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Cari Borja

Designing for all Ages

From a garage in Oakland, Cari Borja studied the art of dress making. That is not all she has studied. She holds Bachelor degrees in economics and art history, minors in dance and philosophy, a master in social anthropology, and a doctorate in cultural anthropology. On top of this impressive resume is her title as fashion designer, which helped her build her own women's line. Her latest "Baby Royal" collection is for infant wear that is set to debut this spring.

Her women's collection evokes the spirit and movement of dancers. Her floor length capes with ruffled cuffs and her bias cut dresses layered in circled tiers of chiffon move freely on a woman's body. It's no wonder that she was also a costume designer for the Alonzo King's Lines Ballet.

For this Spring, Cari uses chiffon and polyester, since these fabrics are light and forgivable. They capture easy movement not only with the choice of fabrics but also with the detailed sequins that sparkle and flit when the fabric shifts.

It will be hard to miss Cari's creations for her Spring-Summer 2004 collection. She promises very hot colors in eye-popping combinations of engine red and hot pink or construction orange. There are also warm rich eggplants and burgundies on the palette.

Cari's design process begins in an organic way. She takes a piece of fabric and starts to sew and feeling her way around the piece until it morphs into what she wills. There are plays on seams that work both inside and outside the garment. Her designs have already received much noted press by the International Herald Tribune and Marie Claire.

All her items are made to order. Skirts start at $150, coats start at $800 and dresses range from $600 to $800. Her sweaters with bell sleeves and cowl necklines begin at $125.

As for Cari's Baby Royal line, it is inspired by her firstborn, Royal. The infant designs are translated on a smaller scale from her women's line. They possess layers of ruffles and fabric that will spoil any child in extravagant luxury.

Although we are still in the midst of our rainy winters, you can start ordering Cari Borja's latest creations fit for a debut this spring for yourself or the little, royal one.