Coming soon! Meanwhile, follow this blog to subscribe!
Five years since watching the Miss USA pageant, this year’s edition saw the worst gowns during the finals night. Whoever their designers were, it’s a thumbs-down.
The sparkle was gone and the glamour was nowhere to be seen. There were few gowns that were able to keep the beauty of the evening gown competition as with the previous years’ Miss USA pageants, but there were undeniably more bad gowns ever seen in just one night.
These gowns looked as if the pageant was turned into a horror movie story, a Halloween party or a flopped costume party. Just bad, whoever the designers are these gowns are must be booted out immediately and get fired – by Donald Trump.
Worst Gown Top One: Worn by Miss Maryland USA Mamei Adjei
Sure, Mamei Adjei has got the right curves, she has the perfect jawline and her dark beauty is enough to let her deserve a fantastic gown. But what did she get? A long gown in full back with a hellish neckline of thorn-like designs that made her appear like a Disney villain. The designer made her wear a garbage bag, and this stunning lady from Maryland deserves more.
Worst Gown Top Two: Worn by Miss Nevada USA Brittany McGowan
An evening gown is already long that it needs to be so much comfortable and easy to walk into. When Miss Nevada USA Brittany McGowan walked on the stage, you can see how heavy and uncomfortable her gown was. Looking at these requirements, her gown earned zero over two. Did we mention that she tripped a little on stage? Brittany proved the fact the gown was hard to walk into right.
Many have thought that the metallic grey with all the embellishments and the highlight, which was the train made the cut. Unfortunately, it did not. The gown was trying to get the spotlight but it just couldn’t. The removable train was something new but come to think practicality. If the gown were to worn in formal functions, say a hotel, what will be the purpose that train meant to be removed? To be a blanket to cover you as you sleep in the venue?
The weight of the gown must have something to do with her failing to answer the final question with no hesitations.
Wost Gown Top Three: Worn by the winner, Miss Oklahoma USA Olivia Jordan
Olivia is 100% gorgeous but when she wore that bright, electrifying pink gown, we thought that maybe it was suited best for the Miss Teen USA pageant. Bright pink is something that designers must be careful to feature in such national pageant events because the color has the vibe of a bedtime lingerie as well as a childhood candy. The ruffles on the skirt were unnecessary too that made the whole piece seemingly half-baked.
Good thing she was beautiful and that made her win the crown.
Worst Gown Top Four: Worn by Miss Michigan USA Rashontae Wawrzyniak
Making a recall, her gown was white with laces, long-sleeve that opened wide at the hand area. The gown looked like a Spanish national costume so, why was it at the evening gown portion? The gown made this beautiful young woman look like 50 years older and more — not to mention that gown can also pass off as a house curtain.
Best Gown: Worn by Miss Hawaii USA Emma Wo
Just Wo (whoa)! Her gown, made by Sherri Hill embodied the brand of the Miss USA and the Miss Universe pageants. The simplicity without trying hard to be glamorous was there. The free-moving fabric got the crowd going, as if it was dancing in mid-air. Miss Hawaii USA 2015 looked as if she was dancing on stage, confident of her walk and that was how comfortable her gown was. Practicality as its finest.
Here’s how to join the mock online bidding for the 2015 Miss Philippines’ evening gown. Please read through the entire mechanics and rules to see how you can join, know the right way to make a bid, and know the disqualification rules.
There is absolutely NO real money involved in this mock online bidding.
Important Rule: Sharing and re-posting of this contest to other Pageant groups, other groups of any kind, to your profile page, to your blog, to other Facebook pages and other platforms that are excluded from the Facebook groups that will be specified later on WILL NOT BE ALLOWED NOR TOLERATED.
But you are allowed to invite friends to join this mock bidding only through private messages. Let’s play this mock bidding game for fun.
No discussions on the comment section, only mock bids.
To be qualified as an online mock bidder, you must be a member of the following recognized groups:
a. Pageant Talk Overload Official – PTOPII Reloaded
b. Pageant Talk Overload Philippines
Sharing this contest to other groups not mentioned above will not be allowed.
