After skipping last season, designer Bibhu Mohapatra is back on the runway for New York Fashion Week with some celebrating to do. This year marks his 10th year in business, and after a break to restructure the business — sales are now out of Paris with some design and embellishment coming from India — he is looking forward by taking stock of where he has come from.
“It’s really about paying homage to all the women in my life,” he said backstage before his show. He also spoke of a trip to Northern Ireland as an inspiration, but it was something more personal and reflective that really shaped his work.
The runway had many of the Mohapatra traits his customer has come to love: color, embellishment, lace, embroideries and structure. His craftsmanship has a delicate touch and could be seen on one of his finale gowns, a crystal embroidered color-blocked number fit for a princess. Other highlights included feminine fur coats, blush satin dresses and a paper leather top with drawstring details paired with a gold jacquard skirt. Several fabric and embroideries were inspired by paintings from Bobby Beard, Mohapatra’s partner.
Mohapatra collaborated with Narayan Jewellers on a selection of 47 Forevermark diamond pieces to complement his collection. Looks were paired with layered necklaces, cuffs, cocktail rings and chandelier earrings totaling 544.44 carts of diamonds, which added a significant layer of glamour to his decennial-anniversary collection.
“Today you need to truly connect to the customer,” he said, when asked what he has learned over the years. “It needs to be authentic.”