05/01/2013 06:22 pm ET Updated Jul 01, 2013

A New Breed of Style

In the land of milk and honey a new definition of style is born. This year the Otis College of Art and Design, a leader in the creative arts and an incubator of extraordinary design talent (Jim Rygiel, Cynthia Vincent, Sandeep Mukherjee, Rod Beattie & Claire Pettibone, to name a few), is giving an inaugural "Style Icon" award to the ethereally beautiful Sally Perrin, Creative Director of Perrin Paris.

No longer dictated by fashion trends, the seasons, or glossy magazines, modern style in Los Angeles has evolved to encompass the totality of one's being, identity, and lifestyle. The first thought one usually associates with the word "style" is fashion, yet while fashion is an element of style it's fast becoming a small piece of something much greater. Style has become an inside job.

In recent times, nearly everyone has experienced or witnessed the deep ache of perceived failure, loss, or upending change. The social and economic climates are rife with challenge and unpredictability. In the midst of the anguish and destruction, real treasures are arising from the rubble in Los Angeles. Confronted with the emptiness and instability inherent in a "dog-eat-dog" world, droves of disenchanted Angelenos have turned away from the edicts of profit-driven mass influencers. Instead, they're looking within and asking the deepest question: "What gives meaning to my life?" From their answers a new breed of style, "conscious style" is emerging.

Conscious style is an amalgamation of living well, being whole, and doing good in the world. It's an inner shift -- an awareness of life as a collection of connected moments -- and a desire to imbue those moments with beauty, grace and compassion, for self, others and the earth. It shows up in the form of real and timeless beauty and permeates one's choice of environment, décor, clothing, food, and even one's internal dialog and the company one keeps. These elements coalesce to serve, uplift, and enhance health, creativity, community and contentment.

Surrendering to a life led by one's authentic desires, values, and truths creates an unshakable foundation. Instead of chasing down a certain brand or this season's hottest color, a conscious style devotee is drawn to what she feels and looks beautiful in -- the former dictates the latter -- regardless of the trends. She believes that buying one high-quality and even potentially high-priced heirloom item that will last several seasons trumps a shopping bag bursting with tomorrow's closet clutterers. These choices offer benefits that extend far beyond looking good, they ease stress and end fashion slavery; they free up time to live--to savor the moments--and they lighten the load for mother nature by reducing consumption.

Otis College, as usual, is ahead of the conscious style curve. On May 4th, it will host Los Angeles' largest and most celebrated fashion show for the 31st time. However, this year Otis will make fashion history by acting in alliance with its corporate partners: Eddie Bauer, Disney, Nike, Patagonia, Quiksilver, and Todd Oldham and sending gorgeous and reusable designs that transform into multiple looks and garments down the runway. The Otis Sustainability Alliance is committed to advancing the environmental, social, educational, and economic dimensions of sustainability through their work as artists, designers, and educators. We can't wait!