No representations and representing for other members are allowed. You may invite them to join the group should you want more support.
3. Designated Hashtags:
Pia Wurtzbach – #WearThisPia
Janicel Lubina – #WearThisJanicel
Rogelie Catacutan – #WearThisRogelie
Christi McGarry – #WearThisChristi
Ann Lorraine Colis – #WearThisAnnLorraine
Simply comment your bid with the following format:
[Name of 2015 Titleholder], [Amount of Mock Bid], [Week Number], [Designated Hashtag]
Rogelie Catacutan, PHP 100, Week 1, #WearThisRogelie
3. Important Rules
a. There will be three rounds of bidding, Week 1 to Week 3 starting July 4:
Week 1 – From July 4 to July 11
Week 2 – From July 11 to July 18
Week 3 – From July 18 to July 25
b. You are only allowed to place your bid once every week per titleholder. Meaning, you can place mock bids for all titleholders, for two titleholders only, for three titleholders only, for four titleholders only or for all five.
c. You can place different amount of bids per titleholder once per week.
d. Bid Amount Limitations
Each online mock bidder can place an amount that follows the following limitations:
Week 1 – Limited only from PHP 1 to PHP 1,000
Week 2 – From PHP 1 to PHP 5,000
Week 3 – From PHP 1 to PHP 10,000
Amounts that will exceed the limit for the week will totally be invalid and will not be counted in the final audit. Excessive number of bids per week will also be invalid. If, an online bidder places a bid more than the number of allowable bids per week or places a bid amount more than the allowable amount, all his or her bids will not be counted including his or her future bids.
e. The Announcement of The Winner
1. I will link an MS Excel file of the entire mock bid audit every time to bid round ends. Meaning, members of the groups will be able to see an MS Excel file detailing all the gathered mock bids for each titleholder, all the disqualifications and other matters.
2. The dates when which this file will be uploaded are only on July 12, July 19 and July 26.
3. Real-Time Mock Bid Counts and Updates. July 26 is a special Sunday for the members as they will see a live update of the bid count for the entire run of the contest. The live update can be seen on a thread in the two Facebook groups.
Again, members are not allowed to share this live mock bid count outside these two groups.
4. Admin Access. Only the admins of the two recognized groups can have the access to the mock bid count database whenever they need to see it. Admins may just send me a message for the database. But I will be making the audit only every Sunday.
Because admins can be able to expel members, add members and delete comments, can they delete comments and bids whenever they like?
Answer: Let’s work with honor and integrity. I will be counting the mock bids based on what has been made. It is up for these admins and for the online bidders to settle disputes regarding deleted bids, expelled members and the like.
I will begin auditing the bids entered for the entire week every Sunday at 6PM Philippine Time and will be uploading the results on the same day at 11 PM Philippine Time.
You can still bid while the count is ongoing. But remember that mock bids that have been made starting 6:01 PM Philippine Time on a Sunday will already be counted on the next audit.
5. Prizes. One winning bidder will randomly be selected using an online draw lot platform which will be organized. One winner will have free two (2) tickets to PETA’s Rak of Aegis play OR if the tickets will not be able, a free Starbucks cheesecake for two (2).
6. For questions and clarifications, please send an email to email@example.com
Let the online mock bidding begin! Who will wear that evening gown?
When the team reached the shores of Madasgascar where he now modestly lives, they found him sitting on a hammock located at the veranda of his humble home in the solitary island off the coast of mainland Africa. He was combing the hair of his four-year-old granddaughter who was wearing a red Hippeastrum over her right ear, it was one of Madagascar’s indigenous flowers. One of the team members waved her hand to say hello, and this father knew the interview scheduled via email weeks ago was about to start. He led the team to a nearby table in the veranda.
It was mid-afternoon in the lone island, the sun shining so bright forming shadows. But the story he shared was sun-kissed – by darkness.
