By Amy Creyer
This past Friday, Chicago fashion designer Borris Powell presented a very personal collection, C Me N Dior, to a packed house at the Sheraton Chicago. The collection is a tribute to the French designer who first inspired him to become a designer, Christian Dior. Powell recently won the Oscars Designer Challenge 2011, an exciting competition in which an Academy Awards escort dons the winner’s design during the 83rd Academy Awards. Powell dominated the competition with his Black Swan inspired feathered evening gown. Chicago’s fashion scene came out to support the beloved designer and to celebrate his triumphant victory in Los Angeles.
The evening kicked off with dinner and drinks at the Sheraton’s Shula restaurant and Java Bar. Regulars from Chicago’s fashion scene were in heavy attendance. Socialite and blogger Candace Jordan, members of the Bears NFL team and their wives, and local esthetician Leah Chavie brought some local star power to the event.
City Hall’s fashion adviser Kiran Advani Anderson and a number of Chicago fashion scenesters including Sarah Zakareckis, Shiyonna Felder, and Nikia Jefferson also came out to view Mr. Powell’s C Me N Dior presentation. My three favorite members of The Style Tribe, Corri McFadden, Jena Gambaccini, and Nicole Maarja, also were present at the show. Attendees socialized and networked in the lounge area of the Chi Bar before filtering upstairs to take their seats for the show.
Powell’s C Me N Dior runway show began with a heartfelt “thank you” to the people of Chicago for believing he could succeed at following his dreams. The sincere appreciation speech paid tribute to the designer’s legendary role model, fashion icon Christian Dior and the inspiration for the evening’s show. C Me N Dior was Mr. Powell’s first ready-to-wear collection, although he didn’t stray far from his brand’s DNA and showcased several beautiful evening dresses, including a stunning red gown with a long train that literally glided across the stage.
The presentation began with Mr. Powell’s new ready-to-wear collection. The looks were supremely wearable with an emphasis on textures and tailoring with a slim profile. The synthesis of brown leather and fur outerwear created a luxurious vibe that drove the rest of the collection. Clever details were infused with the accessible garments, including a buckled strap at the ankle of several pairs of dress pants.
Another trend dominant on his runway was a bold plaid fabric, utilized in several looks. This brought a preppy feel to the middle of the collection, and the pieces could easily be accessorized with a leather jacket for a more rocker chic feel.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Borris Powell show with sublime evening wear. His gowns were stunning, as always, and my favorite look of the evening was a fiery red gown that literally floated down the runway.
The runway show ended with his award-winning look, a body conscious black evening dress covered in feathers below the hip. An emotional Mr. Powell embraced the model. His wide smile defined the entire evening, and revealed his overwhelming joy at seeing his creations accepted by the fashion public. Mr. Powell received overwhelming applause and a standing ovation for his grounded yet exploratory first ready-to-wear collection. It was a poignant homecoming for the designer, whose recent triumph in Los Angeles has positioned him to launch onto the global fashion scene.
To see more of Amy’s coverage of Chicago fashion, visit her blog at ChicagoStreetStyle.com