Miss Universe 2022's evening gown competition abounded in royal and striking looks, many of which embodied the Filipinos' world-class talent.
Apart from Miss Universe Philipines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, Philippine-born designers, including Oliver Tolentino, Rian Fernandez, and Carl Andrada, took the spotlight with their stunning creations showcased by different candidates.
This year, nine beauty queens flaunted Filipino-made evening gowns at the stage of the Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. While they all vary in looks and style, all these masterpieces reflect the country's impeccable eye for design and, more so, the Filipinos' talent in making beauty queens shine their brightest.
The country's very own Celeste Cortesi looked ethereal and elegant in this sky blue crystal-embellished gown crafted by Los Angeles-based fashion designer Oliver Tolentino. The artwork paid tribute to her father who, Cortesi previously said, named her Celeste as it means "heavenly and sky blue" in Italian.
USA's R'Bonney Gabriel perfected her 'magenta moment' in this Viva Magenta gown designed by Rian Fernandez. According to the award-winning designer, the color exhibits "universal harmony and character" and empowers the fearless character of the beauty queen. The dress features an "edgy yet sophisticated" halter top, trumpet-shaped dress with a detachable oversized cape shawl that truly made a statement during her walk.
Fernandez likewise designed the "fully handcrafted gown" of Miss Cambodia Manita Hang that features a tailored suit and "beaded sheer flair skirt." It uses the colors purple and blue because, as the designer said, they represent "royalty and serenity."
Its beadworks depict the "intertwined branches of the historical banyan tree swirling in a different direction" and will "untangle the long-wait hunger for the [Miss Universe] crown."
Miss Seychelles 2022 Gabriella Gonthier struts the stage with this beaded champagne dress designed by Carl Andrada. In an Instagram post, the Los Angeles-based Pinoy designer showed how he carefully added crystals to the golden ensemble by hand to make it sparkle on stage. His hard work surely paid off, as Gonthier was glowing while walking the Miss Universe runway last Thursday.
Also designed by Andrada is this sparkly body-hugging lavender dress worn by Miss Mauritius Alexandrine Belle-Etoile during the competition. The designer's masterpiece set off a regal and sweet vibe, with its pastel pantone, sweetheart neckline, and rhinestones from the gown's suit down to its skirt.
Miss Spain Alicia Faubel's Filipino connection is surely strong in this pageant. Aside from knowing how to speak Tagalog, which she learned during her three-year stay in the Philippines, her evening gown was created by Leo Almodal. The beauty queen shimmered in her nude off-shoulder mermaid gown that reflected Almodal's signature style of combining jewelry design with couture fashion.
Apart from her entry to the evening gown competition, Faubel showcased Filipino talent through her national costume, which was crafted by San Juan City-based designer Ehran Montoya.
Miss Malta Maxine Formosa Gruppetta strutted the stage with this bright yellow dress curated by designer Louis Pangilinan from Laguna. It features crystals and high slits which Pangilinan said is inspired by "women’s passion and desire that beckons from afar that simply reveal a modern transformational woman."
Miss Great Britain
Great Britain's Noky Simbani also had her 'magenta moment' in this body-hugging halter gown also designed by Pangilinan. It features a side slit covered in fully hand-embellished beads, sequins, and premium crystals that signifies a "source of empowerment" to thrive in all aspects of life.
One of the dresses that stood out is the one worn by Miss Bahrain Evlin Khalifa. During the competition, the beauty queen looked celestial in this modern all-crystal dress that, at the same time, conformed to the country's conservative nature. The masterpiece was done by famous Dubai-based designer Furne One Amato.