Fashion Focus Chicago 2009: Le Jardin de L’Amour—Borris Powell Design Spring 2010 Collection

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Set amidst a French-inspired garden of perfectly trimmed hedges, sculpted foliage and bunches of soft, white blossoms, Borris Powell’s thirty-three-piece womenswear collection, inspired by the excitement of new love and the advent of spring, is both elegant and youthful in its Fashion Focus debut (October 24).

The collection’s coloring could have been plucked from the botanical gardens (as a matter of fact, the designer was inspired by a trip to the ones in Chicago): vibrant grass greens, buttercup yellows and stunning crimsons and orange-reds, borrowed from the petals of tulips and roses. Hair is reminiscent of Victorian era up-dos with a modern flair: cascades of curls spill out of loosely though artfully gathered chignons, while tightly rolled French twists mingle with feathers in spiky imperfection.

Powell’s feminine, curve-hugging jumpers in bright shades are clean, unfussy and, with a bustier-like top, subtly sensual.

Asymmetrical waistlines and hemlines have a significant presence, especially in Powell’s buttery silk dresses. The frocks diffuse light like fabric prisms, but Powell’s ultimate showstopper comes last: a devastating strapless red dress, carpeted in crimson rosettes, which elicits vigorous applause from the audience. (Emily Torem)

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