Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2023

Bibhu Mohapatra’s runway shows are one of the go-to fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. And his fall 2023 is a testament why this is the case.

Mohapatra always has interesting choices of inspiration—from the Belle Epoque era to his current muse 1920s heiress and political activist Nancy Cunard—the deep thinker digs deep into intellectual and cultural/political movements for direction for his fashion collections. And this deep thinking makes for interesting and thought-provoking fashion collections.

“I have been looking to the life and works of someone who has been influencing me for a long time. Nancy Cunard: the poet, heiress, muse, and political activist, who played a pivotal role in the significant historical events that occurred during her lifetime. Artists, writers, social workers, photographers, musicians, they all found that unique flame in Nancy that made her a muse and a collaborator to all of them. Known for her avant-garde, eccentric and interesting sense of style, Cunard lived a fascinating life of love, passion, influence and eventually, self-destruction. For her courage and tireless fight against inequality and racial injustice, Nancy Cunard is always going to be my hero and I dedicate my Fall 2023 collection to her life,” detailed Mohapatra.

Mohapatra can be counted on for beautiful embellishments on his garments, as well as statement sleeves, asymmetrical cuts, and his surprising take on gown and cocktail dress silhouettes with surprises around every corner, so to speak. That said, this season there were a few less surprises, which is understandable as Mohapatra is striving to expand his retail audiences. (Bibhu Mohapatra recently opened his namesake brick and mortar.)

This focus on more retail accessibility did make this outing a bit more disjointed with the collection almost resembling two separate collections. There were the almost couture-like garments with all the exquisite embellishments and surprises we have all come to expect from Mohapatra. Then there were the accessible garments that on their own were quite fine, but in this collection did not measure up against the other couture-like garments.

Images courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra

Still there was a lot to glory in this collection. Standout looks included Mohapatra’s mustard leather turtleneck with see-through black lace skirt, black bralette and black slacks with sequin embellished black tulle overlay, white tulle top with embellished yellow and black sequins paired with leather mustard long skirt, and off-the-shoulder embellished white lace gown with tulle overlay.

—William S. Gooch





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