Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2018

Bibhu Mohapatra continues to push the proverbial fashion envelope. Bibhu Mohapatra has demonstrated for several seasons that he possesses a unique understanding of how the modern, sophisticated woman expresses her elegance, sexiness, and femininity. Her sexiness doesn’t have to be in your face, but it could be; her elegance is understated, or it could be front and center; and the modern woman’s femininity could be kittenish and saucy, or it could be an androgynous mélange of masculine silhouettes mixed with architectural construction.

In other words, the contemporary woman is hard to define and her tastes are varied. And that explains why so many designers have a hard time appealing to the modern woman and holding her interests. Bibhu Mohapatra doesn’t have that dilemma.Mohapatra, in his spring 2018 collection, created a collection that hits all the right notes. Inspired by that somewhat indefinable modern woman who is accomplished in her right, but hasn’t received just recognition, Bibhu Mohapatra’ spring 2018 collection pulled from all the definable and indefinable elements that causes that sophisticated, contemporary woman to shine and sparkle. All these seemingly disparate elements were mixed in Mohapatra’s petri dish of creativity to produce a collection that was relatable, but fashion forward, steeped in familiar design elements, but reconfigured for contemporary consumers.Mohapatra in this collection continues to play with the demimonde as expressed a lens of modern sensuality and sexuality. For spring 2017, Mohapatra looked to the Belle Epoque era and the style of high-class courtesans of that period. In this outing Mohapatra drew inspiration from Asian courtesans (geishas) of the 19th century seen through a contemporary prism. 

True to Mohapatra’s design aesthetic there was some layering of silhouettes and fabrications, and Mohapatra brought back the striped motif seen in his “Belle Epoque” spring 2017 collection. There were also the structured corset-like bodices, and the tea-length gowns, as well as Mohapatra’s three-quarter length skirts. However, what set this collection apart from previous outings was the adventurous nature evidenced in Mohapatra’s mix of rich embellishments, unusual fabrication layerings, and redefinition of modern sensuality.That said; Bibhu did include some recognizable trends; off-the-shoulder treatments; statement sleeves, and cross-dressing elements. But he incorporated these elements with his own particular design aesthetic. Additionally, Mohapatra mixed in some East meets West elements. There were Nishiki Kabuki tops combined with crepe trousers and pencil skirts, as well as other Asian silhouettes—obi belts, kimono tops, and silk Mikado dresses—made even more relevant by all the innovative textile techniques that were employed in this collection.

                                                  All images courtesy of Think PR

Standout looks in this collection were Bibhu Mohapatra’s silk Matsuri print and lace dress with Shibari under bodice, Okobo lace and crepe dress, silk Ramie stripe Nishiki gypsy dress with lace insets, silk Mikado Matsuri embroidered courtesan dress with origami petal sleeves, andtulle and lace nomad widows gown.—William S. Gooch

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