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Oliver Tolentino returns as 1st Filipino in 53 years to dress winner at the Academy Awards

Posted On 2014 Apr 03
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Gloria Reuben with Oliver Tolentino in his gown before the 2013 OSCARS (pic courtesy of designer)

Gloria Reuben with Oliver Tolentino in his gown before the 2013 OSCARS (pic courtesy of designer)

Fresh off A-Lister Jessica Alba wearing his piña cocktail dress in a Redbook magazine photo shoot, Hollywood fashion designer Oliver Tolentino arrived back in the Philippines last week with a new achievement to his credit.

Most Filipinos know that Bobby Lopez became the first Filipino to win an Oscar, but not everyone knows that when Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee won her Oscar for Best Animated Film and took the stage in her Oliver Tolentino gown, both the winner and designer entered the history books.

The first female director of any Disney animated feature film, Lee joined the very small list of female directors to win an Oscar.  Additionally, she is now the female director with the highest-grossing film (live or animated) of all time, as Frozenworldwide revenues hit $1 billion last weekend to become the highest-grossing animated film ever.

And when Lee walked up on stage to collect her Oscar in his black textured velvet mermaid gown with hand-beaded lace top, accented with Swarovski crystals, Tolentino became the first Filipino designer in 53 years to dress a winner at an Academy Awards.  The only other Filipino designer to do it was Pitoy Moreno when he dressed Rita Moreno in 1961.

“I’m so honored to be a part of Oscar and Filipino history,” Tolentino reports.  “Growing up in Orani, Bataan, I would watch the Oscars with my mother and dream of dressing Hollywood stars one day, but when you’re a kid in the province so far from Hollywood, it seems like a crazy dream to have,” admits the designer.  He adds, “To dress a winner on Oscar night is rare, so I’m thrilled and humbled at the same time.”

More of Oliver’s “crazy” Hollywood dreams came true in the months-long awards season that just concluded with the Oscars.

It began when two nominees, Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress Mayim Bialik and Outstanding Choreographer Allison Holker, wore his gowns to the Emmys.

Next, Kat Dennings (Two Broke Girls) hosted the People’s Choice Awards in his dress.  She appeared in the gown for half the show before another outfit change.

Then, Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Julie Delpy (Before Midnight) wore 2 of his dresses to events, HAL SPARKS (Queer As Folk, Lab Rats) wore a tux to Emcee The Satellite Awards, and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Brooke Burke, Kristin Cavallari, Jamie Chung, Aisha Tyler (The Talk), Xosha Roquemore (The Mindy Project), and Becca Tobin (Glee) all wore his dresses to various events.  Jackie Cruz (Orange Is The New Black) wore his gown in a magazine shoot, and Candace Cameron-Bure (Dancing With The Stars) wore his dress to a movie premiere last month.  Many of these dresses were featured in international magazines.

Tolentino is back in the Philippines for the month to work out of his Makati boutique with his bridal and custom-made clientele.  For more information visit:  www.OliverTolentino.com, email: LA@olivertolentino.com, or call (02) 856-7088.

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