Borris Powell’s Next Big Adventure

Borris Powell embarks on his new journey in Amazon Prime's Prana Warriors

Borris Powell embarks on his new journey in Amazon Prime’s Prana Warriors

Fashion designer Borris Powell is special – one of a kind. When I first interviewed him I was struck by his story; growing up in the projects of Alabama and taking a leap of faith to follow his dreams to be a fashion designer by relocating to Chicago. He left everything he knew to build his own fashion brand. His life is the ultimate testament to perseverance and optimism. And this Sunday, Borris is taking another leap of faith as he undergoes a new adventure – this times it’s a reality show on Amazon Prime called Prana Warriors. Borris will be traveling to Mexico, as part of a cast of four people – four survivors who have overcome extreme obstacles in their own lives – to inspire and serve orphans and make a difference in theirs.  Says Borris: “I signed up to do the show for a couple of reasons: one, it’s a positive show about giving back and paying-it-forward. This matters very much to me. Years ago, when I was first trying to get into the industry, someone I had trusted hurt me very much. In that moment I knew that I would never be the kind of person to say no to anyone in need. I have a chance to help others. The other, is to see if I can follow the practice of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation that will be the cornerstone of the show.”

A special fashion note: during the filming Borris will be wearing shorts designed by fellow fashion designer, good friend, and Project Runway contestant, Peach Carr (from her new line, ‘The Lobster Collection’).

Borris will alert me when the show airs. For now, I will wish him well as he travels to Mexico to begin the adventure. And once again feel inspired by his positive attitude and ability to take risks to make things better for himself and the world around him.

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Quotes from fashion’s Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn  – Photo Credit: 303 Magazine

Style consultant and Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn is funny. Funny and honest and elegant and incredibly knowledgeable. As well as a terrific yarn-spinner and storyteller. Last winter when I heard him speak at an event I was touched to see that he is the same in person as he is on television – nothing hidden. It was refreshing. So it makes sense that his book, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, is like him: honest and informative. I recommend the book if you are interested in knowing more about the history and origins of clothing as well as getting helpful information on how to modernize and wear clothes today. Tim Gunn loves words: I share some of his inspiring excerpts from the book …

You should never shop anywhere that doesn’t seem to have your interests at heart or that makes you feel bad. Shopping is always at least in part about gathering information. Salespeople should help you learn about yourself and what you like. It should not be an exercise in frustration or demoralization. Go someplace with knowledgeable salespeople.” Continue reading

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Make it work!

Me with Tim Gunn

Me with Tim Gunn

I was struck by the luck of the Irish today! Not only did my thoughtful friend Lois deliver her delicious homemade Irish soda bread, which of course, in the spirit of tradition my family devoured within a few hours. But this evening I had the opportunity to hear (and meet!) Tim Gunn of Project Runway in an inspiring conversation with Budd Mishkin, correspondent for NY1. He was endearing and genuine – elegant, honest, funny, and opinionated – a joyful storyteller and a great New Yorker. I learned many things about Tim Gunn during these two hours …

– he lives on the Upper West Side of New York and rides the subway at least twice a day.

– he was a teacher long before his time as a mentor and consultant on Project Runway, and what he loves most is watching a “student ascend.”

– his love of words and the written word runs very deep: he had a debilitating stutter growing up. At nineteen, he had speech therapy that changed his life forever, and now he is “making up for lost time” with his use of an extensive vocabulary.

– his father worked for the FBI during the time of J. Edgar Hoover.

– his favorite show growing up was I Love Lucy! (did I ever tell you that I start every morning watching that show? I like the good karma!).

– this season of Project Runway (Season 12) is his favorite season ever! “I love the teams and the level of talent of the designers.”

– he is not fond of the legging trend: “Since when did a legging become a pair of pants? It’s a cousin of hosiery! It’s preposterous and it’s all over the place!” Continue reading

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Sue: Life ain’t Project Runway

Sue, looking for immunity from life’s hardships, but realizing that television can never be real life; even though it is referred to as reality tv. Here is Sue …

“As a reader of Speaking of Fashion, you’ve probably watched Project Runway. Every episode, there’s drama around a new design challenge, the selection of a winner, and a loser who is dismissed with Heidi Klum’s “Auf Wiedersehen”. On Project Runway, as on many reality-television competitions, winning a challenge means staying in the running for the final prize and being granted immunity so you can’t be eliminated in the next challenge. That seems fair, right? After hard work and a job well done the winner is rewarded with peace of mind and a chance to try something new, with no fear of failure.

Back in the real world our lives may have none of that fairness. There’s no immunity: from a small series of events – like breaking a nail, then ripping your tights with the broken nail, and then (after you file the nail and change the tights) just missing the train and being late for an important meeting – to major challenges like illness, job problems and family issues, which may come all at once. Getting through a challenge doesn’t mean you won’t be slammed with a new one right away. I considered this after a recent run of personal problems and realized that my expectations were influenced by this magical idea of “immunity” and had to remind myself – hey, Life Ain’t Project Runway.

I’m not the only one thinking this way. Here’s a recent tweet from Joe Zee, Creative Director of Elle Magazine:  ‘Flight delayed 1 hr & gate moved to opposite end of JFK. The more my life is like The Amazing Race, the more I want the $2M prize at the end.’

What about you? Do you sometimes find yourself expecting life to follow reality tv’s rules and rewards? If you do, remember: Life Ain’t Project Runway.”

~ Sue

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