How To: Pick a Winning Evening Gown

August 4th, 2014
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If you’re like me you’ve watched Miss Congeniality (a 2000 comedy film staring the ever candid Sandra Bullock as an FBI Special Agent undercover at the Miss USA beauty pageant) a bunch of times and laughed pretty hard along the way. “If only I had a brain”. I laughed then, and I still laugh now.

The whole looking perfect with the most glamourous hair and flawless skin on the planet, talking about a lifestyle that you lead which sounds like it belongs in a movie than attached to a real human. And how do they look so happy and float on air when they’re on stage? A few years working as a model and then working closely with a team of professionals in the lead up to my international competition saw me go through the same adjustments Sandra did…only I wasn’t so against brushing my hair to start with haha! It has been SO MUCH more rewarding to be a part of this pageant because the International system, based in the USA, is the only program in the world solely focused on the charity work and commitment to community from it’s country, regional and state title holders. Hard to digest sometimes when all you hear is ‘beauty pageant’ ;)

A little off topic though I have to throw it in: the uncanny correlation between the movie and the International Pageant I just returned from? Contestants filmed in their hotel rooms were shot at the Omni Hotel (in Austin, Texas), and my pageant was accommodated at the Omni Hotel (in Jacksonville, Florida). How’s that for a little bit of trivia!?

Ok, back on topic…

That Signature Dress

When it comes to pageants there is always an insurmountable effort put into selecting outfits and accessories. Rightly so given it’s a ‘beauty pageant’ though you’ll be surprised to know that, more often than not, a pageant is won in the interview room. The perfect garment gets you noticed; perfectly poised words cast by a confident & humble contestant will get you in the court (ie. Top 10, and Top 5).

Never before had an Australian delegate made the cut into the Top 15 at the International Pageants, this year held in Florida USA, and so it was ‘game on’ to see if I could break through the ceiling. One thing was certain - if I made Top 15, my interview would be the next phase of the competition (presenting my charity platform on stage during the International Finals through a series of impromptu questions).

For me it was far more important to have the conviction of my words resonate with the audience than to have the prettiest, fluffiest, most colourful, most blingy or the most expensive dress. I was fortunate to have my pageant coach and dear friend, Peter Sereno (better known as Australian Royalty HRH Dear Pageant Girl) hand pick my gown for me. This meant the stress of finding ‘the one'; the one that reflected my own style and personality, matched my skin tone (knowing I would have a bronzed summer glow of the spray tan variety - it’s the middle of winter here thank you very much!), the one that suited my height and body shape, and was unique enough to be a one of kind on stage. So vwaalaa - the signature Roxcii Evening Gown by Frida Deguise…the evening gown that helped me make history by placing the Top 5, and also taking out Best Evening Wear and Most Photogenic!! I am so incredibly HAPPY with that effort!!

My Competitive Image

Like a soccer team doesn’t purely rely on one player to kick a goal and single handedly win the game; a beauty queen does not achieve any kind of success without a team of people who helped her get there (print & social media; beauty, fashion, styling, photographic & fitness professionals; and family and friends). It’s true you’re the only one standing on stage when all is said and done, though win or lose, don’t be one of those ungrateful girls. Thanks, hugs and chocolate are due accordingly to my fabulous team:

- Kevin McKenzie Hair London for my year-round healthy luscious locks
- Cactus Skincare; creating the perfect canvas for the magic to happen
- Peter Sereno, Dear Pageant Girl. Your guidance, coaching and friendship has been invaluable
- 6 Weeks to Sexy - Blake & Luke, what would a girl do without you to maintain their summer sexy - mind & body!? Thank you for my 10 weeks of 5am starts with a figurative cattle prod to keep me in check at the gym, on the track, and at home in the kitchen
- Model Essentials: glamorous hair extensions by the one and only Becky Lamb! Use the code KATE25 at checkout for 20% off (winning)!

And in true stereotypical pageant form, I must also stand tall offering a queen wave and gracefully thank my parents for having me, proclaiming world peace *show of fingers indicating the international symbol of world peace.* Haha. Or something like that, right!? ;)

Make it memorable. Keep it real.
Kate x

Get to know Kate | #ChicNation + Mrs Australia International journey
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