Otis College of Art and Design added a new element to the mix for its 31st annual scholarship benefit and fashion show Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton -- an honor called the Style Icon Award, which was presented to Sally Perrin, L.A.-based creative director of luxury leather goods brand Perrin Paris.
The inaugural award was presented by costume designer Bob Mackie (one of this year's senior design mentors) who noted: "Personal style has no age or social status, and can exist anywhere in life. Lots of people can pay for style, thank goodness, but few people can possess personal style."
Cheered on by a table of family and friends that included husband Michel and daughters Chloe and Emma, Perrin took to the stage to receive her award in an Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture dress with ostrich feather pompoms from vintage boutique Decades (co-owner Cameron Silver, who stars in Bravo's "Dukes of Melrose," was among her table mates).
"Style is ever present in every aspect of life," she said in her remarks. "You have to make a mark when you enter a room. I always have something on my head because someone once told me I have a head for hats."
(She was also wearing a vintage hat. And although she didn't know it when she accessorized for the evening, the O-shaped bracelet handle of her Le Rond handbag would end up perfectly matching the chunky O-shaped Otis statuette she would receive on stage.)
"[Otis President] Sammy [Hoi], [benefit committee chair] Shelley [Reid] and the Otis community have given me something for which I will forever be proud," Perrin said. "And I'm just so proud to be an Angeleno tonight."
The night's other honoree was Kirk Nix of KNA Design, who was presented with the 2013 Creative Vision Award. The school also took the opportunity to recognize the six brands that have come together to form the Otis Sustainability Alliance, a new group that will highlight for students the social and environmental aspects of art and design; Eddie Bauer, Disney, Nike, Patagonia,
The evening concluded with the presentation of 11 juried collections from fashion design juniors and seniors, each of whom had been given a specfic challenge by a mentor.
One of the standout collections belonged to the junior class, tasked by mentor Claire Pettibone to create young, contemporary bridal dresses for a country wedding. The result was a range of looks grounded in white -- dresses with high/low hems, sparkle, eyelet -- even a look with shorts.
Charged by mentor Bob Mackie to create a range of velvet gowns inspired by Art Deco jewelry, the senior class created red carpet-worthy pieces like a beautiful blue velvet gown with a beaded sash and a one-shoulder plum-colored dress with a cape back.
The 800 stylish folks in attendance at the 31st annual dinner, silent auction and runway show helped raise more than a million dollars in scholarship funds for students, 85% of which require financial aid, noted President Hoi.