Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Filipino fashion designer is an Oscar winner

By Yong B. Chavez
No, he didn't bring home one of those golden trophies - Alexis Monsanto's Oscars triumph has to do with the fabulous gown he made for Kimberly Roberts, the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Trouble the Water". The Katrina disaster docu-film was produced by Danny Glover.

On Oscar day, we were with the charming designer inside the Beverly Hills Four Seasons hotel room as he was dressing Roberts. An NBC crew was also in the room documenting the preparations of the group. It was a tad chaotic, but Monsanto was all-smiles.

His sunny attitude helped him when he got the call that he was to make the dress in three days.

"It wasn't a problem - I thrive on challenges," he said. True enough, there was no trace of rush in the final product, a queenly silk-chiffon and French lace gown in gunmetal gray.

"I'm so happy with my dress...I wouldn't let anyone else do my Oscars dress but Alexis," Roberts said.

Later on, Monsanto's creation graced the red carpet when Kimberly and Scott Roberts and Danny Glover were at the TV Guide post:

Back at the hotel, Monsanto, a former medicine student, said that making an Oscars dress was an impossible dream for him when he was growing up in Cebu. Nonetheless, he never gave up on it. When he moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago, he met so many challenges ("You have no idea. It was tough."), but he persevered.

Slowly, he worked his way up and now he has become well-known in celeb fashion circles, scoring design jobs for the likes of Drew Barrymore and Felicity Huffman.

Last year, his label, Alexis Monsanto/Los Angeles had a major show called "Ano XV" which celebrated his success thus far.

With his dress gracing the Oscars red carpet, he got the cherry on top of his sweet life:

"The dream has come true right now," he said. "But this is just the beginning."
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Anonymous said...

That's riiiiiight. Red carpet watch out!

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