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Tapping Into Fashion

Illustrator Ruben Toledo, with his pencil-thin mustache and wide-legged trousers, and women’s wear designer Isabel Toledo, with her cinched waists and bolero jackets, are the Fred and Ginger of the fashion world. (Isabel’s line is at Nordstrom, Barneys New York and a smattering of top shops internationally.) This spring, the couple is off to Germany to oversee printing of “Fashionation,” Ruben’s book of artwork that will be published by Karl Lagerfeld’s imprint, Edition 7L.

But first, they’ll come west from their New York home as they do most years to mentor students at Otis College of Art and Design. Next week they’ll sit with Rosemary Brantley, chair of Otis’ fashion design department, for her lecture series “Inside the Designer’s Studio.”

What draws them back to Otis year after year? “To us, the spirit of California is unique,” Isabel says. She tells students to be brave enough to do it their own way. “Search your soul for your identity,” she says. “Allow necessity to be the mother of invention and remember that, for a creator, time in obscurity is a blessing. It allows you to incubate your ideas.” --

“Inside the Designer’s Studio” with Isabel and Ruben Toledo, March 11 at 5:30 p.m., Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. For tickets ($30), call (310) 665-6875 or go to www.otis.edu.

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