Academy Announces “Oscars® Designer Challenge”
Online Voting to Determine Gown Worn on 81st Academy Awards® Show

Beverly Hills, CA — For the first time in its history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is inviting the public to vote on an element of its annual Oscar® Show telecast. In “Oscars Designer Challenge,” seven up-and-coming fashion designers are vying to have their original evening gown worn by one of the Awards escorts during the 81st Academy Awards on Sunday, February 22. Members of the fashion and entertainment press were introduced today (2/10) to the seven designers and their creations at a runway fashion show at the Academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters.

Oscar telecast producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon, along with Oscar fashion coordinator Patty Fox, selected the designers and paired them with Los Angeles-based models, one of whom will wear the public’s favorite gown while she brings Oscar statuettes onto the stage of the Kodak Theatre on Oscar Night®.

The designers participating in “Oscars Designer Challenge” are Moire Conroy, New York; Alan Del Rosario, Los Angeles; Sam Kori George, Chicago; Marianne Kooimans, Los Angeles; Maria Pinto, Chicago; Nicolas Putvinski, New York; and Robert Rodriguez, Los Angeles.

Public voting for “Oscars Designer Challenge” begins today at 3 p.m. PT at Oscar.com, the official Web site of the Academy Awards, where movie fans and fashion lovers will be able to see footage of the gowns and cast their vote. Anyone over the age of 18 can register to participate and will be eligible to vote once a day through 5 p.m. PT on February 17, 2009, when the voting period ends.

Beginning February, “Oscars Designer Challenge: Behind the Dress,” a web series documenting the competition will be on oscar.com. The winning design will be announced first during “Oscar’s Red Carpet 2009,” the live arrivals show that will air on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PT on February 22.

In addition to having his or her winning design worn on the live telecast, the winning designer will receive two tickets to attend the Oscars ceremony.

A team of expert hairstylists and makeup artists from Roy Teeluck Salon prepared the models for their high-fashion stroll down the runway today.

Diamonds courtesy of Diamond in the Rough, William Goldberg, Martin Katz, Neil Lane, Fred Leighton, Stephen Russell and Ivanka Trump provided the glitter for the runway show. Stuart Weitzman’s shoes completed the ensembles.

For more photos of the event click here.
©george leon photography 2009.

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