“The death of fashion is imminent,” the 72-year-old former designer who now lives with his two daughters and five grandchildren said. “I don’t see fashion shows, and brands like Alexander McQueen, Prada, Gucci and even Versace being looked up to in the future.”
Choosing to remain anonymous, he himself had a share of fashion experiences before, starting as a sewer in a fashion house in Milan and eventually being able to feature his collections.
“Brands of McQueen, which I admired before, among with many others are not going to last long,” he said. “There is a new generation of buyers who find more value in technology, food, investing and other matters, but not fashion. The patrons of these high fashion brands are nearing their old age. One of my grandchildren, 12 years old, once asked me, ‘Who is Versace, grandpa?’ I just laughed it off, because she was born Italian but cannot even pronounce the brand, and I said, I just made the right decision of leaving the industry as early as I can.”
He further said that fashion shows are now losing their value, and that no matter how designers try to pick up on getting the sales up, “the road is sloping downwards.” When he left Milan almost five years ago, after paying recent visits to places like New York, Hong Kong and San Francisco, he said everything is different, seeing malls choosing to highlight brands for the younger generation more than the high fashion ones.
“I have been to this mall and true enough, there are hallways intended for high fashion brands and usually are almost empty because of being too expensive,” he said. “But now, I felt another kind of the emptiness around the shops. That people don’t recognize them anymore.”
When asked if magazines advertisements do not work to publicize the high fashion brands, he said, “Since I became familiar with Instagram, it’s now difficult.”
‘No value in fashion’
He painted a grim picture of recent fashion shows and described how some of the shows are now being run in derelict houses, old buildings and used warehouses.
“The glamour is losing its grip,” he said. “Because more and more people are now aware of dressing up themselves beautifully without getting inspiration from fashion shows, these shows are now of no value, like an old wooden pony ride now placed in the attic. They now prefer playing the game called Candy Crush.”
He cited the recent Gucci fashion show held in New York, which he found out via Twitter, and said the trademark of the Gucci brand built over the years can still be seen, but said that this is “not what people are looking for.”
“Today, wearing clothes has to be realistic. Gone are the days when we admire fashion because they are filled with fantasy. But have you asked yourself, ‘are we ever gonna see these clothes on the street?’ Never.”
He also answered questions on his thoughts of high fashion reaching the leading economies such as Dubai and China, as Vogue’s Anna Wintour is reported to have her eyes on the Chinese market.
“Value is the important thing here,” he bravely pointed out. “The people in these places are known to have so much disposable income. How much of a burden is to buy a Gucci dress and a pair of high heels? That’s when high fashion becomes a thing that deserves a space at the flea market.”
Fashion’s dirty laundry
This former designer started his clothing line because of his father, who was given a scholarship to study in a prestigious fashion school in New York back in the 1930s. He wanted to continue the family’s tradition in the industry.
“I became a designer mainly because it is a family tradition, my father wanted me to go on and I was also interested in it,” he said. “But the times before are different from now, and so I chose to live a better life.”
There was a long pause and some moments of silence after he said this. By that time, his wife, 70, served some local fish and peanuts on the table. He chewed on a couple of grains before continuing.
“Fashion thrives on sophistication and more often than not, inauthentic class which is far from reality,” he explained. “Prostitution exists in the fashion world. I have witnessed it myself and I hope the world will look into this. My son was 17 when he started modelling and I gave him much independence that I trusted him to know his way. He lived far from where I lived, as he lived much of his life in London. But one day he told me, ‘Papa, I’ve had enough. I also want to begin a family and I don’t think I can make this dream come true if I remain just a model.”
The team saw the former designer shed a tear. His son modeled and became part of photoshoots under famous underwear brands in Europe.
“This was the turning point when I decided I needed to give up this passion,” he said, his voice cracking.
Now, his son lives happily with his wife and their only daughter in a US state.
