This Weekend: Otis College Scholarship and Benefit Show

by Sid Feddema

Ambitious, bold and a little “too couture,” are just a few reasons why 23-year old fashion designer and Otis College student Brittney Sabet received a $5,000 scholarship from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund in January of this year. In just a few short days Sabet will be in the spotlight once again as her 1920’s inspired vintage lingerie design will be showcased in the 35th annual Otis scholarship benefit and fashion show.

“The theme of this year’s show is metamorphosis,” said celebrity wedding gown designer and Sabet’s mentor for the show, Claire Pettibone. “The project was to use eco friendly laces and fabric turning old world into modern world to create vintage inspired lingerie that would become a treasured heirloom,” she said. “Brittney’s sketch was super dramatic, very Victorian and definitely one of my favorites.”

Pettibone is an Otis College alumnus and describes the mentorship program as invaluable. “There is nothing that can replace actual human interaction,” she said. “When you read about someone online, it’s polished and its presented in a certain way but meeting someone in person you get much more sense of the realness of it all.”

Pettibone talks about her experience as a mentor as almost revisiting a past life. “I remember how hard being a student was. I mean of course “real life” is hard too but I just always tell my students this is preparing you for the real thing,” she said. “It weeds out the people that are not super passionate and I think it shows in the work.”

The entire process from students submitting their sketches, to model fittings, to finally seeing their hard work come to life takes a total of six months and Otis students are usually working on multiple projects at a time.

“I’m happy I’m not attending a school where they give you an easy way out,” said Sabet. “Our mentors really keep us disciplined. They create such a space where they encourage us to create and be the best artists we can be.” 

Sabets design is only one of over 125-plus fashion designs for men, women and juniors that will be on display at this year’s benefit black-tie gala.  With more than 70 professional models and over 800 guests in attendance the annual Otis College scholarship and benefit show is the largest fashion runway show in all of Los Angeles.

“It’s super inspiring to see what these kids have done in a short amount of time,” said Pettibone “I think when people from the industry come see the show they’re always blown away.”

Everyone is invited to buy a ticket and attend the event. The money raised is going towards these promising young artists and designers like Sabet would be unable to complete their education without this support. The 35th annual Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show will be held on May 6 at the Beverly Hilton starting at 6:30pm.

Written by Eva Barragan