The ideal pageant gown must complement the young lady’s personality by highlighting her best qualities for judges. She is painting her self-portrait for the panel. And, as any artist knows, a Rembrandt is different from a Rubens. Yet both are masterpieces.
A girl’s evening gown portrait should be her masterpiece – beautiful and individual. “When you are judging evening gown, you are judging her overall look,” says Debbie Brown, of Brides & Beauties, who dressed Miss USA 1994 and Miss America 1994 for evening gown competition. “You’re not judging whether you like her dress. You’re judging how this dress looks on her. Does it show her off well? Does it complement her personality? You are not judging the dress.”
Conveying the Right Message is Critical
Getting that message right is critical. To avoid sending mixed signals to judges a girl’s personality should influence the choice of gown.
“If you have someone who is a very confident, flamboyant personality, she can wear something that is flashier than a young woman who is demure,” explains Tricia Copelin, of Mississippi’s Custom Creations By Tricia. “Sometimes you have a girl who is bubbly, a cheerleader type, and other times you have a girl who is elegant, high-fashion, and sophisticated. You can look at them both in blue jeans and tell just from the way they look, the way they carry themselves, the way they act, what their personality is. The dress should reflect that.”
The most successful gowns perfectly suit the young woman’s personal style. “It’s got to be something that represents her,” explains Richard Guy, who coached six women to the Miss USA throne, “something that she can feel.”
Your evening gown is a portrait of your personal style. Make it a masterpiece.