Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2021

Did Bibhu Mohapatra get the memo that we are in the throws of a health pandemic, and that restaurants are operating a limited capacity and no theatres, social events and galas are open to the public? And don’t mention that red-carpet events, concerts, and nights out on the town are currently off-limits.

From Mohapatra’s fall 2021 collection, it obvious he didn’t get the memo. And that is a good thing. Why abandon your penchant for luxury fashion when it has worked so well you? So, COVID-19 aside, Mohapatra knows what works for his brand, and he is doing just that!!

Inspired by Langston Hughes’ relationship with A’Leila Walker, daughter of the famed CJ Walker, America’s first black millionaire, and Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge in late 1900s Vienna, this fall 2021 collection was Mohapatra’s reflection on romance from days gone by seen through a modern lens. (Albeit, the aforementioned relationships were not the most traditional relationships in their time periods.)

Interestingly, Mohapatra pulled back on his usual injection of glorious embellishments, which pays homage to his South Asian background. Maybe this retraction is due the more relaxed mood found throughout the fashion industry, resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns and a move away from over embellishments. Whatever the reason, Mohapatra’s pullback from in-your-face glitz and glam serves this collection well.

Keeping with the sustainable ‘going green’ motif that was front and center for many New York Fashion Week (NYFW) collections, Mohapatra employed vegan leather for several of his daywear garments which makes those garments more affordable to the average consumer. And though this collection projected a modern perspective on glam and luxury, Mohapatra still was able to brilliantly reference old world fabrics and design techniques evidenced in his use of lace, velvet, and lacey shrugs with a non to 1920s design aesthetics, and long flowing trains that evoked moods of elegance and sophistication.

Images courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra

Is Bibhu Mohapatra in this outing predicting that good times are a head, post-pandemic? Of course, he is. Hopes springs eternal and Mohapatra is a master at inspiring beauty, hope, and modern glamour!! Now all consumers need is somewhere to wear these fabulous clothes. The party is just around the corner!!

—William S. Gooch


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