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Miss Universe Gowns Guide

PHOTO: (LEFT) Judy Eddy/, (RIGHT) Instagram/abtkurniawan

ICYDK, Miss Universe 2018 will be happening on December 17 in Bangkok, Thailand. Sure, it's still months away, but we can't blame you if you're already excited for one of the most awaited Miss U segments ever—the evening gown competition. Not only is it an opportunity to see a country's representative strut her stuff, but it's also a chance for designers to showcase their masterpiece in front of 190 countries watching worldwide. 

To get you prepped and ready to watch the competition this December, here is everything you need to know about the Miss Universe gowns of 2016's and 2017's top 10 finalists:

Miss Universe 2016

Miss Universe 2016 was held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines, after  Pia Wurtzbach won the crown in 2015. She crowned Iris Mittanaere of France as her successor, the first European Miss Universe winner after 63 years


The Finalists And Their Gowns

Iris Mittanaere's Evening Gown (Miss Universe 2016 winner)

Iris Mittanaere is the 25-year-old French model, TV presenter, and beauty queen who won the 2016 crown. She is the second French Miss Universe winner after Christine Martel, who wore the crown way back in 1953! Talk about a stellar win for France, right? On top of that, she was also a medical student, who studied dentistry in Lille 2 University of Health and Law.

Designed By: Michael Cinco

Iris' gorgeous red ombre gown worn during her winning walk was designed by none other than our very own Michael Cinco, the Filipino designer who designed Pia Wurtzbach's stunning blue gown during her own final walk! We think it's anything ~*but*~ a coincidence, TBH. Iris' gown was described by Michael as "a scarlet red ombré couture gown in full Swarovski crystals."

This is the gown Michael designed for Pia:

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The gown on Iris Mittanaere:


Raquel Pelissier's Evening Gown (First Runner-Up, Miss Universe 2016)

Raquel Pelissier was an instant fan favorite when she appeared on the Miss Universe stage! A model and beauty queen, Raquel represented Haiti at the competition. Like Iris Mittanaere, her Miss Haiti win was historic for her country, considering she was the first Haitian delegate to reach the Miss Universe finals in 41 years! Raquel instantly captured the hearts of the Miss U audience members when she recalled how she survived the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Designed By: Diego Fernando Marin Mendoza

Raquel's dress was designed by a Colombian designerDiego Mendoza. Diego's long, gold shimmering gown emphasized the Haitian candidate's height (six feet in heels!), to her advantage.

The gown on Raquel Pelissier:


Andrea Tovar's Evening Gown

(Second Runer-Up, Miss Universe 2016)

Andrea Tovar is a Colombian model and beauty queen. She's an Industrial Design and Photographic Image Production student from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. Oh, and she happens to be a mom too—she gave birth to her first child this year!


Designed By: Alfredo Barazza

Like Miss Haiti, Andrea went with a Colombian designer named Alfredo Barazza for her jeweled tiered gown, which definitely stood out.

The gown on Andrea Tovar:

Mary Esther Were's Evening Gown

Mary Esther Were definitely made history for Kenya by placing 6th in the pageant, higher than any candidate from Kenya before her. She is also the first candidate from Kenya to finish past the first round of eliminations. She's a marketing administrator for both CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa—before you think that's all, she's also working on publishing her first novel!

Designed By: Benj Leguiab IV

Like Iris before her, Miss Kenya went with a Filipino couture designer for her gorgeous red mermaid cut gown! On Miss Universe Kenya's Instagram, Benj wrote, "Last year when [I] started pursuing my career as fashion [designer], my only simple dream was hoping to dress up [at least] one candidate in a [beauty pageant]. I still [can't] believe in a [short] [amount of] time my Dream came into reality in Miss Universe 2016!"


The gown on Mary Esther Were:


Maxine Medina's Evening Gown

Pia Wurtzbach's successor certainly faced a lot of pressure and scrutiny competing right after Pia took home the crown, but she dealt with everything as gracefully as expected from a beauty queen! Maxine Medina was an actress and model before she auditioned for Miss Universe 2016. She has a degree in Interior Design from De La Salle College of St. Benilde, and is also a senior member of the Professional Models Association Of The Philippines. During the competition, she faced controversy for agreeing to an interpreter during the Q&A portion, only to answer in English instead.

Designed By: Rhett Eala

Rhett Eala's creation looked nothing short of stunning on Maxine! Her gown contrasted well with Pia's iconic blue of the previous year, and was a vibrant red with a silver beaded bodice.

Rhett still works with Maxine up to this day, and even had her wear one of his custom bomber jackets:


The gown on Maxine Medina:



Chalita Suansane's Evening Gown

Chalita was another fan favorite at the competition for her ~*fierce AF*~ looks (plus the fact that she filled 17 suitcases with gowns!), and was the first contestant from Thailand who placed in the top six since 1988. She's a model and Microbiology student to boot!

Inspired By: Queen Sirikit's Thai Chakri Dress

Queen Sirikit was a Thai fashion icon in her own right, commissioning Pierre Balmain himself to create a dress with both Thai and French influences! This black sequined gown on Chalita is an apt nod to the Queen herself.

The gown on Chalita Suansane:


Siera Bearchell's Evening Gown

Law student and beauty queen Siera Bearchell made headlines (and pretty much broke the internet) when it was revealed that she was heavier than the other contestants, but just as fierce regardless, bringing some much needed body positivity to the Miss Universe competition. 

