In 2009, Missosology was swamped with a lot of questions particularly on who designed the gown of Stefania Fernandez. The red number with feathery plumes on the skirt was designed to give the Miss Universe 2009 a classic look. What most people don’t know is that the designer of Stefania’s gown is the very same designer that created Dayana Mendoza’s yellow gown. That’s when the fame of Venezuela designer Gionni Straccia began to shot up in the pageantry world.


Gionni’s plan was to create interesting gowns that evoke the Venezuelan flag. That explains Dayana’s yellow, Stefania’s red and Marelisa’s blue. By 2013, Gionni tried to outdo himself by bringing in large Swarovski crystals which are meant to awe the general public at Miss Universe. Unfortunately, it did not work on Ma. Gabriela who struggled to carry the 15 kilo baggage.


The year 2013 is the year of another Venezuelan designer named Alejandro Fajardo. He is responsible for the gown used by Miss Earth 2013 Alyz Henrich and Miss Universe 2013 Ma. Gabriela Isler. He is known for his sequined creations and loves to splash large stones across the clothing canvass as in the case of his gown worn by Miss Dominican Republic Marriane Cruz at the Miss Universe 2008 finals.

Alejandro Fajardo


Alejandro’s creation for Ma. Gabriela is an intricate sequined gown and it stood out for being the only dress on the Top 5 with sleeves. Because of Ma. Gabriela’s height, the gown was simply a standout with its silver color shining brightly onstage. Meanwhile, the blonde ombré in Alyz Henrich’s gown is paired with sequined bodice in a figure hugging cut with generous slit on the right leg. The neckline was also very revealing and reminds us all of Olivia Culpo’s red Miss Universe gown.


Interestingly, both Alyz and Ma. Gabriela used Gionni Straccia’s creations at the preliminaries. While the latter struggled, Alyz shone as she bagged the gold medal in gown competition.


Another fashion designer who became a big hit in 2013 is the Francis Libiran, an internationally acclaimed Filipino couturier. Francis is responsible for creating the coral-inspired, salmon pink-colored gown of Miss World 2013 Megan Young. The designer is known for his attention to details and it is of no wonder that the beading in the gown which resembles sea corals took countless of hours to finish. The color was basically chosen with Miss World in Libiran’s mind. He wanted Megan to project the aura of sweetness.

Francis Libiran

Among the 2013 Big4 queen gowns, the most mysterious of all is the one worn by Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago. The red beaded gown was purportedly brought in a New York boutique but not even Bea Rose knows the origins of the gown. Some suggested it could be a Halston gown as the overall design is reminiscent to the one worn by Miriam Quiambao at Miss Universe 1999. (And while the Filipinos love to bash the Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza, they must be reminded that Miriam’s gown was beaded by the designer which gave Miriam a more elegant look). Whoever is that mysterious designer, the gown of Bea Rose brought out the best in her. Her figure was divine and she looks fantastically elegant and red is definitely her color.


As the year 2014 is about to open in the pageantry world, it is indeed exciting to imagine on who among the great designers will shine. Will Straccia wow us again or will it be another Fajardo. Will Libiran make another fabulous creation? Or another designer will take the spotlight? Or perhaps another mysterious gown will simply wow us all.