Filipino-made Gown worn during Oscars
16 March 2010

Filipino talent has once again gained international recognition and admiration.

Filipino fashion designer Oliver Tolentino was one of the nine finalists of the Oscars Design Challenge 2010 sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Oscars Design Challenge is a competition wherein nine fashion designers are tasked to design a dress to be worn by an onstage statuette handler, commonly known as a “trophy girl”, during the Academy Awards ceremony.

The winning design, chosen by online voting, and designer were revealed last March 7, 2010 (March 8, 2010 in the Philippines) during the Official Academy Awards Red Carpet Pre-Show. The winning designer’s assigned model wore the gown and became one of the onstage statuette handlers during the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony held at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, USA.

Tolentino’s entry was a mermaid gown made from ivory piña (pineapple fabric) and abaca fiber with freshwater pearl detail.

In the end, it was the gown made by Lebanse designer Raina Sabili that was hailed as the winner of the annual Designer Challenge. Even though Tolentino’s gown did not garner the highest online votes, one of his works was worn by Judy Cairo, producer of the movie “Crazy Heart” during the 82nd Academy Awards night.

According to his online biography, Mr. Tolentino, a native of Orani, Bataan, became the first ever Philippines-based fashion designer to expand into the United States when he opened a Los Angeles boutique in 2009.

Prior to opening his shop in Melrose Avenue, Mr. Tolentino already had secured a place in the Philippines by designing gowns for the elite, including socialites, celebrities, and government officials at the highest levels. These include Lani Misalucha, Kuh Ledesma, Regine Velasquez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Pops Fernandez, and even former First Lady Imelda Marcos. He has also dressed international Filipino talents Arnel Pineda, lead singer of Journey, and Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, cast of Disney Channel Original Movie “Camp Rock” and 2009 remake of the movie “Fame”.

His website showcases his runway, Filipiniana, and bridal collection, among others.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . thanks the following sources for this article: Behind the Dress Episode 6.
Retrieved March 9, 2010 from

Nepales, Ruben, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Pinoy designer is Oscar bet
(Posted February 25, 2010) Retrieved March 2, 2010 from

Chavez, Yong, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau. Filipino designer needs votes to show off dress in Oscars
(Posted February 25, 2010) Retrieved March 2, 2010 from

Asian Journal. Oliver Tolentino, finalist in Oscars’ Designer Challenge 2010
(Posted February 28, 2010) Retrieved March 2, 2010 from

Oscars Design Challenge 2010 Official Website. Oscar Fashion Design Competition Official Rules. Retrieved March 2, 2010 from