Style Crush: Alyssa Campanella

Style Crush: Alyssa Campanella
(Photos by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images NA)

In case you missed last Sunday's Miss USA 2012 presentation, there's a new pageant queen in town, Olivia Culpo (pictured above right), and she hails from the great state of Rhode Island, holds tight to the phrase "it's a free country," has no problem with transgender contestants and plays the cello dammit, which has to count for something.

We'd be remiss not to note that some (ahem, Miss Pennsylvania) seem to think the contest was fixed—so you can add "scandalous" to Culpo's already impressive bio. But as exciting and controversial as Culpo is, our attention keeps returning to outgoing Miss USA Alyssa Campanella (the woman who crowned said firestarter), or more specifically, to her wardrobe.

Let's start with her opening offer, modeled at this year's contest: a classically draped frock with a mega-structured shoulder, the cinched-at-the-waist ivory number feels an awful lot like what Helen of Troy may have worn to the Met Ball. Meanwhile, the neckline has a vigilante-gone-couture sensibility, with a hint of Native American chief thrown in. Impressive.

Now, to the main event: the glittering leaf–emblazoned floor-sweeper Campanella wore to pass the crown. In pageant-land, hers was the Pippa to Culpo's Kate; the dazzling "who me?" scene-stealer, accessorized with poise that comes from being gazed upon round-the-clock for a year, and elegance befitting a royal. It was a shimmering, life-of-its-own affair, and it gave that iconic, almost blinding crown a serious run for its money. 

But the best part is that Campanella's fashion reign doesn't stop at the stage: from It-Girl-worthy corseted minis to Old Hollywood-goes-Vegas sequined gowns, to resort-ready aquamarine sheaths, she really does it all, and with anti-mannequin panache. Now just think of what she'll do without that restrictive sash slowing her down.

Style Crush: Alyssa Campanella
(Photos by FameFlynetPictures and PacificCoastNews)