Bibhu Mohapatra had a goal in mind for spring: to help dispel the fear and negativity currently felt around the globe. “I wanted to bring a positive vibe to my clothes in a world, which is getting quite decadent,” he said. “This collection is optimistic, playful, less serious than usual.”
To accomplish this, Mohapatra — who this season debuted his jewelry line in the U.S. — found inspiration in the Belle Époque, the period before World War I marked by peace, prosperity and artistic excitement in Western Europe. The designer referenced the era’s elegant decorations, floral motifs and curved lines, combining them in his interesting lineup, which included more daywear this season.
He opened with feminine designs worked in cotton lace, including a pencil skirt worn with a high-neck flared top and a bicolor bustier sundress. A flowing plissé color-blocked dress had a breezy feel, while a range of frocks and separates in a striped silk and linen fabric injected a dose of urban edge. Pearls, very common in the Belle Époque, decorated a charming asymmetric top layered over a dress with sheer sleeves.
If Mohapatra demonstrated his versatility by delivering convincing day options, he saved his best for evening. He showed beautifully handcrafted gowns — from flowing silk styles with plissé details and ruffles to sculpted organza, tulle and silk Mikado numbers that paid homage to his Indian roots with their sumptuous embroideries of beads, pearls and crystals.