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West Watch: Fashion at the Grove... Spotlight on OTIS...

Los Angeles will try to revive its runway season Thursday with a series of fashion events at The Grove outdoor lifestyle center.

FASHION AT THE GROVE: Los Angeles will try to revive its runway season Thursday with a series of fashion events at The Grove outdoor lifestyle center. Dubbed “Fashion @ The Grove,” the kickoff consists of a runway presentation with local designers Cynthia Vincent of Twelfth Street; Michelle Mason of Mason; John Whitledge, Jon Rose and Sara Mehrkhast of Trovata; Nony Tochterman of Petro Zillia; Jason Belick and Jamie Haller of ever, and Ali Fatourechi of Genetic Denim.

The inaugural program focuses on designers who sell at Barneys New York Co-op. The event is open to the public, but seats along the runway will go to “platinum level” Grove customers who drop $25,000 or more annually at the shopping center. The shows begin at 9 p.m. — A.R.K.

SPOTLIGHT ON OTIS:
Luxury retailers, skateboarders, entertainment execs and fashionistas gathered this month for Otis College of Art and Design’s annual gala in Beverly Hills. Like many award shows shaken by the economy, the Los Angeles school’s 27th annual fashion show on May 2 at the Beverly Hilton adopted a more subdued tone. Gone were the Cirque du Soleil acrobats along with the live cellist serenading models.

But almost 800 guests — including designers Kevan Hall, Juan Carlos Obando, Todd Oldham (in a beard and track jacket) and John Martens, vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus’ Beverly Hills store — attended to help raise about $1 million for Otis’ scholarship fund.

Also attending was a crew from Nike, which has turned to Otis for more than 10 years to feed its design teams with young talent. In a sign of Nike’s relationship with the school, chief executive officer and president Mark Parker on Saturday delivered the commencement speech and received an honorary doctorate.

At the gala, Bob Hurley, founder and chairman of Nike’s action sports brand, and Sally Frame Kasaks, chairman and ceo of Pacific Sunwear of California, received this year’s Otis Creative Vision Award. Kasaks paid tribute to Dick Baker, the former Op president and Otis trustee, who died in April. “No one ever said ‘no’ to Dick,” she said. “He touched everyone with his energy, optimism, savvy.” — K.T.L.T.

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