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A Whole Night of Grand Entrances


Costume designer Nolan Miller declared it: "Glamour is not dead."

Miller, best known for gowning the "Dynasty" divas, was not talking about his own work, but expressing his opinion about the clothes created by students at the Otis College of Art and Design.

Miller admitted he had expected "strange, weird things" when he agreed to be a critic/mentor at the college, but discovered instead imagination, skill and high style.

At the 15th annual fund-raising gala and awards show for the college, staged at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Saturday night, Miller received a Fashion Achievement award and handed out a Silver Thimble award to Farnaz Harouni, the student he felt best fulfilled his challenge "to create evening wear for a grand entrance."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday May 6, 1997 Home Edition Life & Style Part E Page 3 View Desk 1 inches; 25 words Type of Material: Correction
Otis fund-raiser--The picture that accompanied Monday's Life & Style story on the 15th annual gala for the Otis College of Art and Design should have been credited to Lee Salem.

"When I saw her sketches for this dress, all bias cut with three different fabrics, I said, 'Don't try this, it will just lead to lots of tears and be a disaster,' but the result is incredible. I went back to my own workshop and said 'See it can be done with no puckering.' "

Miller was also eager to incorporate into his workshop the talents of Pam Packs, who won one of the awards named in memory of the late evening wear designer Rosalinde Gilbert, for a burnt-out velvet gown worked up for this senior class assignment.

The centerpiece of the gala dinner was a runway show, staged by the fashion school chairwoman Rosemary Brantley that highlighted the students' work and incorporated the presentation of the Silver Thimble awards. Dinner chairwoman Nancy Vreeland was happy to inform the more than 1,000 ticket buyers that their interest and enthusiasm for the future of design, coupled with solid support from the fashion industry, had raised $800,000 for college scholarships, almost double last year's net.

A silent auction of the student's designs--gleaming leather biker fashions, mentored by Bates Leather, mix and match plaid children's school uniforms, inspired by the assignment of William Day of Dennis Uniforms, tropical paradise flower strewn gowns for Barbie dolls--added to the evening's coffers.

The black clothed dinner tables were each decorated with one sunset pink and gold rose in a glass bowl. The menu was mushroom salad, chicken piccata with spinach and blueberry cre^me brule, adorned with the bull's-eye "O" Otis logo.

Elaine Goldsmith, chairwoman of the Otis' Trustees, presented the other Fashion Achievement Award to Michael Gould, chairman of Bloomingdale's, while the Otis Designer of the Year Award went to Hae Jin Kim, also winner of two Silver Thimbles and a Rosalinde Gilbert Award for her sleek white and gold evening gown.

Guests included John and Bridget Martens, Ginny Mancini, Tamara Asseyev, Grazia and Leslie Dornfeld, Ferne and Stan Margulies, Irwin and Sue Russell, Tom Voltin and Candace and Aaron Spelling, mentors of Miller's career, who kept the promise made when the struggling designer was working in a Beverly Hills flower shop that if Spelling, then a struggling writer, ever got a TV show, Miller would do the clothes.

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