O’prah at the Academy Awards: Designer Don O’Neill

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How It’s New York:  THEIA, Don O’Neill’s fashion line, is based in NY; he lives here when he’s not jetsetting around the world.
How It’s Irish:  Don is from Kerry!

Kerry born fashion designer Don O’Neill and his line of simple, gorgeous evening wear THEIA, has been in the spotlight before: Oprah Winfrey featured one of his dresses on the September cover of O, the Oprah Magazine, , and Nancy O’Dell, host of Entertainment Tonight, wore a beaded slip gown on the red carpet at the Golden Globes in January.

Well guess what?  Oprah wore her again, to the Academy Awards on Feb. 24th!  Kudos to Oprah for dearing to wear a gorgeous dress in public twice.   Don also dressed Irish nominated produce, Eimear O’Kane, one of the producers of Pentecost, a short Irish film nominated for an Academy Award (it didn’t win, but another Irish film did, The Shore, which you can see at the Craic Fest here in NYC Friday night!).

Check out Lucy Healy-Kelly’s piece from a few months back for more about Don!

We shot off a few questions to Don about dressing attendees at one of the most glam awards shows in the world!

NYIA:  What flashed through your mind when you saw your dress on TV? 
Sheer exhilaration .. especially to see Oprah for the first time that night up in the balcony , standing in acknowledgement of her Oscar, and received a standing ovation.
The eyes of all those movie stars on her, radiant a Golden THEIA gown, “My Gown” that I designed, on one of the most influential woman in the world, it was a show stopping moment that will live in my memory forever.

NYIA:  What was the WORST dress of the night?  
For me there is no such thing as worst dressed. No one sits at home and sets off to be worst dressed.
Every woman looks in the mirror and see’s pretty. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but why rob her of her moment, and label her in such a mean spirited way.
Why make someone feel bad, life is too short, and there are many other serious things wrong with the world.

There were dresses there that were not my cup of tea (Editor’s Note:  Which?  Which?)  and I so wish I could have swooped in like a fairy godfather and popped a few girls in to THEIA gown’s , but that wasn’t meant to be.

NYIA.  What was the BEST?

Oprah was in my opinion best dressed, followed by the lovely and radiant Eimear O’Kane.

NYIA:  You dress for women of all shapes and sizes– what would you do to hide Angelina Jolie’s scary skinny arms?

Eimear O’Kane

Angelina Jolie is a beautiful woman and she reflects the pressure and current Global trend that Hollywood stars need to be super skinny to appear somewhat normal on a camera that apparently adds 10 pounds. Angelina has worn beautiful gowns with sleeves to a lot of red carpet events and could have done so Sunday night.

NYIA:  If you could dress one Oscar nominee, who would it be?
I would liked to have dressed Viola Davis this year,  I loved her in The Help, I love what her character symbolized, I love that she is a very real , very beautiful woman and a wonderful role model.

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Copyright 2012 New York Irish Arts