“A collection of complementary extremes,” is how Bibhu Mohapatra described his fall lineup. He drew on Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” and “the journey of self, darkness and light, and black magic” it entailed. That’s a lot to express through eveningwear. In fact, the only thing Mohapatra’s collection seemed to have in common, at least superficially, with Salem society of yore was a flair for the dramatic. The gowns and cocktail dresses were darkly seductive and extremely sophisticated, a sensibility heightened by inky feathered gloves. These were not simple clothes. They were done in deep jewel tones and decorated with structural folds and asymmetric cuts. One ultrasexy, slinky black gown was spliced high around the neck with a single long sleeve, slit under the arm, done in shiny black sequins. Daywear was as dressed up as it gets with modern takes on luxe furs and worn over draped trousers and thick, pleated skirts. Mohapatra said his sales have been steadily doubling every season, and it’s easy to see why stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Hirshleifer’s find his clothes distinctive.

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