800 of LA’s finest fashion insiders were wined and dined at a black tie benefit which raised over a million dollars of scholarship funds for students. The Otis College of Art and Design Annual Scholarship and benefit show features collections created by students under the direction of their industry mentor. Mentors at this year’s event included designers from brands such as Armani, Cirque du Soleil and Maxstudio among others.
Representing Maxstudio as a mentor was stylist and designer Ame Austin Max. She worked with the students through each step of the design process from project inspiration to creative direction for the runway show.
The design direction was a fashion take on Mad Max. The outerwear was assigned to include dramatic silhouettes with functional elements while creating an unconventional approach to combining knits and woven pieces. The under piece was to be the opposite of the outerwear piece, feminine layers made of lightweight fabrics. The color pallet was complete with warm grays, muted olive greens, deep maroons, copper browns and dusty teals.
With the direction given, the students went about sketching. From each student’s collection of drawings Ame chose one to bring to life. She helped them face the challenges of transforming a sketch into a garment, and making it function in reality, “I wanted to give them an understanding of the decisions they will have to make in their careers.”
The following meetings with the students focused on fitting the garments and also the creative direction of the show. Ame helped students see the strengths in their work while making clear and inspired edits. She directed models on how to highlight each piece and encouraged students to continue on their path to success. “I enjoy taking them through the entire process to get them to think outside the box and know that anything is possible.”
As a alumni of Otis Ame loves having the opportunity to give back, “I remember being a student myself and how much knowledge and awareness was gained from the process.” After a successful runway show complete with one of a kind outerwear pieces and refined yet elegant tops and pant pieces she was impressed with how thoroughly students followed her direction and made each of their individual pieces stand out. The hard work had paid off.
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen