When you think of "pageant dresses," poufy, overworked gowns with a smattering of sequins may come to mind. But that's not how it always has to be.
Case in point: Miss USA winner Nia Sanchez. The 24-year-old Miss Nevada blew us away with her red, mermaid-style number designed by Michael Costello that she wore as she was crowned Miss USA 2014. It's everything a pageant dress should be.
The crimson curve hugging gown totally gives us some Jessica Rabbit vibes, and it's so figure flattering—although Nia would look stunning in a bolt of burlap (she's a fourth-degree black belt, people!).
We caught up with the designer himself, Michael Costello, and he exclusively revealed all the behind-the-scenes scoop on Nia's winning look.
"We had to keep that dress top secret," explained Michael. Originally Nia tried the dress on in a different color. "I said we have to do this in red, it would be everything, yes we must do this in red."
After deciding on the dress, Michael had a few tailoring tweaks to make, so he had to FedEx the dress to Nia to make sure it got to her in time. "We shipped it to Nia in Baton Rouge," said Michael. "I remember walking to FedEx, and I was so nervous it wouldn't get to her. I was so afraid. She texted me when she got it, and said, yay it fits her perfectly!"
And here's the cherry on top of the sundae: You can buy this exact dress! Michael posted a pic of Nia in his dress on Instagram with the caption, "CONGRATULATIONS to my beautiful friend @missnvusa2014 Nia Sanchez who won last night @missusa... I am so happy for you. You deserve it. I had a feeling lol!"
And he added, "This dress is available to order by emailing MICHAEL@MTCOSTELLO.COM it is available in every color you can dream of. And we ship worldwide. Yup I had to throw that in :)"
So, if you've got a "Gorgeous Dress Fund" that you want to break into, we've got just the gown.
—Reporting by Lindsey Caldwell
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