Design a breathtaking, fluid, and almost painfully intricate ‘Black Swan’ gown, winning the Oscar Design Challenge; check. The following year place your designs on the body of one of pop music’s moguls, Ralphi Rosario at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards; check! In the same year debut your Fall/Winter 2012 Collection dubbed Without a Shadow of a Doubt at a chic fashion show in Chicago’s River East Art Center; check, and check! In the game of baseball three strikes means you’re out, but in the game of fashion and for Mr. Borris J. Powell, the same means you are in, in, in! Borris Powell’s career is steadily inflating and this Chicago designer, hailing from Alabama, introduced his new collection Sunday, March 18th,, 2012.
Gorgeous wide open space with wooden accents, a waterfall, and an illuminated platform runway sums up the ambience as Chicago’s fashion patrons filed into the River East Art Center in anticipation of Borris Powell’s new collection. Powell’s loving eye for fashion is an heirloom passed down from his mother. His inspiration and focus for this collection was the beauty of a woman; making sure that her outward aesthetics mirrored her inner beauty and confidence. The cozy cornucopia of grays, browns, yellows, and signature pops of red were quite predictive of what we can expect to see next fall.
His amazing collection included what I decided was the younger sister to the ‘Black Swan’ dress with which he won the Oscar Design Challenge. This dress appeared sheer and nude underneath, covered in a black feather-like fringe with slivers of bare skin seductively peeking through. He took earth tones to a new place, giving his hues of tan, black, and brown a metallic makeover; utilizing this interesting and ironic fabric for both his men’s’ suits and woman’s’ cigarette trousers. I sensed his admiration for Christian Dior wafting from his billowing-sleeved floral print frock, and saw his vibrant disposition shine through his frequent and appropriate use of bright red and yellow throughout the night. As versatile as the strong, beautiful, and confident everyday heroine he regards as clientele, his designs ranged from a structured military inspired coat dress, to a spontaneous and charming brown and orange graphic print shift with refreshing mint accents. One of the most stunning looks of the evening was a dress as luscious and alluring as a slice of red velvet cake. The gown was ultra-feminine and made entirely of ruffles which may sound like a surplus of material, but was executed flawlessly and cinched in with a well placed bow.
Candace Jordan and NBC’s Marcus Riley were the evening’s hosts, and the show opened with featured fashions from STRUT Boutique in Chicago where Powell’s garments are sold. Before Mr. Powell’s collection was revealed, two of his models made their grand entrance in a cherry flavored luxury sports car; starting the show off with a ‘vroom’! This Fall/Winter 2012 collection boasts Powell’s addition of silky scarves and ultra-sleek handbags to his line. After the collection showed, Powell himself took the runway in a soft blue suit, a crisp white shirt, and that lovely smile. The night was a testament to Borris Powell’s immense talent and promising potential. I’d bet my vintage Dior sweater that this is not the last we are going to see of Borris Powell in the fashion industry’s spotlight. He has a lot up his well tailored sleeve, and I am excited to see what he comes up with next. To learn more about Borris Powell, or to take a look at his available collections, visit BorrisPowell.com and keep an eye out for his fabulous designs on a red carpet near you!
*Photos courtesy of Donna Binbek Photography