Hollywood Filipino fashion designer OLIVER TOLENTINO was the choice of Lincoln co-star GLORIA REUBEN at the 2013 Academy Awards last Sunday in Los Angeles. The actress of the Oscar-nominated film chose a dark purple silk organza mermaid gown with hand-draped bodice in contrasting shades of deep purple and dark violet, featuring a skirt with hand-made rosette cut-outs in matching shades of purple.
Reuben plays Elizabeth Keckley in the film that received 12 nominations, including Best Film. Her character was a real historical figure who bought her freedom from slavery and became Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal dressmaker and confidante, and eventual author of an autobiography that included her days in the White House.
Reuben has a lengthy acting career including stints on popular television shows ER, Law & Order: SVU, and The Agency. Additionally, the multitalented actress is a singer (served as backup singer for Tina Turner in 2000), won theater’s prestigious Lucille Lortel Best Actress Award for her portrayal of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the play Stuff Happens, and was chosen among the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by PEOPLE magazine in 1996.
“It was an honor to dress the woman who played the First Lady’s dressmaker during the Lincoln presidency,” commented Tolentino. “Gloria is such a nice person and talented actress, and I’m happy she chose my gown,” added the designer.
According to Tolentino, the gown was meant to be. “There were racks and racks of gowns by designers when I was asked to meet with Gloria. She put mine on and after she took one look in the mirror, she said she had found her gown. I was so flattered. The skirt alone took 1 month with the handmade cut-outs, so I’m very proud of the gown,” recounts the designer.
The night before, actress NEVE CAMPBELL wore Tolentino’s electric blue silk brocade midi cocktail dress with peplum to the Weinstein & Chopard Oscars party held at the exclusive SoHo House. Campbell is best known for her starring roles in the Scream movie franchise and TV’s Party of Five.
The Oscars concludes a successful awards season for Tolentino with about a dozen of his outfits worn on various red carpets, including 5 on American television shows. His outfits also appeared in PEOPLE, US Weekly, InTouch, Life & Style, and OK magazines, as well as the New York Daily News and New York Post’s coveted Page Six.
Tolentino maintains boutiques in Manila and Los Angeles. For more information visit: www.OliverTolentino.com.