The next big wedding gown designer may be working right here on Long Island--we have two (out of 25) local finalists in Brides magazine’s Operation Dream Dress contest.

Among the 25 contenders are Jillian Ryan, 23, from East Northport, who first studied fashion at Northport High and graduated from FIT in 2008, and Lauren Ann Williams, 20, of Garden City, who studied fashion at Barry Tech in Westbury while at Garden City High and is now an apparel design junior at the Rhode Island School of Design.

The theme of this year’s contest is cutting-edge classic, which Ryan interpreted with Grecian draping and today’s popular mermaid silhouette. The dress has a provocative cutout on the right side and nude netting with rhinestones that, she says, “gives the illusion that the bride is sparkling.” Williams’ halter design has layers of pleating, gathered at the bottom in a way that makes you think of a modern day Eliza Doolittle. She says the dress is “a combination of what I would want for my own wedding dress and of what I think many other women would look for.”

Both women are hoping for your vote, which you can cast by going to through next Wednesday, July 21. The stakes are high, indeed--the winner gets $10,000, and the dress will be featured on the December cover of Brides and will be produced for David’s Bridal stores where you can buy it this coming November.

We have fingers crossed, ladies.