• Stella Araneta’s prediction; Maxine’s ‘jaw-dropping’ gown; and the Almodal issue



    Binibining Pilipinas Charities head Stella Marquez Araneta proudly shared with In The Know this past week that she expects “her girl” Maxine Medina to win the Miss Universe crown come January 30.

    Colombia’s representative to the very same pageant in 1959, who the following year also became the first Miss International titleholder, gave her fearless prediction after witnessing Maxine’s transformation from a supermodel to a pageant queen. She added that the 26-year-old’s improvements have taken place on all fronts—from her confidence, to her Q&A skills, and of course, to her winning look.

    Zooming in on Maxine’s wardrobe for the pageant, In the Know spoke with Rhett Eala who designed her long gown entry. Rhett did not want to give away too much but he promised that it will be “jaw dropping.”

    Maxine Medina

    Maxine said she doesn’t mind that other Filipino designers will be dressing up candidates from other countries. This even as Mrs. Araneta had already said, “What if the other candidates’ dresses are better than Miss Philippines’? I would not like that.”

    Albert Andrada—who dressed Pia Wurtzbach during her Miss U stint and designated as head Filipino designer for this year’s Miss Universe functions—echoed Mrs. Araneta’s concern. He said, “If I cannot dress Miss Philippines from my country, then why should I dress other candidates?”

    Both Mrs. Araneta and Albert were of course referring to designer Leo Almodal who is being questioned by Filipino pageant fans online. Almodal will be dressing Miss Great Britain and Miss US Virgin Islands for the pageant, and apparently has two more inquiries from other Miss U candidates.

    In the Know got his side to explain and here’s what the now controversial designer had to say: “This is business. I do not want other Filipinos to get the wrong impression na sabi nila baka naglilibre ako, no. I charge them.”

    His gowns cost anywhere from $3,000 up, Miss Great Britain had commissioned him to make all her outfits for the ancillary functions and the pageant day itself.

    Almodal would love to dress our own candidates for free if he was chosen to “but the thing is, BPCI is assigning designers for the girls and I respect that.

    I would love to dress up Maxine of course and it a designer’s pride to dress your candidate in the competition. It’s kinda masakit sa dibdib but it’s out of my control I’m still hoping one day to dress up our candidates for free.”

    He also explained that since Janicel Lubina’s stint at Miss International 2015 where she won best in evening gown, his clientele abroad expanded. Almodal now dresses the candidates of Great Britain as well and is doing five more gowns for them.

    He hopes that instead of bashing him for dressing other candidates, kababa­yans could be proud that a Filipino talent is being highlighted internationally.

    Medina and Stella Marquez Araneta

    “It is also the pride of the Filipino fashion designer make a name outside the country. Kahit sino naman will always give their best.”

    GUESS WHO? This showbiz parent [SP] is getting on the nerves of some veteran and well-respected journalists. They love the SP’s superstar offspring but they did not expect SP to be so crass!

    One time, this diva of an SP showed his/her wrath when he/she called out a well-loved journalist online with a series of attacks, instead of confronting the latter in person, or on the phone at least. So unbecoming indeed.

    Until next week! Ta-ta!


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