Designed By: Rocky Gathercole

This Pasay-based Pinoy designer is known for his avante garde designs, but chose a simple classic red cut for the Canadian beauty queen. 

The gown on Siera Bearchell:


Kristal Silva's Evening Gown

This Mexican beauty queen and former Miss Earth finalist is also an honor student with a degree in Administration.

Designed By: Gabriela Perez

Gabriela designed a silver gown with crystal details, which is pretty smart considering her muse's name is Krystal Silva!

The gown on Kristal Silva:


Deshauna Barber's Evening Gown

Apart from being a beauty queen, Deshauna is also a certified captain of the US Army Reserve! She's currently an IT analyst for the US Department of Commerce as well as a public speaker. 

Designed By: Sherri Hill

Deshauna's final gown was a red sequined gown from Sherri Hill, a designer brand long affiliated with Miss Universe. 


The gown on Deshauna Barber:

Raissa Santana's Evening Gown

Raissa is a marketing student and model from Brazil.

Designed By: Alexandre Dutra

This Brazilian designer was behind the off-shoulder silver long gown worn by Raissa. Those lovely flower details kind of remind us of Elie Saab!

The gown on Raissa Santana:


Miss Universe 2017

Miss Universe 2017 was held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada. South Africa took home the crown this year—when Iris Mittanaere crowned her successor, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters' Evening Gown

 (Miss Universe 2017 winner)

Apart from being a model, South African winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is also skilled in self-defense, and regularly conducts workshops. This stemmed from an incident where she was carjacked by a stranger and managed to get away by punching him in the throat. So badass!

Designed By: Anel Botha

This couture wedding dress designer pulled all the stops for Demi-Leigh's gold, high-slit gown that contrasted excellently with her complexion. 

The gown on Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters:


Laura Gonzalez's Evening Gown

 (First Runner-Up, Miss Universe 2017)

Laura is Colombian and trilingual, fluent in Spanish, English, and French! She's also been a part of La Cacica, a telenovela, and several films. 

Designed By: Hernan Zajar

Fun fact: this off-shoulder sequined gown sported 50,800 sequins, all hand-sewn

The gown on Laura Gonzalez:


Davina Bennett's Evening Gown

(Second Runner-Up, Miss Universe 2017)

Miss Jamaica 2017 Davina Bennett is currently working as a model and face of the brand Shea Moisture. 

Designed By: Uzuri International

Although the yellow embroidery on this gown was beautiful, her yellow cape definitely leveled up this look considerably!

On Davina Bennett:


Maria Poonlertlarp's Evening Gown

Maria was born to a Thai mother and Swedish father. After pursuing careers in music and business, she is now a model and volunteer, teaching English in non-profit foundation

Designed By: Polpat Asavaprapha

This stunner was designed by the creative director of Asava Thailand himself, and was definitely one of the most dramatic looks of the night! Her tulle cape and silver sequins contrasted beautifully against the gown's black fabric.

The gown on Maria Poonlertlarp:


Keysi Sayago's Evening Gown

Keysi is a certified mechanical engineer from Venezuela, having graduated from the National Experimental University of the Armed Forces.

Designed By: Alejandro Fajardo

Keysi wore a gorgeous white gown with a silver sequined bodice for her final walk, and if the gown is giving you bridal vibes, that's because it's originally a wedding gown! Oh, and costs a whopping P353,275.88.

The gown on Keysi Sayago:

Monalysa Alcantara's Evening Gown

This Brazilian beauty has been modeling since age 14 and studied both business administration and fashion in university

Designed By: Gloria Coelho

Upon first glance, this gown looks draped in roses and its textured detail brought that out beautifully! The rest of the gown is sheer, around the arms and waist.

The gown on Monalysa Alcantara:


Lauren Howe's Evening Gown

After representing Canada in Miss Universe 2017, Lauren Howe is now a sports host and vlogger. She also graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering

Designed by: Sherri Hill 

Lauren wore a Sherri Hill ball gown with a white A-line skirt and a silver textured bodice.

The gown on Lauren Howe:

Rachel Peters' Evening Gown

British-Filipina Rachel Peters is currently enjoying life as an entrepreneur in Siargao. She owns a coffee shop called Bake

Designed By: Val Taguba

Despite controversy surrounding the gown's image being leaked, Rachel still remained stunning in a silver form-fitting gown with a high slit, designed by Filipino designer Val Taguba.

The gown on Rachel Peters:


Sofia Del Prado's Evening Gown

The Miss Spain 2017 winner is also multilingual, speaking English, French, and German. She also graduated with a degree in International Relations.

Designed By: John Miranda

A Colombian designer was behind Sofia's final gown, and it was dubbed the "swan gown" because of its feather trimmings. 


The gown on Sofia Del Prado:

Kara McCullough's Evening Gown

Response to Kara was mixed throughout the competition, mostly praising her background as an emergency preparedness specialist in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, and criticizing her conservative answers (she once called herself an "equalist" and not a feminist).

Designed By: Sherri Hill

Although Kara's gown had intricate embroidery, its Mandarin collar and upper torso keyhole design accentuated Kara's figure perfectly! 

The gown on Kara McCullough:


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