For his spring eveningwear collection, which celebrates his brand’s diverse identity within America, Bibhu Mohapatra was inspired by Richard Avedon and James Baldwin’s book, “Nothing Personal.” “They did an examination of American identity in the Sixties and what it was to be an American,” Mohapatra said postshow, adding: “I think we are asking that question right now, what you bring to the table and how to turn that environment we are in now really positive and optimistic. We should dig our heels in and really say loudly who we are.”
What Mohapatra does so well is craft eveningwear with sculptural elements and a refined sensibility. In a play on diversity, he offered both traditional and sleek gowns, as in a blush off-shoulder number with a barely there string along the neckline, and unconventional options you wouldn’t at first expect from the brand, like the sharp pleated top and skirt overlays that play on a balance of structure and movement. “Most of these are architectural pieces, but really, combining the soft and hard materials is telling the story,” he added.
Other standout pieces included a modern marigold cocktail dress with crystal pinstripes, the opening stark black-and-white dress, and the interesting layering of a sequined top over a shirtdress. His aesthetic was most polished when he exercised a spare approach to embroidery and flourishes. Of what he wants customers to take away from the collection, he shared: “Hopefully they find it as an authentic collection that is representative of who I am really and really beautifully crafted clothes.”