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Miss Universe TT and the Red Parang Dress

Feels so good to be behind my laptop again!

I went to Trinidad mid- Miss Universe scandal, and left my freaking lap top charger in New York! Luckily I had the #ramlinson2017 wedding and Jin Forde’s Birthday weekend to keep me distracted, but boy have my hands been itching.

From the get-go, the Miss Universe TT story, well the shit-show, spiked on my attention radar. I know the Trinidad and Tobago delegate, Yvee Clarke, from her shopping on the NMFV online store. She’s a sweet, polite, professional woman, and I like her very much. The poor girl has found herself in one of the most outrageous, and doltish-est debacles of Trinbago beauty queen history- and we have had many. Actually, what is it with beauty queen drama? Anya and the sex tape, Sarah Jane and the mason jar, and who could forget the concern over Wendy and her pregnancy while unwed?! Ah, the horror. (Insert side eye emoji here for all the judgie wudgies)

Firstly, let me say how much I loathe beauty pageants. Like, what is the point? I know someone is going to send me a long and passionate email about how these women bring attention to causes like Cancer etc, but please save it. Bikini competitions need not be included for medical research. I cannot understand how in 2017- one of the woke-est periods of history, we are rating women on a stage for posture and gait. Gross. But by the looks of all the delegates this year, seems like I’m not the only one who has no time to invest in the charade. The girls look… well they look like they’re on their own sans stylist, coach and fairy godmother.

The Yvee drama started way before she even won. I usually scroll quickly past anything to do with Miss anything, (refer to previous paragraph) but when one of my NMFV writers, the hilarious drama magnet Ian Royer posted some repulsive messages he received after going public with some questionable inner workings at Miss Universe TT, I had to pause for a sec.  It would appear that the local franchise holder, Jenny Douglas, has some issues. Psychologically. Ian got some nasssssty messages which talked of sodomy (yes, I used a Biblical term on NMFV. The apocalypse is nigh.) and all sorts of other threats because he expressed his unease over the fees that the hopeful delegates were asked to pay.

Then Yvee won, and social media trolls went to town on her saying she was ugly. Ah yes, sweet humans; pots, kettles and tawas. The comments were atrocious to say the least. I had a huge problem with them. I could imagine the characters hunched over their keypads, grinding their teeth with their phones held close to their faces, typing ferociously about all their self-hate, and putting Yvee’s name in there instead. Get some help. Truly. If you feel the need to go on social media to berate someone based on their appearance, I urge you to look within yourself and see if there is something missing. I’m not saying not to have opinions. Everyone doesn’t like their tea the same way. Yvee mightn’t be your cup, but it is the need to be publicly hurtful that signals trouble in your soul.

Thennnn, Miss Universe TT suddenly and shockingly drops Yvee’s title because she allegedly broke the contract by making them look bad to the media. And if that wasn’t comedy enough, Faye Ann Lyons Alvarez takes Yvee under the wing of her memorable wide rimmed hat, and acts as her sponsor/manager or something. This story was getting good, (and by good I mean bad) very fast. I watched the press conference as Faye Ann rubbed Yvee’s back to console her. Yvee wearing Jin Forde Business wear, and matching lipstick. It would seem Jenny Douglas, had no grounds to strip the title and pass it on to that other lady whose name I don’t remember (did I ever know it?). Also, did anyone notice that the same single picture of Jenny is used over and over, while phone conversations with her are played as a voice over? Is she even a real person?

The story is long and messy. Yvee got back the crown. I shit you not. This is real life. It involves something with an old black dress, no funding from government and my point of this entire blogpost– that Yvee has been wrangling her own wardrobe by approaching designers herself. Dónde ésta her stylist?

The latest controversy is over Yvee’s looks. What the frock? Seriously. From the background story of sponsorlessness (oh yeah, Faye Ann buss out) I guess they have no budget to pay me, or any other stylist who doesn’t work for free anymore, but let this be a lesson to EVERYONE, that fashion stylists are one of the most important ingredients in media soup. The stylist would not just be putting looks together, or selecting the most impactful and suitable dresses for the occasion. The stylist would have been the wardrobe wrangler, establishing deals with designers. The stylist is the on-the-ground person for all things image. The stylist designs the look- collaborating with the glam team to come up with a cohesive and sensible final image. But no, stylists are always shafted, and now poor Yvee is in Vegas looking like Miss Daisy in what is now being referred to as the Red Parang Dress. We all know now where Daisy gone. She gone to Vegas.

That little flamingo clutch is really upsetting me. It does not belong on this look. I cannoth.

Now is the dress bad? That is a subjective matter. The designer even came out to defend his design. Why would you do that? Now we know the dress is recycled and has been worn already. Also, now we know that the “Designer” is a student and this dress was a school project. That doesn’t make it better. That is the best Trinbago can do? We, who are talking about diversifying from oil into fashion? We have a school student’s homework on the national representative in a competition about appearance and glamour? I cry. As a fashion stylist, I see purpose in almost every garment. I won’t say it is a bad dress. I would say it was a poor choice. The proportions are not working on Yvee. The skirt needs to be pressed. Her hair and makeup look old (can we stop doing buns all together? Buns are so Republic Bank Teller circa 1995). The dress is already reminiscent of an Amish parandero, why not do something ultra modern and fierce with hair and makeup? I didn’t even really pay attention to the accessories, but I’m going to guess it was inspired by the Golden Girls as well. I cannot blame Yvee for her looks. She is not a stylist. Style and fashion have to do more with an overall look, than with the garment alone. You ever went shopping, say after the gym, and tried on clothes with no makeup on, hair in a mess and you have on a granny panty and a sports bra? It could be the best dress ever, and you would hate how it looked. Try on the same dress with hot hair and a beat face, some Spanx and a push up bra– boom, Beyoncé. That is Styling people. S T Y L I N G. Pretty clothes do not a stylist make. Styling is a vision for a complete look, relevant to place and person.

All these women look like they are going to a different event. God Bless Canada, for showing up after a hard day teaching Primary school. And well, good old Trinbago just came from milking a cow out on the pasture Rowley wants to tame back into a golf course.


This Shawn Dhanraj look is the best we have seen on her so far

Another cool look spoiled with a bun platform pumps and a dated collar.

Now some of the garments are actually quite good.  The Shawn Dhanraj piece is Miss Universe quality for sure. But as I said just now, it’s not about the garment alone. In every look, her hair is dated, and she is wearing platform pumps. Please put platform pumps in the same box with buns, and mail it to someone who cares. I get that she wants to do red, black and white in every look, but OLJ (That stands for Oh Lord Jesus; an acronym my friend Natika types to me regularly when we discuss the state of our lives) can we desist with the tacky crystal drop earrings and cheesy “poised” posing? You’re representing a country famous for Carnival and pepper sauce. A place with women with big bumpers and music about freedom and wildness. We are surrounded by lush mountains and have rivers pouring from every wall. We have orgies of venomous snakes and mangroves crawling with crabs. Trinbago is a place with energy and vibrance. Why do we repeatedly have our representatives looking like they’re going to the funeral of a gay priest?

Did I say I hate pageants?

(If Yvee actually is working with a stylist, I apologise if this offended you. But the styling is wack.)

1 Comment

  1. KMS

    November 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I agree. Trinidad and Tobago is a beautiful country, full of energy and vibes. Yet they choose to showcase the dull side of the rainbow. Poor styling for sure.


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