Each year, fashion design students at Otis College of Art and Design are paired with industry mentors that guide them through the design process of one-of-a-kind garments. This year's mentors include two-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Albert Wolsky, couture designer Chris Chang (pictured above), Zaid Affas, David Meister, Claire Pettibone, Red Carter, as well as designers from Illia, Michi, Jessica Simpson, and Universal. The 2016-2017 collaborations will debut at the 35th Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show, honoring Claudia Cividino, CEO of Bally Americas and jewelry designer Daniela Villegas. The black-tie event will be held Saturday, May 6, 2017, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.
Under an overall theme of "Metamorphosis," each mentor challenged the students to create pieces based on the designer's individual aesthetic and expertise. Below are the ten projects that will hit the runway this May, join us for the live show and get your tickets now.
Renowned costume designer Albert Wolsky has spent four decades designing for stage and screen. A two-time Academy Award-winner, his iconic work can be seen in Grease, Manhattan, All That Jazz, Across the Universe, and Revolutionary Road. Wolsky has asked students to create a collection of ethereal evening gowns inspired by the enchanted world of fairies.
Chris Chang for Poesia
Shanghai-based designer Chris Chang ('87) creates clothing for fashion forward women. Known for vibrant colors and recreating the traditional, Chang has directed students to juxtapose avant-garde silhouettes and embroideries with the humble Indigo textiles from Nantong, China.
Los Angeles-based designer Zaid Affas is redefining modern luxury for men and women. For Affas’ project, students will address the needs of a creative professional with a collection of a luxurious travel-and-business separates.
Best known for his evening wear and couture red carpet dresses, David Meister has asked students to create modern feather-inspired cocktail dresses exploring proportion and transparency.
John Murrough for Illia
From their downtown L.A. studio, Illia designs for the modern Angeleno. Inspired by the textures, patterns, and craft of Tibet, students will design a sportswear collection for a nomadic lifestyle under the direction of mentor John Murrough.
Cory Casella for Jessica Simpson
The Jessica Simpson lifestyle brand is inspired by the music and style icon and includes clothing, accessories, products and more. Under Casella, students will develop a free- spirited swimwear collection for women and little girls inspired by Coachella.
Michelle Watson for Michi
Designer Michelle Watson has been creating edgy activewear since 2010. Watson has asked students to explore the distinctive colors and patterns of butterflies to create a collection of activewear and cover-ups based on the theme of “Metamorphosis.”
Enchanted by vintage aesthetics, Claire Pettibone is known for her ultra-feminine lingerie, bridal, and jewelry collections. For Pettibone ('89) students will create a romantic lingerie collection, using vintage laces and sustainable hemp fabrics.
Southern California native Red Carter (’92) puts a modern spin on iconic swim fashion. Carter will have students create a swimwear collection inspired by the cut – paper collages of Henri Matisse.
Marisol Gerona-Bradford for Universal
During the 1920s through the 1950s, Universal released a series of horror and science-fiction films that would forever change pop culture and inspire generations to come. Gerona-Bradford ('93) asked students to design a sportswear collection for the whole family, reinterpreting the iconic looks of six of Universal’s classic monsters.
Now in its 35th year, the Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show was founded by Elaine Goldsmith, Chair Emerita of the Board of Trustees at Otis College. The annual runway show and silent auction raise much-needed scholarship funding for Otis College students. The 2017 benefit event co-chairs are Shelley Reid and Cathy Louchheim. Tickets and additional information are available at www.otis.edu/sbs or by calling (310) 665-6858.
Photography: Christian Alvarez