Chicagoan wins Oscars Design Challenge

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Tim Gunn wasn't the only nod to "Project Runway" at Sunday's Oscars. The show also featured a behind-the-scenes competition for dress designers. And a Chicago boy won it!

Gold Coast fixture Sam Kori George won the Oscars Designer Challenge, voted online among 200 contestants, and that was his dress worn by model Lauren Gish during the show and up and down the red carpet.

Finalists included another Chicagoan, Maria Pinto, plus Alan Del Rosario, Marianne Kooimans, Nicolas Putvinski, Robert Rodriguez and School of the Art Institute grad Moire Conroy.

George has said he was inspired by Champagne -- specifically the Taittinger girl -- for his strapless silver crepe gown adorned with handmade orchids.

He told Crain's it's no surprise a designer from Chicago won the public's vote. "We're a city that's moving up [in fashion]," he said.

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Model Lauren Gish (left) wears a platinum crepe lame strapless gown with hand made orchid by designer Sam Kori George (right) on Feb. 10 at the Oscar Designer Challenge, an up-and-coming fashion designers competition to determine a gown worn at the Oscars. (AP file photos)

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