Otis College of Art and Design Presents L.A.’s Largest Annual Fashion Show
By Lesley McKenzie
In a runway presentation that easily rivals the level of talent shown at Los Angeles Fashion Week, juniors and graduating seniors of Otis College of Art and Design created more than 100 looks for a black-tie crowd at the 33rd annual Otis Scholarship and Benefit Show in Beverly Hills on Saturday night.
The event also feted three California born-and-bred designers as the evening’s honorees, including Carlos Alberini, CEO of Lucky Brand, and Gary Schoenfeld, CEO of PacSun. Trina Turk, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs (where she recently debuted a second area boutique inside The Parker Palm Springs), was awarded with the 2015 Otis Fashion Innovation Award.
“It’s actually exciting because its our 20th year in business and I’ve been a mentor for Otis for at least five or six years,” said Turk, who wore a floor-length zebra-printed gown from her holiday 2015 collection for the affair. ‘When they told me I was getting this award, I thought it was both timely and exciting.”
Turk, along with Joe McCarty of Lane Bryant and designers from the likes of Urban Outfitters, Anne Cole swimwear, PacSun and Roxy, were among those who offered guidance to the Otis students as they put together their creations for the evening, the theme for which was ”A Celebration of Water.” With hair by Vidal Sassoon and makeup by Napoleon Perdis, more than 55 models paraded down the runway before a rapt audience that included Bruce W. Ferguson, the president-elect of Otis College of Art and Design, and Quicksilver founder Bob McKnight, who received a surprise tribute from Volcom, Billabong and Reef executives.
Also on hand for the festivities was legendary fashion designer Bob Mackie, who earned the title Sultan of Sequins for the glamorous looks he has created throughout his career for everyone from Cher to Judy Garland to Whitney Houston.
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"I work with the kids while we’re [preparing for the show]. It's always surprising how it comes out,” said Mackie, who has mentored Otis students since the early 1980s. “I’m always impressed with the level of the students and what they do. They work so hard, they’re really trained in a wonderful way.
And the one piece of advice Mackie always gives the young up-and-coming designers? “Nothing is too hard,” he said.