Photos by: Troi Santos

Beverly Hills-based Filipino fashion designer Oliver Tolentino participated in 2 shows at New York Fashion Week last week.

In the first show, Tolentino dressed actress Danica McKellar when she walked in the American Heart Association’s Red Dress Collection show that annually kicks off the first night of NYFW.   McKellar, an actress who is seen regularly in movies on Hallmark, is best known for her role as “Winnie Cooper” in 1980’s TV show The Wonder Years.  The actress was among 22 celebrities to strut the runway to raise funds for the prevention of heart disease in women.

Padma Lakshmi hosted the event, which was held at the Manhattan Center.  Celebrities to walk included Lakshmi, Eve, Susan Lucci, Bo Derek, Sherri Shepherd, the Bella Twins, Brooke Burke, Ashleigh Murray, and Rosanna Arquette.

Annually, one designer is paired with one celebrity to dress her in a red gown.  Lea Salonga wore a Tolentino gown last year.  For this year, the designer dressed McKellar in a nude tulle mermaid gown that was intricately decorated in geometric patterns of red silk strips.  McKellar mentioned on social media that the dress was edgier than she usually wears, but it was a hit.  The Daily Mail UK newspaper reported the next day that she looked “fabulous” in it.

In the second show, Tolentino presented an eco collection at NYFW’s Sustainable Fashion Day hosted by Planet Fashion TV.  The designer presented mostly piña (pineapple fabric) pieces, some mixed with abaca and Manila hemp.  Tolentino explained the fabrics to the crowd on a guest panel before his show.  Most in the audience had never seen piña before.  They were impressed how designer could turn eco fabrics into couture pieces.

Tolentino displayed brightly colored hand-dyed outfits in yellow, pink, blue, red, green, and purple.  Some looks had manipulated bustiers, peplums, and skirts.  Some were accented with hand-painted flowers, floral sunbursts, beads, lace, and feathers.  The designer closed his show with a long piña gown covered in intricate calado.