss International Curacao Chanelle Wilhemina Maria, 3rd Runner-up Miss International Australia Amber Dew, 2nd Runner-up Miss International Venezuela Diana Croce, and 4th Runner-up Miss International Japan Natsuki Tsutsui

And now, THE GOWNS!!! First, who won "Best Dressed" and the Top Five Finalists (including the Winner) and then I'll discuss my List of TOP TEN BEST Gowns form the entire pageant...
Most Stylish: Miss International Indonesia Kevin Lilliana (the eventual winner of the ENTIRE thing!) got the "Best Dresser" Award which, just by the gown she wore--was VERY WELL deserved! So, it makes sense that I begin with Kevin--the Winner and her gown...and then I'll go through the rest of the Top 5 + my actual TOP 10 BEST GOWNS...

Haute Gorgeous: Miss International Indonesia wore THE BEST GOWN of the night which was so nice, considering SHE WON the top crown! I absolutely loved her aquamarine sequined gown designed by Ivan Gunawan. The dress--entitled "Thallasa: Mother of Sea" featured exquisite textured sequined applique only seen with the likes of Couture designers such as Elie Saab or Zuhair Murad...

Indonesian Sea Queen: The gown was inspired by the blue water surrounding Indonesia, featured a slight fit-and-flared column gown and beautiful silk chiffon sleeve capes. It was impacting even if she didn't have a fan blowing the chiffon out! Congrats to Kevin and especially her gown's designer! SUPERB!
Score: 9.98

1st Runner-up Miss International Curacao Chanelle Wilhemina Maria: Chenelle was the 1st Runner-up and this was her gown. The dress was VERY "Pageant Betty" and so was Chanelle's entire look--right up to her SUPER bouffant up-so hair! She is SOOOOO beautiful and looked like a Barbie Doll in this. I just wished her gown and style was a bit more chic and modern, but I get that it is Miss International and they like their beauty queens, perhaps more "Pageant Betty perfect". So...the pink/lace off the shoulder gown with chiffon back capes and "Pageant Betty" bouffant hair was...probably just right. But, for my take on the gown, it was just a bit too "old school" for me. But the length was right and the fit was nice.
Score: 8.00

2nd Runner-up Miss International Venezuela Diana Croce: Diana also wore a pink gown. Naturally. I'm sure the Miss Venezuela Organization knows what kind of look works with the Japanese Miss International Organization and this was just right. I have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of this dress. The gown featured gathered powder pink tulle in many tiers with silver crystal rhinestones accenting it. It was pretty and "Princess"-like but it wasn't Runway Fab or caused any Gown Gasps from me. It just hung on her without any impact. It was....flat.
Score: 8.50

3rd Runner-up Miss International Australia Amber Dew: This was a big surprise for me. I thought this was such a "Nothing Here To See" kind of pageant gown. The length was good but the top fit so weird (too high cleavage) and the white on such a super blond woman...well, not a good style choice. This--compared to what Miss International Indonesia wore??? Well, I cannot even discuss it: No Comparison. It's like a Ford vs. a Mercedes.
Score: 7.90

4th Runner-up Miss International Japan Natsuki Tsutsui: Natsuki wore this powder blue iridescent satin organza gown for the Finals of Miss International 2017. The dress featured a fit-and-flare "mermaid" lite silhouette and had white sequined applique and, if that wasn't enough, side nude illusion and back train overskirt. It was like an 80's doll gown costume; just dated and too "Pageant Betty". But at least it fit nicely and the length was right. And the saving grace? Natsuki! She was sooooo PRETTY! But, the gown was still dated and pageant tacky.
Score: 7.98

OK, now that we got the Top Five out of the way, time for my TOP TEN BEST LIST of Miss International 2017 Gowns:
My Number One is...
1. Miss International Indonesia Kevin Lilliana: I already talked about how STUNNING I thought this gown was so...
Score: 9.98

