TIPPY TOPS? TIPPY NOTS!

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The idea to use so-called nude shoes to create the illusion of height came from the movies. It was found that being unable to tell where Ginger Rogers’ legs ended made her appear taller in her dance sequences. This trick was taken over by other actresses and eventually became popular in beauty pageants.

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The illusion is to make someone who is at a distance, like a judge, see “leg” when they should already see “shoe”. To achieve this “trompe-l’oeil”, the best nude shoe is one that is closed-toe, made of natural or suede, NEVER patent, leather, in a colour that closely matches the colour of your own skin.JIMM-WZ10_V2 copy It is not always easy to find a perfect colour match. Therefore, if your skin is darker than the shoe you should get the nude shoes and dye them to a colour that is close to your own skin colour. If your skin colour is lighter than the shoe, buy white ones and have them dyed appropriately.

In recent years, nude platform shoes and sandals have become wildly popular, supposedly with the intention of creating the illusion of height. In a swimwear round though, platform footwear will have the opposite effect. Rather than making the feet disappear, they actually draw attention to them.

For any type of platform footwear to work as a way to create the illusion of height, the shoes must be invisible. This means they must only be used in the evening wear round and preferably be in the same colour and material as the gown you are wearing.

Even though Miss Universe uses the so-called “tippy tops” in their swimsuit competitions, these shoes are a shorter girl’s worst enemies. If everyone is wearing the same shoes, height differences will be just as visible as without them. If your height is less than 5’7”, these sandals will make you look like you are walking on blocks and accentuate your real length. Tippy tops truly only look good on the tall girls, those who should not feel the need to create the illusion of more height.

While the Miss Universe contest can be blamed for the popularity of the “tippy tops”, they actually did provide their contestants with the ideal footwear during their 1997 contest, as can be seen in the picture below, even though the shoe colour was not always a perfect match.

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When selecting footwear for particularly the swimwear competition, make sure that your shoes do not say that you are unhappy with your height. This will definitely tell the judges that you are less than confident with who you are. And that is not a good thing!

What did we Learn from our MASTERCLASSES on the Best Gown Looks of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant?

  • the Miss Universe title is won in a bespoke creation by a proper designer, never in an off the rack knock off by a so-called “fashion house”
  • find the classic shape that will highlight your best features and then look for a unique fabric
  • wear elegant shoes that fit with and complement your gown
  • hairstyles should be elegantly simple
  • keep your neck unencumbered
  • do not overaccesorise
  • stay away from too much bling

MASTERCLASS: The Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant’s Preliminary Competition

It is time to present the Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe pageant, not only of the Preliminary competition. Coupled with an masterful catwalk presentation, this gown set Iris Mittenaere well on her way to winning the title of Miss Universe.

Indeed, the Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe pageant belongs to

 MISS FRANCE

Its unusual colour made Iris’ gown stand out in a sea of same-olds and its shape was perfect to showcase the future Miss Universe’s hourglass figure and gorgeous shoulders. The choice of shoes, hairstyle and accessories complemented the elegance and class of the gown and Iris’ catwalk and poses were simply ideal for this unique gown.

Iris looked ready for the red carpet of all the major award ceremonies and even the Met Gala. Or as it turns out, to win the Miss Universe crown.

This presentation gave us an indication of what we are now seeing, that Iris Mittenaere will be one of the, if not the, most stylish and fashion forward Misses Universe of the last 20 years.

MASTERCLASS: The Second Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant’s Preliminary Competition

We have been presenting to you the five gown looks that we consider pushed the envelope in the right direction during the Preliminary competition of the latest Miss Universe pageant. This is an homage to the five young ladies who presented red carpet looks suitable for the most elegant and classy events.

The Miss Universe stage should be the showcase for elegant, fashion forward creations by up and coming designers from around the world and we do hope that future contestants will emulate the gown presentations of our five honourees.

In 5th place we had Miss USA, in 4th place Miss Aruba and 3rd place went to Miss Jamaica.

The second best gown look in the recently concluded Miss Universe pageant was worn by:

MISS INDONESIA

Kezia Warouw knocked it out of the Mall of Asia Arena with this intricately elegant gown, another simple design made unique by the materials used. Kezia took a gamble wearing black as this is not considered a good pageant colour. By combining the top netting with a nude background, the gown was made playful and that diminished the negative connotation the colour could evoke.

Kezia chose to wear her hair down, simply styled, coupled with her hoop earrings. This would be a look more suitable for a swimsuit presentation. In this case however, it made her overall look much less somber than could have been expected with her choice of gown colour.

