#MANicMondays: Hotness Overload of Okkar Min Maung

Mister Tourism World 2016 Okkar Min Maung has mastered taking insanely hot selfies and these photos are proof of it. He surely knows how to sizzle…




The hunk from Myanmar will be turning over his title in his homeland later this December. 

The Tough BBP Wardrobe Lessons of 2014

2014 will perhaps come down in Philippine pageant history as the turning point of the wardrobes for Binibining Pilipinas winners. After a very dismal wardrobe choices in 2014, the year coming after it saw a veritable change in styles that gave BPCI two crowns including the much coveted Miss Universe.

One of the biggest disappointments in terms of outfits of 2014 was the horrendous Panagbenga costume of Mary Jean Lastimosa in Doral for Miss Universe. The costume was designed by Colombian Alfredo Barazza which drew flak online. It was the topic of a thousand memes online that lambasted how poorly inspired the costume was. And when it came for the gown, it was actually a nice one but was terribly wrong for MJ’s curvy figure. Termed as ‘damit pangkasal’, the gown was a disappointment in comparison to the pink Leo Almodal that MJ wore during the final dress rehearsals.

Another terrible competition wardrobe was that given to Binibining Pilipinas International Bianca Guidotti, who was made to wear a not-so-flattering tulle confection for her evening gown. It didn’t made her look regal nor elegant. The gown looked like a mishmash of two separate gowns with its plunging V-neck bodice and full tulle skirt. Not to mention the very bland national costume she was given which was added with a make-shift malong. The saving grace of the ensemble are the headpiece by designer Edwin Uy and the apir fans.

Let’s not forget Yvethe Santiago’s full-on recycled wardrobe. Her talent costume was a Pitoy Moreno original worn by Kristine Florendo in 1997, her national costume was a gown added with butterfly sleeves worn by Bea Rose Santiago for her welcome parade in 2013, and her evening gown was the farewell gown of Bea in Bb. Pilipinas 2014. She was vying for a tough back-to-back challenge but was given a not so updated wardrobe.

Despite this major set-back, Binibining Pilipinas was able to bounce back a year later when it allowed Filipino designers to make national costumes and evening gowns for Filipina queens. 2015 saw the change that Filipino fans were clamoring for quite sometime. And BPCI was all the better for it…

Planning the Perfect Pageant Wardrobe Pt.2

By now you have an idea on your personal style. You know what works for you and your body type. It is now time to prepare for the type of clothes that you would be needing for your competition.
This post covers the most basic outfit items you need to plan out. It is probably not the most extensive list as some pageants require additional outfits for talent, preliminaries, outdoor activities, etc…

The Interview Outfit
In some pageants, the close-door interviews accounts for the biggest chunk of your preliminary scores. It is wise to make a good lasting impression during the interviews. Which makes the outfit you wear all the more important. Your interview outfit has to communicate you as a person. But it should be treated like interviewing like a job as this is exactly like a job interview. So make sure you do select the appropriate outfit and accessory: not too over bling-y, not too sexy or revealing, not too colorful, not too drab either. You are not required to wear a blazer. A dress or dressed-up separates would do. Prepare a couple of outfits just in case that there would be two separate interview sessions.
The Evening Gown
You might want to prepare at least 4-5 evening gowns for international pageants. Separate them by those that we call the “competition gown” versus the evening gown that you may be required to wear during the welcome dinner or a fancy party like the Governor’s Ball or the Charity Gala. What is a competition gown you say? The competition gown is usually the gown that has the ‘wow factor’ on stage. They are typically embellished or create movement… or they simply are the ones that would make the wearer get noticed during the evening gown competition.
The Swimsuit
Your swimsuit option should be made based on your body type. Some two piece bikinis are only flattering to a narrow range of body types, so you have to know what works for you. In cases where you can choose from a wide array of swimsuit styles, try to choose one that is monochromatic and doesn’t have a lot of patterns or prints so as it does not distract from the wearer.

The National Costume
Most international pageants require a national costume to be included in their wardrobe requirements. Most local pageants do not require this however. To really get the most out of your national costume, try to do research with your designer on the type of costume you want to wear. Try to make it authentic to your country. But you can be creative and over-the-top for this if you want.
Daily Wardrobe
This is the most difficult portion of the wardrobe to prepare because of the number of outfits you have to prepare. Try to get a picture of how many days there are in the pageant and that is the minimum number of day outfits you need to have. This number does not include rehearsal outfits, interview outfits, gowns and the like. So you need to know how much dresses vis-à-vis separates do you need to bring.
Rehearsal Outfits
Rehearsals are part of your pageant activities so you might want to come in prepared for this. While there is no clear-cut rules on what to wear, you might want to consider an option that is both comfortable and stylish. You want to be comfortable in rehearsals, but you can do that and still look like you are fashionably on point. Try to do research on sportswear brands (sportswear doesn’t necessarily mean athletic wear brands like Nike or Adidas) and imagine how they would fit to the activity.