2. Miss International Lithuania Patricija Belousova: THIS GOWN. Was. Everything! I thought Miss International Lithuania's dress was so modern, so chic, so Haute Couture Refined. Loved it. Wish I knew who designed it to give them credit but I spent WAAAY TOO much time looking for that info. and I eventually gave up. Note to the ladies: PLEASE give DESIGNER credits on your Instagram and/or Facebook--even if you actually PAID for it! Otherwise, I give up. Anyhow...I loved this slate blue/gray ballgown and it was MY SECOND FAVORITE of the pageant.
Score: 9.95

3. Miss International Thailand Ratiyaporn Chookaew: This gown was flawless. The ivory crepe and nude tulle column design featured a center front slit, silver rhinestone sequins, sleeves and faux plunging neckline covered in nude illusion. The style was elegant and chic and the fit was perfect.
Score: 9.90

4. Miss International Ethiopia Bamlak Dereje: Miss International Ethiopia was one of the more model-beautiful contestants even though she didn't make the Top 15. I also liked her choice of evening gown. She wore this silver encrusted design featuring a column gown with a tulle backed overskirt. The crystal sequin fabric was absolutely beautiful and expensive looking and the style was Runway Fab. I also had no problem with the ankle length since she accessorized the look with those silver shoes. Her side-swept hair and minimal styling was on-point!
Score: 9.50

5. Miss International Laos Phounsap Phonnyotha: This golden colored gown was my 5th favorite in the 2017 Miss International Beauty Pageant. Phounsap wore this dress featuring gold satin crepe with beautiful gold and silver jeweled sequins in a halter neck style with blush colored back chiffon "falls". It was classic, elegant and Pageant Perfect!
Score: 9.30

6. Miss International Vietnam Huynh Thi Thuy Dung: This was an exquisite gown worn by Miss International Vietnam. The fit was perfect. The length was also perfect. And the style--especially the fit-and-flare gown with beautiful overskirt--was stage impacting. The blue sequined fabric looked luxe and I loved her chic center-parted chignon hairstyle.
Score: 9.10

7. Miss International Panama Darelys Santos: Designed by Venezuelan designer Julio Mora this red strapless gown was very Miss Venezuela but here we saw it on the Panamanian delegate...and it looked FAB! Darelys has an envious perfect figure--with her long lines and TEENY TINY waist/no hips so she's like a perfect clothes hanger. And this gown--especially the color and sequined torso detail--really made her a stand-out in the pageant!
Score: 9.05

8. Miss International El Salvador Fatima Mangandi: It's not every day you find a Miss El Salvador in my Top Ten Best Gowns List but there is a first for everything! I liked this lavender colored sequined gown for its perfect silhouette, fit and lovely upper torso detail. Muy Bien Fatima!
Score: 9.00

9. Miss International United Kingdom Ashley Powell: Ashley was one of the Top 8 Finalists and in fact bagged the Miss International Europe award. She wore this UBER mermaid-shaped pink-and-nude gown designed by Almodal Haute Couture by Leo Almodal Philippines. The dress could be considered very "Pageant Betty" for its silhouette and pink coloring but it fit BEAUTIFULLY and really made a strong Gown Statement. The flower applique was absolutely gorgeous as well! Ashley looked like a Pageant Queen fro my #PageantColoringBook for sure!
Score: 8.95

10. Miss International Mexico Citlaly Higuera: Citlaly wore this royal blue ballgown for the 2017 Miss International Beauty Pageant Finals. The style was grand and very stage-impacting. The color was great for her as well as the silhouette. There were slight issues with the construction; the dress looked ripple-ly and maybe there were issues with the inner interlining which you can kind of see in above photo. But, the overall effect was impressive! And her waist looked SOOOOO teeeny tiny!
Score: 8.85

CONGRATULATIONS to Kevin Lilliana, Miss International 2017! And for being THE FIRST Indonesian candidate to get a TOP International Beauty Pageant crown! 

And don't forget to check out my NEW "The Pageant Coloring Book" to create your very own EVENING GOWN COMPETITION!! It is available NOW on amazon.com: Click HERE to purchase:

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