Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2020

Nothing brings more joy to a fashion industry professional’s heart than to see a beloved fashion designer really come into his own. Most of the time, it doesn’t happen. No matter how great the promise or how unique the point of view, in the current market, most fashion designers/brands don’t last long enough to fulfill even a small part of their potential. However, there are some recent exceptions in the last decade—Christian Siriano, Cushnie, Pyer Moss, Rodarte, and a few others.

Bibhu Mohapatra is one such brand that is realizing the depth and wealth of its potential. Inspired by Amrita Pritam’s 1950 novel, Pinjar, which details the struggles of East Indian women in the 50s, Mohapatra sought to celebrate East Indian women in all their many expresses, especially those East Indian women who have influenced and nurtured him.

Mostly known for his intricate and heavily embellished evening wear, what Bibhu Mohapatra demonstrated so brilliantly in this fall 2020 collection is that he can celebrate his consumer at almost every jointure of her day—well, maybe not the yoga or gym class. Though Mohapatra shines most brightly when it comes to his knockout red-carpet evening wear, this season his day looks were pretty spectacular.

That said; Mohapatra’s daywear is still for that fashion-forward consumer who travels internationally and is comfortable with an East Meets West design aesthetic—an aesthetic which is Mohapatra’s bread and better. Still, there were some daywear pieces that would appeal to a wide swarth of female consumers; particularly Mohapatra’s Dhoti pants which  were brilliantly paired with stylish jackets.

One of the things that makes Bibhu Mohapatra’s eveningwear so special is his ability to render his unique design aesthetic is a variety of silhouettes. From princess gowns to column dress to sheath dresses with extended trains, Mohapatra has become a master at distilling his ideas of regal beauty.

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Standout looks from this fall 2020 collection include a chiffon-skirted strapless number featuring Mughal architecture-inspired embroidery, lacquered velvet dhoti pants  with white madras coat, black and grey tweed suit with peplum jacket, organza and silk pink and white cocktail dress with floral embellishments and organza bow sleeves, and white column dress with grey floral print, black belt and black silk crossbody scarf.

—William S. Gooch

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