All photos above are courtesy of Stylish Eve. Visit their page on Facebook by clicking on any part of the collage.
Taste, aesthetics and creativity. Short of sounding like Project Runway’s Nina Garcia, these are the three parameters I consider crucial in building a most desirable wardrobe for our beauty queens. Cost is definitely a given, but any budget can be intelligently maximized for as long as the people involved have the keen eye for pageant styling. And combined with a representative who has good fashion sense, then I’m sure she will stand out without really trying. But with BPCI, we’ve all grown tired of Cumbia, Bb. Pilipinas Boutique and Alfredo Barraza. Sadly, getting rid of them is easier said than done.
Mafae Yunon in her alleged Versace gown with killer heels during the finals of MW2003.
Now, a fab wardrobe example harks me back to 2003 when Mafae Yunon-Belasco wore the Philippine sash in Miss World. The host city was tropical-ish Sanya. But with all the chilly city pitstops along the way, she brought an assortment of tasteful clothes, footwear and accessories that adapted well to either cold or sunny weather. Her presentation during the finals (see left photo) was particularly memorable, as her complete look created quite a stir in pageant circles. It’s just a pity she competed against top bet Rosanna Davidson at the time.
We have to remember, however, that Mafae utilized all resources possible to insure that she competed with the best of gowns, cocktail dresses, bags, shoes, etc. And with the gracious help of all family members & relatives from the Philippines, USA and Australia, they were able to assemble a fashionable wardrobe without having to spend an arm and a leg. Combined with what BPCI prepared, she enjoyed the luxury of choice. And that privilege doesn’t happen to everyone.
Let’s go back to what I stated earlier about BPCI still stuck with Barraza and Cumbia. Convenience is part and parcel of everything. But it doesn’t stop there. One of the more crucial segments is the actual transporting of the wardrobe to the end destination. We all know that the reps carry a big portion of the wardrobe in their luggages. And there are also several times when the more delicate gowns or competition pieces are airlifted separately. This is where it can get tricky as lost or misdirected baggage/s can cause major problems to the candidate and BPCI. And just imagine the ‘what-ifs’ should the suitcases contain creations from several named fashion designers who have lent their precious masterpieces for free. It sounds pain-free to resolve at this point, but not when you’re in the middle of it. And believe me, such travel woes are not rarities, but usual occurrences.
Case in point is the red Michael Cinco gown worn by Queenie Rehman in Miss World 2012. Jonas Gaffud and Mark Besana literally handcarried the expensive outfit from Manila-to-Beijing-to-Ordos for fear of possibly losing the same in checked transit. And with the two layovers and transfers in between, the chances are high that it could happen. It was unnecessary stress but precautions are of utmost importance.
Alfredo Barraza: love him or love him less?
By now, you should already have a clearer idea of where the importance of having “full control” over the wardrobe lies for BPCI. Some might say that it’s a non-issue at all, and that for love of country, every possible measure should be used to make sure that our candidates wear the best possible designs for the international pageant. As I’ve stated earlier, though, there are things easier said than done. Once the smart-aleck in all of us gets to experience the continuous
difficulty of wardrobe building and transporting, the realization starts to sting like a swarm of bees in the heat of summer. And that’s when the existence of Cumbia, Bb. Pilipinas Boutique and Alfredo Barraza come in handy. Their outputs may not be the best everytime, but at least something can be done to modify and improve without rocking the cradle too much.