From mind-blowing Wild West evening wear to sexy sustainable clothes for the year 2020, the 185 outfits by 51 seniors and 64 juniors of Otis College of Art + Design at the school’s recent 2005 scholarship benefit and fashion show demonstrated just what can happen when schoolwork is assigned by the likes of Bob Mackie and Vera Wang. Students worked from very specific guidelines given by an impressive list of class mentors, who, in addition to Mackie and Wang, included Michelle Mason, Eduardo Lucero, John Varvatos, David Cardona and Sheri Bodell as well as companies such as Banana Republic. One group of juniors had to create ensembles that reflected “cowboy punk meets English country gentleman for the band Felonius Priest performing at a rock concert.” Like I said, very specific. And while I was curious what the students would have come up with on their own, the purpose of the instructions was to help these budding designers understand how to develop a look as well as train them to do research. Knowing why Madeleine Vionnet, for instance, pioneered the bias cut as well as the technique itself makes for a more accomplished and innovative designer. Meet fashion’s future.
Designer: Danielle Malmgren Mentor: David Cardona Direction: Focus on hand-tailoring in creating looks inspired by English equestrian style.
Designer: Christine Geiger Mentor: Bob Mackie Direction: Research authentic 19th-century Western Native American and Spanish costume to create evening looks that capture the romance and splendor of the old West.
Designer: Katie Thrash Mentor: Michelle Mason Direction: Focus on hand-tailoring emphasizing graphic piecing, seaming and color blocking.
Designer: Debbie Sabet Mentor: John Varvatos Direction: Design a collection for men and women inspired by the early ’70s.
Designers (from left): Regina Rodriguez, Azadeh Nooryani, Benjamin Vital III, Kirk Heifner, Stephanie Burkart Mentor: Patagonia/Wanda Weller Direction: For the year 2020 create five essential and efficient pieces around the concept of complete sustainability, recyling and reuse.
Designers (from left): Marcus LeBlanc, Lolly Zhong, Mary Timmons Mentor: The North Face/Robert Tuggle Direction: Design clothing using state-of-the-art technical fabrics for a family in the future where surviving the elements is just another part of daily living.
Designers (from left): Karen Hieda, Yoori Park, Helen Chung Mentor: La Blanca/Rod Beattie Direction: Create a glamorous and sophisticated swim collection inspired by ancient Greek and Roman dress incorporating Swarovksi crystals.