The Otis College of Art and Design held their 30th Annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show on Saturday, May 5th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Each year, the junior and senior fashion design class create collections which are shown at the benefit. With over 70 models and close to 200 original designs, the runway show is the largest in Los Angeles. Each student design team works with a distinguished mentor who is currently working in the fashion industry and each mentor poses specific design problems for their student team to solve through their collections. The 2012 fashion mentors were Amanda Gnelding for Anthropologie, Michael Maccari for Armani Exchange, Rod Beattie for swimwear line Bleu, David Meister for his own label, Ame Austin Max for MaxStudio, Liliana Casabal for Morgane Le Fay, Scott Williams for Nike, Red Carter for his own swimwear label, Karen Stewart for Stewart & Brown, and Todd Oldham for his own label.
Starting off the runway show was swimwear designer Red Carter, a ’92 Otis College alumnus. His team created swimwear and cover ups inspired by moroccan tiles and Tunisian spice markets. Many of the suits were one piece cut outs in bright multicolors with matching cover ups made out of recycled stripe fabrics.The second collection was Scott Williams for Nike who used the 2012 Olympic Games in London as inspiration. His team of students designed uniforms for the upcoming 2012 USA Summer Olympics team. Models walked the runway to the tune of U2′s Beautiful Day while showcasing uniforms for three sports: volleyball, track, and basketball.
The third collection was Amanda Gneiding for Anthropologie, who came out to LA from Anthropologie’s offices in Philadelphia to be a mentor. Her student team’s collection was based around separates representing 50′s and 60′s Palm Springs. This collection was a personal favorite as it was made up of very wearable, current designs perfect for a Los Angeles summer. Maxi dresses in bold patterns and adorable white and yellow mini dresses were interwoven with flowing tunics and pants; all of which created a fun collection with just the right hint of vintage flair. The Anthropologie aesthetic was readily evident while also staying true to Palm Springs inspiration.
The fourth collection was swimwear designer Rod Beatie for Bleu, also an ’86 Otis Alumnus. Inspired by flowers, Beatie’s team constructed an elegant swimwear collection with each suit made out of a different solid, bright color including fuchsia purples, bright yellows and lime greens. Many suits featured intricate ruffles which seemed to take their influence from flower petals. The fifth collection was Karen Stewart for Stewart & Brown using the concept of seasonless dresses as a blank canvas for painting. A collection of dresses based in neutrals, each dress was beautifully draped and perfect as a base for constructing any outfit.