Miss USA Erin Brady on Pageant Fashion: ‘It’s Definitely Modernizing’

Meghan Blalock

Beauty pageants aren’t exactly a hotbed for forecasting the next season’s big runway trends, but it is true that more and more pageant contestants (and winners!) are opting to forego the traditionally sparkly, sequin pageant dresses for more high-fashion runway (and sometimes, even couture) looks. Miss USA Erin Brady wore a custom-made Sherri Hill dress (a brand loved by celebrities like Selena Gomez, Bella Thorne, and more) for her big win last June (below), so she knows this better than anyone.

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“Pageant dresses are a lot of glitz, glam, and beading, and I think that’s great, but I love that runway is couture,” Brady told StyleCaster at the launch party for Richard Chai’s collaboration with leather designer Andrew Marc at Scoop in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. “You can stand out in a different way that catches somebody’s eye without having all the glitz and glam.”

“I’m actually happy to see that pageants are transitioning more into red carpet looks rather than that stereotypical pageant look,” she added. “It’s great to see that people are really looking at the styles and the different influences of each season and really trying to incorporate that into their looks more. It’s more couture and high-fashion, and it’s modernizing, which I think is great. It makes people look at pageants in a different light, and they get more attention from the fashion industry when they see things like that.”

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So will we be seeing more and more couture on the stage at events like Miss USA and Miss Universe? Brady tells StyleCaster that she loved many of the dresses from Zang Toi’s glamorous Fall 2014 lineup, so keep your eyes peeled come June when she hosts the big competition!

2013 Miss USA Competition - Show

Photo: Getty Images