The Emmys last week officially marked the start of Awards Season— and with that, luxury designer name-dropping. After watching all the Red Carpet recaps last week, we realized there was one designer’s name that we kept hearing over and over again: Oliver Tolentino. And after doing a little research on the new designer, not only are we impressed with his resumé that is already sprinkled with big-name celebrities, but his unconventional approach to luxury women’s fashion is intriguing, as well.
Tolentino, a native of the Philippines, got his start in the province of Bataan, where he was raised. Known in his area as “the Valentino of the Philippines,” it’s no surprise how far he has come since his humble beginnings. The designer took his seemingly natural-born talent to the United States just three years ago, when he opened his main atelier in West Hollywood. Since then, Tolentino has participated in the Oscars Designer Challenge in 2010 and won several awards.
But perhaps what has gained the designer the most attention, especially in the forward-thinking Hollywood community, is his specialization in eco-friendly fabrics. Tolentino develops and incorporates materials from his native country to bring an even more unique element to his creations. Pineapple fibers, abaca plant fibers, water lily leaves, capiz shells, jute and raw silk cocoon are among some of the materials that help make up the fabrics in Tolentino’s masterpieces. His expertise in this field has made him an advisor to other designers both in his native country and in the U.S.
These days Tolentino is busy creating couture, ready to wear, and bridal collections out of his boutique on Melrose Drive. He has also recently served as a designer to the stars, creating strong silhouettes and feminine detailing that reference old Hollywood glamour. Tolentino’s looks are fresh and exotic, and we’ve already seen a number of celebrities wear his creations this season. Emmys events saw several Oliver Tolentino masterpieces— Maria Menounos, who served as Extra’s Red Carpet host, looked stunning as she worked in a gorgeous indigo Tolentino gown made from piña. It was the winner of three Tolentino ensembles that she publicly asked fans to choose by casting their votes on Facebook.
Actress Melissa Rauch also wore a Tolentino dress to the same event. She chose a couture Venus-cut gown in emerald green made from silk chiffon. The one-shoulder stunner featured a hand-draped bodice and a flowy skirt. Just days before, Rauch wore a vibrant violet Tolentino cocktail dress in the same material to Entertainment Weekly Magazine’s Emmys party. That dress sported a sweetheart neckline and a draped bodice. The fast-rising designer has also dressed Anna Paquin, Emmy Rossum, Giuliana Rancic, and even Cee Lo Green— and we have a feeling we’ll be seeing much more of him in the future.
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