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Oday Shakar is a finalist in Oscars Designer Challenge 2010

Feb '10
Oday Shakar's eponymous luxury handmade dress line has attracted national attention. The Orange County-born atelier designer created a line of ready to wear gowns that reflect his love of old Hollywood and celebrate the beauty that all women have by creating elegant silhouettes that accent women's curves.

“My biggest goal is to never become complacent and to always feel challenged”
The combination of Oday's talent and passion for creating gorgeous pieces designed to give women the confidence they deserve is evident in his dresses. He aims to make every woman feel beautiful, elegant and special when she steps into one of his creations, regardless of her age or size.

“To me, women are the inspiration for all beauty in the world. I design and create custom pieces for my clients in order to provide them with a unique experience,” says Oday. “My pieces are tailored to their figure and created based on their needs and desires. I live and breathe fashion; it is who I am as an artist and I feel fortunate everyday to be able to say I love what I do.”

Recently, Oday was chosen as one of 9 finalists who will compete for the public's votes in the nationwide Oscars Designer Challenge 2010, demonstrating that he truly is one of this year's up-and-coming designers. The winning designer will be revealed on the 82nd Academy Awards pre-show and the winning dress will be worn on stage by the model who brings Oscar statuettes onto the stage of the Kodak Theatre on Oscar Night.

The designer knew from the age of nine after spending some time in the Middle East that he wanted to become a fashion designer and fell in love with women's fashion through looking at beautiful old photographs of his mother. He remembered how fascinated he was with each detail on his mother's clothing from a simple stitch to an elaborate trim. As a young boy, he'd spend hours sketching, and by age 13, he was already taking extension classes at the University of California-Irvine.

His desire to be a designer was solidified during a trip to Lebanon, where Oday attended one of Elie Saab's fashion shows in Beirut. Shortly after, he began his design training in Lebanon, and by age 18 Oday had begun his journey into the Los Angeles fashion industry while studying at LA's Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). One of his proudest moments to date was when he was given the opportunity to debut the first pieces of his own collection at the Mercedes Benz charity event Fashion Forward Hits Beverly Hills during LA Fashion Week, in which Oday was touted as the youngest designer in the show at 21 years old.

After partnering with Sharon Chan, a close friend and admiring client, to produce his own line of beautiful garments, Oday was selected to show his designs at the Branded Fashion Show as part of Style Week OC this past September, a charity event in which Oday demonstrated that he is a true believer in giving back. At the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's 2009 Pink Tie Ball, Oday auctioned off two of his handmade gowns and at the sixth annual Beckstrand Cancer Foundation Diamond & Pearl Ball at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort three custom gowns were purchased with the proceeds going to charity. Causes funding cancer research are especially dear to Oday, as he battled and overcame thyroid cancer this past April and has numerous family members and friends affected by the disease, including his grandmother who passed away as a result of it.

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Pic: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

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