At the River East Art Center on March 18, Chicagoan Borris Powell proved why he's one of the most sought-after fashion designers in the country.
Unveiling his 2012 fall/winter collection, "Without a Shadow of Doubt" featured models in a variety of hues, including gray, copper and eye-catching red. However, this show was different from Powell's previous shows, as he revealed a new menswear line that had some sleek suits, among other items.
Powell apologized to the crowd for starting late, but was charming the entire time he spoke, adding with a wide smile, "You know I never start on time." He more than made up for the tardiness with a show full of flair, starting with two models driving past attendees and toward the runway in a sports car. ( By the way, the show also featured remixes of Whitney Houston songsa dazzling tribute to the late singer. )
Among those attending was pro football player Rashied Davis, who was wearing one of Powell's designs. ( Also, part of the night's proceeds went to fund Rashied Davis Charities, which seeks to "to teach students how to overcome obstacles to success through inspiration, preparation and discipline," according to the organization's website. ) Powell's motherthe designer's inspirationwas also present, cheering on her son.
Powell's career trajectory has been impressive, with one of his works ( the "Black Swan" dress ) being seen by billions of people at the 2011 Academy Awards. He subsequently told Windy City Times that legendary designer Valentino saw the dress and commented, "Very nice. Very nice." ( The interview is at www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/FASHION-Borris-Powell-From-Lincoln-Park-to-the-Oscars/31655.html. ) Powell's Lincoln Park business is now extremely busy, and he has his fair share of celebrity clients.
Candace Jordan and NBC's Marcus Riley co-hosted the event, which started with a brief runway show showcasing designs from the boutique Strut.
Text by Andrew Davis; photos by Davis and Steve Starr