“One of the reasons why I can see the death of fashion coming is because the dreams made by high fashion are now coming alive, and when they do, that’s when the essence of fashion stops,” he said. “Many of my dreams have now come to reality, which gives me no reason to create more designs from fabric mostly sewn by those we treat as slaves. I hope the world wakes up with me. And I am happy to finally retire to a place where beauty is not skin-deep. And I love seeing my granddaughter wear something from H&M.”
BY JON LINDLEY CELESTIAL-AGUSTIN
NEW YORK CITY, U.S.A – In a press conference held earlier with finance experts and analysts around the world, economists bravely pointed out that the recession earlier reported in Japan is “only a fabrication for the country’s brighter future.”
“The reported recession few days ago is merely a fabrication, it’s unreal,” one economist said. “Japan is a country known for having it’s own language and closing its doors from foreigners since time immemorial. Remember the Dutch colonists?”
Early in Japan’s history, the country, under “shogunates” and powerful empires, shut down its doors from foreigners in preparation for a long-term prosperity and wealth.
“Prosperity did happen,” the economist added. “Get back on your history books.”
The 2014 Japanese recession and decade-long debt, the economist further said, are “tests for many wonderful things to come.”
The press conference also noted that Japan has enjoyed economic prosperity, with minor setbacks and depressions, since then. It enjoys its third spot as one of the world’s largest economies, overtaken by the China and United States currently in the highest place.
“A recession in a wealthy Asian nation like Japan is crazy,” he said. “When I heard about it, I giggled. For a nation that has hosted many sporting events such as the Olympics, it’s impossible.”
He strongly said that the Japanese recession reported days back is “just a strategy aimed at controlling demand for Japan’s major plans for the future.”
The country’s major plans include automobiles, technology, food, and hosting various sporting events once again.
“If PM Shinzo Abe will only be honest. Many people are tired of surprises but Japan always loves to create many of these. I suddenly remembered the surprise one gets in a bento box,” he bemused, followed by short laughter from the crowd.
All because of China
The press conference also further said that Japan, along with other nations such as the United States, are working towards chasing the “undeniable prosperity” experienced by China now.
“While China may have outrun other countries in terms of purchasing power,” he said, “it is an economic impulse for other nations to create something out of these demands. That’s what many are doing — trying to keep up with China’s pace.”
Few years ago, analysts have predicted the growing economy of China, and how it could be the world’s largest economy, while journalists have created a negative interpretation of this phenomenon.
“We can’t let this happen, who wants to?” the economist quipped. “We know how China has run their nation and has created social policies that are people-oppressive, for their economic growth. It has to fix its political and social system.”
Russia, Brazil’s meltdown are also unreal
“Like Japan, Brazil and Russia are confident and poised enough to create something out of the growing demand,” he said. “The recession and meltdowns felt in these countries are clearly just masks to hide their beautiful future plans.”
According to many reports, Russia is currently on the verge of an economic meltdown because of the lowering oil prices, that also affects Germany and other European Union nations, having their leaders declare economic slow down, if not recessions.
“Think about this, why do cars slow down? A trip along a higher altitude is one reason,” he said.
He further added that Brazil is nearly impossible to spiral down the line, having hosted billion-dollar-worth of football games and having to host the 2016 Olympics.
“They’ve been unveiling venues, mascots and more,” the economist said. “If they are indeed in a meltdown, why bother to spend more on teasers. And they’re just teasers.”
The press conference, nonetheless, assured the rest of the globe that recessions and lowering of interest rates in banks as “economic boosting strategies” in preparation for the coming years are “impact-less techniques.”
“Others may start thinking of the best stimulus and strategies to further boost economies and create more emerging markets,” the economist said. “But these unreal recessions are just the genius ways.”
Call it another false alarm in the China-overtaking-the-U.S. saga. Notwithstanding the latest estimates from the International Monetary Fund, the U.S., the world’s largest economy is still, well, numero uno.
China’s gross domestic product will climb to $17.6 trillion this year, while the U.S. grows to $17.4 trillion, IMF projections showed yesterday. One major caveat: the comparison is based on purchasing power parity, which uses exchange rates that adjust for price differences of the same goods between nations.
