• Otis College alumni in the New York/Tri-State area are invited to a reception welcoming visiting Otis College fashion students at Global Brands Group headquarters in the Empire State Building. Join fellow alumni to celebrate the culmination of the Fashion Design Department's annual trip to Manhattan. This special event - open to all alumni from both undergraduate and graduate departments - is a great chance to reconnect with friends, welcome new Fashion Design alumni from the Class of 2017, and meet Otis College leaders including Fashion Design Interim Chair Jill Higashi-Zeleznik.

  • In conjunction with the current exhibition Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us: Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill in Ben Maltz Gallery, May 7 - August 12, 2017.

    In Conversation: Jesse Fleming and Pat O'Neill, moderated by LA-based idependent curator and historian Ciara Moloney


    Jesse Fleming (b. 1977) is part of an emerging group of artists and technologists that examine the convergence of media art and mindfulness. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Five Car Garage; 356 Mission; and Night Gallery, all in Los Angeles, CA; and the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

    Pat O’Neill’s (b. 1939) artistic and filmmaking career spans over 50 years, and he is highly-regarded for his experiments with film and optical printing. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA; Monitor in Rome, Italy; VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, Germany; Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira, Portugal; Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, NY; and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA.

    Ciara Moloney is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Christian Boltanski and Kiki Kogelnik.

  • Amelia Gray is the author of the short story collections AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, and Gutshot, as well as the novels Threats and, most recently, Isadora, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. 

  • Luis J. Rodriguez was Los Angeles Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. The twenty-fifth edition of his first book, Poems Across the Pavement, won a 2015 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He has written fourteen other books of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the best-selling memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Rodriguez is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. In 2016 Tia Chucha Press produced the largest anthology of L.A.-area poets, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s last memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest poetry collection Borrowed Bones appeared in 2016 from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

  • Raised in Philadelphia, with roots in South Africa and Trinidad, Zinzi Clemmons’ writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Transition, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is co-founder and former Publisher of Apogee Journal, and a Contributing Editor to LitHub. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Colburn Conservatory and Occidental College. Her debut novel, What We Lose, as well as a second title, are forthcoming from Viking.

  • Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and graphic design educator. She was previously Director of the Graphic Design Program at CalArts where she currently is faculty. Her recent book on California graphic design, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986, co-published by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, has received laudatory reviews from The New York Times, The Guardian, Eye, and Creative Review. The book received the Palm d’Argent for best art book at FILAF (International Festival of Art Books and Films on Art).

  • Photo Credit: Jesse Pniak


    F. Douglas Brown received the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith) for Zero to Three, published by the University of Georgia. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten with Geffrey Davis as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Both a past Cave Canem and Kundiman Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly, Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Brown currently teaches English at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.


Metro Bike Night Features Fashion Designs from the Class of 2016

Bike Night recap: Why bike fashion matters

Hundreds of people came out to Union Station for Bike Night 2016 on May 27. This was the third annual celebratory close to Bike Month (previously Bike Week) and was the most successful yet. There were the usual tables by the familiar and well-loved nonprofit groups, some new faces from local businesses and, of course, the anchor Metro table with this year’s offbeat way to have fun with biking: a temporary tattoo parlor. (You may remember the blender bike from previous years.)

Bike Night is a party so we enjoyed the funky grooves of Jungle Fire (thanks to the folks at Metro Art) and between sets we had a fashion show. We’re pretty sure that in the promotion leading up to Bike Night, the bike-centric public that is our audience did not fully understand what we meant by ‘fashion show.’ But in the spirit of bringing the world of biking to Los Angeles County in unexpected ways, we meant it. A real honest to goodness, runway fashion show.

When the band took their first break and recorded music queued up, the MC asked people to step back from the runway. A green carpet (perhaps vaguely resembling a green bike lane) was conspicuously stretching from the stage into the crowd. This was the first clue of what was to come. The music kicked in. Spotlights lit up the runway. A small herd of human gazelles had appeared at stage right, one with a new Metro Bike.

And then it happened. The models came to life as they flawlessly executed long, gliding strides up and down the runway. Each one stopped at the Metro Bike to transform her look. Jackets came off to reveal Metro-inspired detailing and dresses that a second prior were short enough to bike in became long and flowing. Another piece turned inside out to become a high visibility jacket. Several looks were adorned with necklaces, glowing with the familiar blinking cadence of bike lights. Many pieces had brilliant reflective piping, one of the few elements recognizable to a spandex-wearing cyclist.

In a finale, all nine of the looks made a final circuit of the runway in tight formation, with the last model in line riding the Metro Bike off stage. The crowd applauded in awkward, half-stunned stillness,  punctuated with excitement. The diverse audience of families with small children to dreadlocked activists looked around wide-eyed and grinning, but seemed to share one thought: What the heck did I just see?

In the setting of a government-sponsored bicycle festival, it’s a fair question to ask. The most concise answer is: art. The looks on display were the product of months of work by the 2016 senior Fashion Design class of Otis College of Art and Design. Under the direction of designer and artist Todd Oldham (remember the 90’s?), the students took a problem statement provided by the Metro Bike Planning Department and created solutions to it.

In the words of Fashion Design Department Chair Rosemary Brantley, “The clothes … have been designed specifically to encourage day to night dressing for women riding bikes in Los Angeles. The garments had to be reflective, functional, transformative, and beautiful.” The problem statement was inspired by this year’s campaign theme: Bike to Train and Back Again. As we hear so often, public transit and biking is a daunting idea to most Angelenos. The strongest reluctance to bike comes from women.

Women are chronically underrepresented in bicycle counts across the nation. We know that the demands on women often create hurdles to biking and the statistics gathered of people who ride bikes reflects this. Part of bringing biking into everyday life is to dress for your destination, not for the ride.

Of the many barriers to women riding, we felt one that could be most easily tackled is attire. How is a gal supposed to ride a bicycle to work and arrive all sweaty? How does a lady bike to a dinner date and look and feel beautiful? Biking in the U.S. is often associated with male-dominated racing culture and Metro’s predominantly female Bike Planning team consciously strives to overcome this stigma at every opportunity.

The students’ work is not intended to be your new wardrobe. Otis, a giant in the world of fashion, exists in a world of conceptual design. Students explore the how and why of the articles of clothing that most of us take for granted, free from the restrictions of price point and closet space. The students’ work is intended to open the minds of people who don’t usually consider themselves to be cyclists. We think wrapping one’s mind around a shape-shifting, glowing dress is a valuable exercise in shifting the conversation from “I can’t ride…” to “Why can’t I ride?”



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