Leather isn't just for biker babes anymore

DOWNEY - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science began a search for America's most talented designers, and on Feb. 23, the Academy revealed the looks created by these fabulous artists.Nine designers were selected and the challenge was set to create an evening gown to be worn at the 2010 Academy Awards. And you have the chance to vote for your favorite at Oscar.com. For several weeks these nine designers have been working around the clock to put their hearts and souls into these dresses, and today their efforts paid off. It marked the showcase of their designs and the fashion and entertainment press was able to view their works of art as well as speak with the designers. For Teen Life of Style experts Brittney, Erika and myself, the day started off with interviews with the designers and getting their feedback on their experience. We were able to see their dresses and get a closer look into the fashion world. For some of these designers who have been sewing since they were 10, this was a dream come true. I got a chance to talk with a few of these up and coming artists and get a feel for some trends that will be hitting the streets this spring, but more importantly, this Oscar season. One designer in particular Phoenix native, Rania Salibi, took a very unconventional approach to this challenge. Her inspiration was very edgy and sophisticated with a hint of innovation and her gown displayed just this. Rania Salibi's gown was a black laser cut leather dress with a draped skirt. Although it doesn't sound that elegant, let me tell you, it really is. The dress personifies Rania's fun, sophisticated character and was a big crowd pleaser. Not only did this dress take a lot of ingenuity, but several hours to hand craft the leather worn on this gown. It is definitely a different look than what we are used to, but this gown has a beautiful eye-catching quality to it that none of the other designers were able to capture. Watching this dress take shape down the runway was a work of art. As the model, Jenna strolled down the catwalk the dress hugged her body in all the right places and accentuated the elegant female frame. To choose your favorite design, simply log on to Oscar.com by March 1 and vote for the gown you would like to see on stage at the Academy Awards The winning gown will be worn by the designer's model as she brings the Oscar statuette on stage. The designer will also receive two tickets to attend the Oscar ceremony, March 7 at 5 p.m. on ABC. Be sure to tune in to the Academy Award show to see if your dress was chosen. Francesca Baldi is a member of the Teen Life of Style Crew representing Stonewood, Lakewood and Cerritos Centers.

********** Published: February 26, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 45