How a little black Oscars dress went green
Valentina Delfino, Missi Pyle and Birgit Muller pose during a fitting.
February 26th, 2012
04:30 PM ET

How a little black Oscars dress went green

Of all the outfits that will be worn on the Oscars red carpet Sunday, the one Missi Pyle will be wearing may arguably become one of the most influential. That's because the chic little number could set a new eco-friendly trend.

The gown is the winner of the third annual Red Carpet Green Dress design contest, a competition dreamed up by Suzy Amis Cameron (the wife of "Avatar" and "Titanic" director James Cameron), an ardent environmentalist.

Pyle, who co-stars in the best picture nominee “The Artist,” told CNN she committed to wearing the gown even before seeing the finished version.

“There are so few clothing options that are eco-friendly, and [manufacturing] has a huge impact on our environment,” she said at a fitting the day before the Oscars.  “I’m so excited to be going on the red carpet in this gown!”

The dress was made with so-called “cruelty-free silk,” meaning the worms that spun the material were not killed in the process of harvesting their silk.  A natural mineral dye was used to tint the silk green.

Suzy Amis Cameron wore the first winning design from the Red Carpet Green Dress contest to the 2010 Oscars (the year her husband’s film “Avatar” was nominated). She told CNN people don’t realize what goes into making typical garments because, she claims, “The way they are milled and the way they are dyed is really toxic.”

Valentina Delfino, a student of fashion design in Miami, submitted the winning design, and Emmy-winning designer Birgit Muller mentored Delfino and supervised the creation of the dress.

The statuesque Pyle, who measures over six feet in heels, makes an ideal model.

“She’s been a good sport,” Muller said at the Saturday fitting. “We couldn’t have asked for a better person.”

Pyle, Cameron, Muller and Valentina drank a champagne toast to their collaboration. Then it was time for some last minute adjustments, to make the gown even more stunning.

Muller said “[We’re] taking it in in the back for more of a fantastic goddess shape.”


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