YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Students the Stars of Otis/Parsons Party


Would she or wouldn't she? That was the question last Friday night as 800 guests, all dressed to the teeth, wondered whether Elizabeth Taylor would or would not appear in the ballroom of Universal City's Sheraton Premiere hotel.

The occasion was a graduation party for 18 seniors at Otis/Parsons School of Design--a $150-per-person festivity, which featured dinner, dancing, a lifetime achievement award for costume designer Helen Rose and a showing of clothes designed and made by juniors and seniors at the school.

Taylor was slated to present the Outstanding Achievement Award to Rose, but "sent her regrets on her very own light blue note paper in her very own handwriting," the crowd was told. End of suspense.

First Lady Nancy Reagan, Ann Blyth, Cyd Charisse, Gene Kelly, Lana Turner and Debbie Reynolds also sent congratulatory notes to Rose, who designed for 200 films, won two Academy Awards and made the real-life dress Grace Kelly wore for her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Eva Gabor presented the award--and then, "on with the show."

In truth, the students' designs were good enough to have carried the evening all by themselves. There's a lot of talent budding at the school, which bills itself as "the only college of art and design located within metropolitan Los Angeles."

And it's not just a regional kind of bloom.

Senior Lisa Lyons, for example, was recently named "best student menswear designer in the United States" by a panel of New York-based judges who granted her the Cutty Sark Men's Fashion Award. It was the first time that a West Coast student had won the honor.

Senior Sonia Kasparian, voted the school's Designer of the Year, has already landed a job with Carole Little for Saint Tropez-West; so has senior Jung Mi Cho. Senior Paul Wackym, who wore a skirt of his own design to the bash, has signed on with Linda Chenault at Warren Z. And Dawn Marie Forsyth's evening coat was purchased after the show by interior designer Barbara Lazaroff.

Proceeds of ticket sales go to the school's scholarship fund. Proceeds of the auction go to the students themselves.

Los Angeles Times Articles