Special kudos to Kezia as well for keeping her hair completely off her shoulders and showcasing her gorgeous neck and shoulders.

MASTERCLASS: The Third Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant’s Preliminary Competition

The recently concluded 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant, now under ownership of WME/IMG, encompassed a redefinition of the brand.

The gowns worn by the contestants in the competition however, defy redefinition. The Miss Universe stage should be the showcase for elegant, fashion forward creations by up and coming designers from around the world. Yet this year once again, the majority of contestants wore dresses that you would only see in a pageant or at a prom.

A select group of contestants though, did manage to present red carpet looks suitable for the most elegant and classy events.

We are presenting to you the five gown looks that we consider pushed the envelope in the right direction during the Preliminary competition of the latest Miss Universe pageant.

In third place we have:

MISS JAMAICA

Isabel Dalley, the second Caribbean queen to make our list, is truly a Lady in Red in this exquisite creation, complemented by the ideal hairstyle and accessorised with suitable earrings and footwear.

How would we improve on this look?

The feathers are really not needed and diminish the elegance.

MASTERCLASS: The Fourth Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant’s Preliminary Competition

One can say that the recently concluded 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant, now under ownership of WME/IMG, was a redefinition of the brand.

What defies redefinition however, are the gowns worn by the contestants in the competition. One would expect the Miss Universe stage to be the perfect showcase for elegant and fashion forward creations by up and coming talent from around the world. Yet this year again, as in previous ones, the majority of contestants wore dresses that you would only see in a pageant or at a prom.

A select group of contestants though, did manage to present red carpet looks suitable for the most elegant and classy events.

We are presenting to you the five gown look that we consider pushed the envelope in the right direction during the Preliminary competition of the latest Miss Universe pageant.

In fourth place we have:

MISS ARUBA

Charlene Leslie almost achieved perfection with this very classic look, accompanied by almost perfect styling. This is another example of a very basic gown style made extraordinary by the material used.

How would we improve on this look?

As they say, the devil is in the details. The extra long earrings are the perfect complement for this white column dress and the chignon hairstyle. However, the earrings should have floated right above the shoulders instead of brushing them.

The very uneven line of crystals added to the top of the gown is completely unnecessary and cheapens the look.

Finally the shoes. We understand that Charlene was going for a nude look. However these office shoes are completely unsuitable for an evening gown and do not actually qualify as proper nude shoes (see also “TIPPY TOPS? TIPPY NOTS!”)

As Charlene obviously does not need to create an illusion of height, the ideal footwear would have been some delicate silver sandals or pumps made of the same material as the gown.

MASTERCLASS: The Fifth Best Gown Look of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant’s Preliminary Competition

When the Miss Universe Organization was bought by Donald Trump the late Nineties, the Miss Universe pageant went through a self-described Redefinition. One can say that the recently concluded 65th edition of the pageant, now under ownership of WME/IMG, was another rebranding.

What defies redefinition however, are the gowns worn by the contestants in the competition. One could imagine that the Miss Universe stage would be the perfect showcase for elegant and fashion forward creations by up and coming talent from around the world. Yet every year, and this year again, the majority of contestants wears dresses that you would only see in a pageant or at a prom.

Still there are some contestants who manage to present red carpet looks suitable for the most elegant and classy events.

We will present to you the five gown looks that we consider to have pushed the envelope in the right direction during the Preliminary competition of the latest Miss Universe pageant.

Starting in 5th Place:

MISS USA

Deshauna Barber wore a gown of very simple design made eye-catching by the beauty of the material used. The colour looks amazing on her and the classic styling, without much embellishment, completes a look of understated elegance.

How would we have improved on this look?

The matching earrings are too obviously costume jewellery and cheapen the overall result. These earrings, although also costume, are of a richer appearance and would complement the gown beautifully.

Effortless in 2017: Chris Veltkamp, Mister International Netherlands

As the 2017 male pageant season gets underway with Mister International, we wish to recognise a contestant that stands out and is already in the running for Best Male Contestant of 2017.

As we stated upon naming the Best Male Contestant of 2016, what makes a great male competitor is charisma. He needs to project approachability, to be kind of man that men want to emulate and woman (and some men) want to be with. Charisma is not something you can learn or practice, although you see most male contestants try. It has to be EFFORTLESS.

Chris Veltkamp is that contestant at the 11th Mister International, currently taking place in Thailand