The Otis College of Art and Design Fashion Show

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?

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16 Responses to The Otis College of Art and Design Fashion Show

  1. Sylvia
    May 12, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Fun! I think the colourful bathing suits in the 4th picture are really nice and I also like the blue green white dress. I will be attending some shows at Singapore Fashion week this week and really looking forward to that!
    Sylvia recently posted..Stylish links: Spring Sales have started!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      I think you’ve covered some to the Singapore fashion week shows. They look really amazing as well.

    May 12, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    I’ve always enjoyed going to school fashion shows. They are sometimes so refreshingly inspiring than the over the top ones… sometimes! I used to see Academy of Art graduate show and loved it, really good to see young talent. The dramatic effects and craftsmanship in the Cirque de Soleil costumes look amazing! Sounds like you had an enjoyable time.
    FASHION TALES recently posted..Lady of Fashion’s Link SeasoningMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      I know there are more student fashion shows here in LA and I must try to find them so I can go to them too.

  3. Alexis Grace May 12, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    I think I remember you covering this event last year— so much fun! The designs are very impressive. It is fun to see how the mind of young designers work!
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Final Florals: How I wear them!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      Last I covered a similar event that takes place at Otis where the graduating students in all the departments show off their work. This year I went to that event as well but forgot my camera. Oh well! Next year.

  4. Patricia Streeter
    May 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    These pieces are amazing! My favorite collection is the 50-60’s. It’s is definitely an ode to an era that made it possible for many to pursue a career in fashion today. It was also the birth of fashion icons like Twiggy and The Tree. They did a fantastic job and wish them success in the future!
    Patricia Streeter recently posted..Get Fit This Summer!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      I’m so glad you liked the photos. The 50′- 60’s collection is my favorite as well.

  5. anne the SpyGirl
    May 13, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    You got some great shots of the show! How did I miss that Oldham piece with the keys — I don’t remember it at all!
    For the designs, I’m still the most fond of the Anthropologie scene.
    But the Cirque scene took my breath away — to see the acrobatic skills of the Cirque performers so up close — wow.
    anne the SpyGirl recently posted..Threads and Surfaces Sketchbook – The VideoMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      The Circe de Soleil presentation was pretty amazing. I loved the fantastical capes they put on after the performance. Like you my favorite collection was the one for Anthropologie. It managed to be fun, unique and wearable yet totally worked together as a collection too.

  6. DressCode:HighFashion
    May 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I love the first picture. It somehow reminds me of Givenchy Haute Couture by Alexander McQueen.

    I also like the nude leather jacket with the tender skirt – great mix!

    Best, Jenny

    PS: Can you please update the Boheme Noir link to . Thanks!
    DressCode:HighFashion recently posted..Burberry Eyewear Events in New York & SydneyMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca May 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      I updated your link! Thanks for the reminder. The nude leather jacket and skirt won for best outfit in that collection, so you aren’t the only one who liked it!

  7. Lisa
    May 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing! I so enjoy the work of young creatives who are just embarking into the fashion world. I remember those long days during senior year, draping, sewing, re-sewing and re-working designs in anticipation of the final show – what a stressful time! It is so wonderful that students now have the leadership and mentorship of commercially successful designers – that adds such a dose of reality!

    I really like the swimwear and the 50’s/60’s collection…very fun!

    • Heather Fonseca May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Otis is very focused on the reality of the fashion industry, but I think that’s why some of the senior stuff felt a little too “real” and not exciting enough for a fashion show. The last year of school is so stressful for everyone I think, but I remember it being fun too. The kids looked pretty tired up there on the runway!


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