A Celebration of Water

7 years ago

I haven’t been truly awed by the beauty and mystery of the deep sea lives and the blue shades of waves until recently at the 33rd Annual Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show “A Celebration of Water”. I was able to view a unique transformation from the Ocean to Fashion:

Otis Gala Fashion Show

Los Angeles’ Otis College presented 2015 Creative Awards to three well respected honorees at the black tie gala:

Carlos Alberini; chairman of the Board and CEO of Lucky Brand jeans -

Otis Gala Lucky Brand CEO

Trina Turk; founder and fashion designer of her own clothing brand –

Otis Gala Trina Turk

and Gary Schoenfeld; president and CEO of Pacsun.

My favorite design was from the Sea Collection by Jessica Choi, winner of this fashion show.  She was mentored by Bob Mackie, who is known for his success in the disparate fields of theater and fashion. Many of the pieces in the Sea Collection have characteristics of the costumes Mackie had designed years ago.

Designer Bob Mackie –

Otis Gala Designer Bob Mackie

Obviously if you think about water you think about beach or sea and then you would think of swim suits, crochet, breezy, flowy outfits. The whole collection had elements of this year’s spring and summer fashion trends such as; long silhouettes that tied at the waist, ballerina effect, sultry sheer, feathers and fringe, hippie, and romantic lace. The colors featured in the fashion show followed the season’s color trend of cooler and softer color choices with more subtle warm tones following a minimalistic theme.

This piece from the collection is particularly intriguing to me, it is the perfect imitation of a jelly fish. The dress has a high-low asymmetrical silhouette to it almost seems like how jellyfishes look when they are moving their bodies up and down under the water. I really love how this dress has tie dye towards the bottom like how jellyfishes usually have a darker color at the bottom but in this case it’s lighter at the bottom. Another good imitation of a jellyfish element is the transparency of jellyfishes, you see that where the one-shoulder part connects to the dress is mesh to show the see-thoroughness:

Otis Gala Fashion Show Ocean Sea

This dress, I believe, is another imitation of a jellyfish but a very different kind. As you can see the color is a lot brighter compared to the other dress. You see a lot of tie dye all over the dress, another difference is how the dress is pouffed, the pouf starts from the waist and it goes all the way to the calf, it’s a bigger jellyfish compared to the other dress. I really like how the model was accessorized, the two blue flaps above the ear seems to symbolize some sort of fins:

Otis Fashion Show Sea Design

Another imitation of a sea creature is this piece; very obvious, this is a lionfish. The first image that came to my mind when I saw this dress was a starfish lying at the bottom of the ocean sand. The starfish is very evident on this dress, and the sand part to me is the mesh against the skin. The reason why I thought of the bottom of the ocean because how dark the skirt of this dress is, usually the deeper you go underwater the darker the blue of the ocean seems:

Otis Fashion Show Sea Fish

This feathery skirts and feathery coats were inspired by Mackie’s Fall 2001 “Foreign Intrigue” collection:

Bob Mackie Feather

Otis Fashion Show Blue OCean Fish

This gown has the characteristics of many of the season trends. The elegant tulle ballerina-inspired dress in this dusty pale rose color with feathers hung delicately from the slit to the bottom gives me a luxury bohemian feel. One other trend I didn’t mention before was the one-shoulder cuts, believe it or not, shoulders have become the sexiest part of our body this year:

Otis Fashion Show ocean wave

Another really great piece from Jessica’s collection is also a ballerina-inspired style dress with long tutu-like skirt with long silhouette tied at the waist, also one of this season’s popular trends, in a beautiful subtle mustard color with emerald green and lustrous lavender at the bottom of the skirt. The long obi belt is considered to be one of spring’s most flattering trends inspired by the flowy kimono look:

Otis Fashion Show Sea Horse

This coral themed dress featured the tutu-like feathery skirt with a sultry sheer high neck top. This scandalous sheer fabric look is seen in many designs at the New York Fashion Week of this spring, such as Ralph Lauren, Delpozo, Rodarte, and Vera Wang:

Otis Fashion Show Coral

As you all know, Trina Turk, has a knack for colors and patterns. The pieces mentored by her are inspired by architectures. You see a lot of the colors used in her Resort collection used in the pieces, such as, orange, neon pink, and electric violet:

Otis Fashion Show Trina Turk

Otis Fashion Show Trina Turk architecture

The Otis fashion show has inspired me with its water themed fashion designs this year. It is very motivational to see students being mentored by industry designers such as Zaid Affas, Joe McCarty for Lane Bryant, Liliana Casabal for Morgane Le Fay, Trina Turk, and Bob Mackie, lingerie designer Mary Jo Bruno, in-house designers from Urban Outfitters, Isobella & Chloe childrenswear, Anne Cole swimwear, Quiksilver, DC and Roxy, and PacSun! In 2014, Los Angeles’ Otis College raised $1 Million with designer-mentored student fashion show for the scholarship fund.

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