Every year Otis College of Art and Design puts on a spectacular fashion show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to show off student work and to raise funds for scholarships. Otis alumni and families were invited to a dress rehearsal held the afternoon of the big event. As tickets for the evening benefit are in the hundreds of dollars I chose to pay $25 and attend the afternoon show. I was joined by fellow alumni, artist and fashion blogger Anne Bray of Spy Girl fame, (You can see one of her posts on the event here.) as well as well as my friend and former Barbie designer Sonia Hung, who now designs and sells jewelry through her company The Harbinger Co.
The fashion design students create all the work for the fashion show under the direction of various mentors who work in the fashion industry. Many of these people are Otis alumni themselves. Some of the companies that collaborated with Otis for this show included Anthropologie, Armani Exchange, Max Studio, Nike and Todd Oldham. Below are some of the outfits the senior class created under the direction of a designer from Armani Exchange.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The show started with work by the Junior class. During the third year of college all the students are required to create casual sportswear and bathing suits. I screamed out loud when the announcer called out the name of the mentor for the first collection. Red Carter and I went to school together and although we’ve since lost touch I have heard that he started a successful bathing suit line. For this collection he asked the students to design swimsuits and cover ups inspired by the spices of Morocco.
The next collection of bathing suits seems to have been inspired by Barbie.
My favorite collection of the show was this group created under the direction of a designer from Anthropologie. The theme was “Palm Springs in the 1950’s and 1960’s”. I found the clothes both wearable and whimsical. The prints were fantastic.
For the next collection the students created outfits from found objects, hardware and recycled clothing. It was one of the most creative, fun collections on the runway that day. I wish I had taken more photos. My favorite piece was this dress decorated with a multi-chain and key necklace.
The designs of the Senior class came next. As you can imagine their work is much more serious as these are the designs which will drive their portfolios and hopefully find them jobs in the fashion industry. As beautiful as the senior work was, I found it less exciting than the more creative junior class work. Still, I would love to wear the grey draped dress below, and there is something to be said for wearable design.
The finale was a performance by Circe de Soleil. Their costumes were inspired by crystals and designed by members of the senior class. The acrobats wore decorative unitards for the show and afterwards donned these fantastic coats for the last walk down the runway.
Finally the senior class made their bow to the audience.
It’s been a while since I attended a fashion show and it was great fun! Did you see anything you liked in the photos above? Which collection is your favorite?