“The U.S. remains the biggest by the more common, more widely accepted and in our view, more useful measure,” said David Hensley, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s director of global economic coordination in New York. As for PPP, “it’s not quite the real thing.”
The PPP, used to differentiate how far money goes in each country, hardly reflects where the two nations currently stand vis-à-vis each other. Consider this: in 2013, U.S. GDP was at $16.8 trillion, way ahead of China’s $9.24 trillion before adjusting for inflation, which is the more commonly known measure of an economy’s size, World Bank figures show.
By looking at a PPP comparison, especially for developing nations, “you really exaggerate the importance of these economies,” because it misses the command that each has over the world’s resources and its influence over global activity, Hensley said. A preoccupation with this “competition or foot-race” captures little of the reversal in fortunes under way, he said.
Reversal of Fortune
“Emerging market economies had their day in the sun in the 2000s, and China was the epitome of those go-go days,” he said, as growth forecasts were often revised up, policies were aimed at boosting their economies and their markets offered a lot of potential. “Developed economies by comparison looked pretty stodgy,” said Hensley.
“The view we encounter now is a more sobering reassessment,” he said, adding that he prefers projections based on market exchange rates. “The U.S. has cleaned up its act. China still has a lot of work to do.”
Adjusted for population, China falls way behind even using the PPP data, and the U.S. is also no longer the king of the world. China ranks 86th in PPP GDP per capita, up 29 spots from a decade ago, while the U.S. slips one notch to 10th, according to Bloomberg calculations based on IMF data. The top three by this metric are Qatar, Luxembourg and Singapore.
“I don’t see why the U.S. can’t make everyday breakthroughs,” says a billionaire, “They’re better at sports.”
From afar, they look like cute little hedgehogs stored inside a glass fridge. Passing through the shops, these delicacies are usually caged inside glasses and presented to customers as is — light-colored, small circular cakes lined together in rows.
They are increasingly becoming quite popular nowadays in shopping malls. But unaware passersby, with their presentation, would normally ignore them and get on with their lives. For one, who would spend around PHP 75.00 per small piece of the cakes seeing it so plain on the outside?
But one night, I tried to buy a couple of the cakes that the native Japanese call “mochi cakes.” I have to admit I loved the pastry from the first bite.
Mochi cakes are Japanese rice cakes made from glutinous rice, the same ingredient that makes up a round of tikoy, for the Chinese.
They are among those delicacies that look innocent on the outside, but are unwittingly much tastier on the inside. Mochis are filled with unexpected tastes, that many first-timers would think they are served hot but from the first bite, they are cold heaven.
Mochi cakes are made of rice on the outside but are filled with different flavors inside. They come in different flavors such as pumpkin, butter, mango, strawberry, and chocolate. There are also other recipes that fill them with apricot, maple and soy beans.
I visited the store called Mochi Cream Cafe in Quezon City to try out how they taste like. This shop and other similar stores have opened branches in many cities around the world including Shanghai, New York, Kuala Lumpur and in Manila.
Like the Chinese tradition of eating rice cakes, mochi cakes are consumed during New Year rituals and ceremonies in Japan. They are also used as toppings for soups during celebrations, as well as ice creams that children enjoy around Japanese villages.
I tried three pieces of mochi cakes on my first visit and ordered a ceremonial matcha tea. The tea went well with the mochis and I got the prepare the ceremonial tea by myself as well.
The ceremonial matcha tea served to me was complete with a ceremonial bowl, not a cup; a bamboo whisk; a bamboo stirrer; and a black heavy tea kettle that is far from the traditional looks of Chinese tea materials.
Matcha, on the other hand, is a tea powder, not leaves, that are often used in rituals and ceremonies performed by Japanese monks.
The tea became a perfect pair for my mochi cakes that night, with a few spaces between drinking the tea and taking a bite, because of the contrasting temperatures of the hot tea and the cold cakes.
I might have been a little earlier for the Japanese new year but with these mochi cafes hanging just around the corner, we can celebrate the goodness of New Year, all-year round.