Hill Fashion Designer Donates Dresses to ‘Belle of the Ball’

April 5, 2011
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Beacon Hill fashion designer Cibeline Sariano (center) drops off dresses that were donated by local residents for Belle of the Ball. Receiving the dresses at Anton’s Cleaners at 37 Charles St. are store manager Katie Solari (left) and Anton’s Executive Vice President Arthur Anton Jr. Cibeline also donated 30 dresses from her personal collection.

As one of Boston’s premier  fashion designers, Cibeline Sariano has designed dresses for the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, the Emmys and just about every other red-carpet event. She has seen the proud look of the rich and famous that has showcased her fashion creations.

Sariano will see that look once again when she donates 30 gowns from her personal collection to the “Belle of the Ball” boutique on April 16 in Boston. But this time those pleased looks will come from a completely different, and perhaps far more appreciative audience.

Sponsored by Anton’s Cleaners and now in its seventh year, the “Belle of the Ball” gives more than 350 high school girls the opportunity to choose a free gown so they can attend their prom. The donated gowns are cleaned without charge by Anton’s Cleaners and put on display at the boutique, where high school girls who have been referred by their high school guidance counselors and social service agencies get to choose a prom dress, as well as jewelry and shoes.

Sariano is now in her 10th year as a fashion designer and third as the owner of the boutique, located at 120 Charles St.

She credits her parents and grandparents for helping to develop her talent, which lead her to study fashion design at Syracuse University. Since then, she has launched a career that has taken her around the world to Hong Kong, Italy and New York, where she has collaborated with several world-renowned designers, including Calvin Klein, Richard Tyler and Liz Claiborne.

But rubbing well-dressed elbows with the giants of the fashion world has never dimmed her desire to help out those less fortunate in her own city. And when Sariano learned what Belle of the Ball means each year to hundreds of girls who would otherwise miss their prom because they can’t afford to buy a prom dress, she immediately stepped forward. She recently opened her Beacon Hill boutique as a drop-off for Beacon Hill residents who wanted to donate their own gowns, and then made the decision to donate 30 dresses from her personal collection, valued at over $10,000.

“I donated dresses that I felt were age appropriate and with a style I knew these girls would feel good wearing,” Sariano said. “I think they will find these styles very exciting, especially when they unzip the dresses and see that all the linings are a vibrant pop color, which is my signature.”

And if donating dresses wasn’t enough, Sariano will also be at the Belle of the Ball boutique, where she has volunteered as a seamstress to make sure the gowns the girls select, whether her own dresses or others, fit just right.

“I am excited to be part of this great cause,” Sariano said. “I look forward to using what others have taught me over the years to help these young women look their very best on prom night.”

Cibeline Sariano is online at cibelinesariano.com. For more information on Belle of the Ball, visit www.antons.com/belle.

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