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Otis College stages its 28th annual scholarship benefit and fashion show

-2 Isabel Toledo, Trina Turk and Todd Oldham were among the student mentors who attended Otis College of Art and Design's 28th annual scholarship benefit and fashion show on Saturday night.

Held at the Beverly Hilton, the event featured student fashion presentations created under the guidance of accomplished designers and fashion brands.

Many of this year's student mentors paired up with each other in the classroom to give specific — and richly layered — design direction to junior and senior fashion design classes. 

Among the most notable collaborations were Isabel and Ruben Toledo, who partnered with outdoor clothing maker Patagonia. The mentors asked their students to design sustainable day-to-evening wear to be worn 20 years from now, with at least one piece playing a dual role.

The resulting designs were part post-Apocalyptic action hero, part alien princess, and featured billowing separates and dresses in cream and white. On the runway, futuristic jackets morphed into a backpack, a sports duffel and even a sleeping bag.

Other stand-out collections included James Bond-themed action sportswear mentored by JonMikel Rodriguez for O'Neill and swimwear designer Robin Piccone, and grey-tonal separates featuring sharp, urban-feeling men's outerwear mentored by Michael Maccari for Armani Exchange.

OtisStudentsforAX "We love mentoring," said Isabel Toledo. "It's so important. They are the next generation." Toledo and her  husband, famed fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, received an honorary doctorate degree from Otis this last weekend. "Can you imagine?" she asked, clearly humbled by the honor. "We never even graduated from college."

Saturday's fashion show also honored House of Bijan designer Bijan Pakzad, who received Otis' Design Legend Award (the presentation of which featured an amusing eight-minute video of Pakzad showing off his diamonds-and-Rolls-Royce-studded lifestyle), and Otis class of 1932 alumnus Tyrus Wong, a 99-year-old who worked as an illustrator at both Disney and Warner Bros. and whose aesthetic shaped the look of the classic animated film "Bambi."

-- Emili Vesilind

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Photos, from top: Isabel and Ruben Toledo; Student work on the mentorship of Armani Exchange. Credit: Otis College of Art and Design

 
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