Bibhu Mohapatra doesn’t just toss out a pre-show sound bite for the press. Rather, he spends days researching and connecting with whatever moves him as he develops a collection. For spring his muse was Annemarie Schwarzenbach, a nomadic journalist and photographer who wore men’s clothes and hung out with Bauhaus designers. Most visible in Mohapatra’s lineup was the Bauhaus influence, its linear and geometric shapes informing the silhouettes, color blocks, prints and embroidery on lean midcalf sleeveless dresses.
Mohapatra seemed more comfortable with that play of proportions (long over short; short over long panels) than with some of his gowns that had less focus. What worked beautifully were Mohapatra’s pants, especially in green crepe with a white, blue and emerald criss-cross top. That X-shaped top, in fact, was also used on his slender dress made of subtly combined silvery leather and silk. It was executed to perfection, like much of the collection.