Not all pageants have the same personalities and preparing outfits for the competition proper should include consideration on the activities you will be having. Each of your outfit should communicate something about you. Each outfit should offer a glimpse of your personality and taste. They say clothes makes the man, hence you should take into consideration how your clothes affect how you feel about yourself and how people see you in them.
In the end of the day your clothes should always enhance you and you should never wear anything that overpowers you or those that are not in sync with your personal style. Your clothes should reflect you, the best version of you…

Planning the Perfect Pageant Wardrobe Pt.1

How do you plan for your perfect pageant wardrobe? This is obviously something that all pageant girls have to think of. It may not be simple as you think but we can help out the planning stage to get into your best pageant wardrobe.

When planning for pageants, keep in mind that this is not your usual day-to-day outfit planning. This is a bit trickier than that. You have to know what you want and what image you want the world to know through your wardrobe. Most people do not necessary think about this but your pageant wardrobe should be a tool to communicate yourself to the world. It should be able to speak something about you without you having to verbalize it.
You have to consider carefully the following points before shopping for clothes.
1. Personal Brand/ Image – before discussing your personal style, you have to think first about your personal brand or the personal image. Are you: strong, empowered, confident… or empathetic, soft, approachable… or classy, sophisticated, reserved…or edgy, fun, energetic? You have to know who you are inside-out. Your personal brand should be true to your personality. You have to amplify this on your pageant wardrobe because it is one way of getting yourself noticed.
Your personal brand should be consistent in all aspects. Because this is the building blocks of how your wardrobe should be. This will dictate the fabric, color, silhouette and embellishments that your pageant wardrobe will be.

2. Body Type & Skin Tone – crucial to your wardrobe is figuring out your body type. You really need to assess whether you are top or bottom heavy, an apple shape, or an inverted triangle. You need to figure out if you have a long torso with short legs or wide hips with small bust. Because if your body is not the ideal proportions, you should use your wardrobe to make you look taller, leaner and stylish. Use fashion to create the image of a fuller bust, leaner legs, smaller waist, etc… You also need to know your skin tone because honestly no one skin color can pull off all colors. Blue, the most flattering color for all skin types, have hundreds of shades that will look differently on different skin color. Not all whites can flatter every complexion…warm whites have different effect as optic whites on a variety of skin types.
So, pageant girls you really have to invest time on pre-planning your wardrobes. Dress according to your body type to minimize your flaws and maximize your assets. This is where a good image consultant/ stylist slash friend can come in handy.
3. Personal Style – your personal style will be defined by combining your personal brand with consideration for your body type…because every wardrobe decision would have to be consistent with your brand. This makes building up your wardrobe easy, because you can easily put in those that reflect your image or the image you want to project. Once you have streamlined what pieces you would want to include in your wardrobe, it would be easy to tie them all up with accessories (earrings, belts, neck-pieces, arm bands and bracelets, shoes, bags, etc…) that complement your style. This would entail investing on pieces that you can use and re-use in varying mix-and-matches to keep your over-all look always adhering to your personal brand.

One of the most common mistake in planning pageant wardrobes is that pageant girls jump immediately to the selection of the gowns, national costumes and the dresses. This would only result to an incoherent personal style. Try to build your wardrobe by working on your personal brand and style to achieve a consistent look throughout the pageant proper.
Part 2 of this 2-part blogpost focuses on the items you need to think and plan for.

Nostalgia: The Pineapple Filipiniana Costume

One of the most heavily criticized national costumes that a Filipina beauty queen wore to a national pageant was the Pineapple Filipiniana costume worn by Carla Gay Balingit (to Miss Universe) and Precious Lara Quigaman (in Miss International).

The national costume was a creation by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza. 

In retrospect, the costume wasn’t bad as we all thought. It poked a little bit of fun with its literal interpretation of the piña fabric from pineapple fibers that the traditional Filipino costumes are made from. It was festive, it was out of the box and perhaps too ahead of its time. After all it was only in 2015 when we were all surprised by a tuktuk national costume from Thailand.

#PhotoCollageoftheDay: Brett Stratton

Today’s #MANicMondays post is a throwback to the hunky Oceania Federation rep to the inaugural Mister Universal Ambassador competition in 2015. Brett Stratton, a Rugby player, was named 1st runner up to winner Christian Daniel Ortiz of Puerto Rico.




#FashionFridays: Haute Couture National Costumes

Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week has finished last July but Sashes&Scripts still has a couture hangover. With couture pieces costing about US$100,000++ for a fully embellished one, we scoured the net for ones that can be used as national costumes. These pieces below are from the world’s best fashion designers like John Galliano, Oscar dela Renta, Balmain, Donatella Versace, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Will you be willing to shell out at least US$100,000 for one of these?

Balmain (left), Oscar dela Renta (right)
Dolce & Gabanna Alta Moda (left), Versace (right)
Jean Paul Gaultier (left), Roberto Cavalli (right)
Jean Paul Gaultier
John Galliano for Dior
John Galliano for Dior
John Galliano for Dior