Calling All Fashionistas: Oscar Wants You!


The film academy is adding a "Project Runway" element to the Oscars this year by asking the public to vote on which dress the trophy presenter will wear.

The academy tapped seven emerging designers to create gowns for the competition. They unveiled their entries this week during the annual Oscar fashion show at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' headquarters.

Fans can vote online for their favorite gown until Feb. 17. The winner of "Oscars Designer Challenge" will be announced during the red-carpet show before the Feb. 22 Academy Awards.

Moire Conroy, Alan Del Rosario, Sam Kori George, Marianne Kooimans, Maria Pinto, Nicolas Putvinski and Robert Rodriguez each had about three weeks to design their dress.

Ampas2 Del Rosario, who already counts Michelle Pfeiffer and Debra Messing among his clients, said he was inspired by "old Hollywood glamor" when creating his strapless silk-and-lace mermaid gown.

Maria Pinto, famous for making Michelle Obama's Inauguration Day dress, called her Oscar entry "modern Marie Antoinette."

Putvinski cited New York City skyscrapers as the inspiration for his flowing white gown with folds of silver across the front. Rodriguez also chose white, looking to Grace Kelly as a muse for his silk Grecian column accented with an asymmetrical black strap.

Ampas3 Conroy was inspired by the '60s summer of love for her floaty gray chiffon design, while George was inspired by champagne, specifically the Taittinger girl, for his strapless silver crepe gown adorned with handmade orchids. Kooimans showed an intricately embroidered, one-shouldered dress dripping with antique diamond brooches.

Oscar-worthy gems decorated each of the dresses. Neil Lane, a red-carpet regular who has worked with Marisa Tomei and Angelina Jolie, said he expects vintage looks and subdued glamour at the Oscars this year.

Photos: Getty Images

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