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Borris Powell Talks War, Dark Romance and Lululemon

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Borris Powell is one of the biggest names in Chicago fashion. The 2011 Oscars Design Challenge winner is known for making locals feel beautiful in vibrant evening wear. Now Powell has his sights on globalization: His current collection, which embodies the spirit of tumultuous romance, may be the very thing that make Powell a household name around the world.

We caught up with Powell at the Style Chicago Art of Fashion show last Friday, where he showed his Fall/Winter 2013 collection.

R : Tell us a little bit about what you're showing tonight.
Borris Powell: I am showing my Fall/Winter 2013 collection. It's a bit of a twist for Borris Powell. I'm known for evening wear, lots of color and gorgeous gowns – I hope you'd say gorgeous gowns, but I want to do a twist and do off-the-rack ready-to-wear. I want to reach more markets than just Chicago so I wanted to create this line that's going to wearable for everyone outside of Chicago, in the world, the globe. It's still a very high-end, luxury, very timeless, sophisticated look with a bit of a sexiness. You're going to see my second ready-to-wear collection by Borris Powell tonight. Tonight is about dark romance. You're always falling in this tunnel of love. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but this collection is about the dark love, the tunnel. Every time we are falling in and out love, we are aiming to look beautiful and gorgeous and timeless. This collection is a way that you can feel very beautiful and gorgeous at the same time, even if you're in your darkest romance in life.

R: Is that where you got your inspiration from the collection?
B.P.: I'm always looking for that love. I'm in a pigeonhole of dark romance – but hopeful. Maybe this collection is going to bring that romance to me.

R: What colors can we expect to see from the collection?
B.P.: It's dark romance. It's black.

R: What do you the think the big spring colors are going to be this year?
B.P.: I think you're going to see the pastels come back alive because this is the first time we're seeing pastels in our lifetime, in our generation. It's really about anything and everything– you have your black and white trend, which is huge. Of course you know emerald is one of the biggest colors. But pastel is easily?you can easily work a pastel in. I think it's going to easily transition into the next color because in the US, after the war everyone was so down and so dark and so beaten up. Everyone wants to have a reason to feel alive again. The first way you're going to express yourself is through fashion, it's the best way to express yourself. People are feeling happy again. The war is coming to an end, people want to feel the joy and celebrate again. So you're going to see the bright colors again. What colors can everyone relate to? The pastels.

R: What about fabrics? Do you think any fabrics are going to be really big?
B.P.: For the spring? You're going to see like the chiffons, the satins. I think it's going to be a very easy transition to the lighter fabrics. Chiffon is flowing, you'll see a lot of that.

R: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to look stylish in this horrible weather?
B.P.: Know yourself, know your body and don't be afraid to go out there and look gorgeous no matter what is going on. Don't worry about what people are looking at and thinking about you. You go out there and you look good every single day. I can tell you honestly if I was a woman I would be wearing a gown to the market, getting my cantaloupes and my potatoes in a gown. Never get caught in your Lululemon pants – they're going to kill me – but let's just say your activewear. Don't come out in your activewear in the public. Only when you're in house should you be in your activewear.
· Borris Powell [Official Site]