Shoppers in the Midwest may not immediately recognize the name Bibhu Mohapatra. The Indian-born designer’s label has been an increasingly visible part of the New York fashion scene since 2009, but even this morning, as his designs came down the runway of the Studio at Lincoln Center, it was a little disconcerting to here some attendees ask: “Who is this?” and “Why are we here?”
For those who know, however, Mohapatra is quickly establishing himself as one of the great new dress designers. From day wear to evening gowns, his love for bright colors and attention to garment construction results in a collection of dresses that are dramatic and bold while still being inherently wearable. Mohapatra sends nothing down the runway that wouldn’t work in any woman’s wardrobe.
While many designers have opted for looser, more flowing styles for this season, Bibhu gives us a much more tailored silhouette. Inspired by modern and expressionist dance, the Bibhu Mohapatra dress shows off the shape of a woman and moves with that shape as she walks. Waists are, again, very high, but with the exception of a few pleated pieces skirts play close to the hips and legs, even when they go all the way to the floor.
Colors, of course, are strong and loud. Mohapatra started the show with very bright yellow and green florals that would be impossible to ignore in any room. His pink pieces come with applique flowers that look like poppies scattered across shining fields. There is the obligatory laser cut mesh and everyone seems to be using sheer layers this season. What really stands out, though, is the beautiful structure and cut of the evening gowns, the prize of which is a beautiful watercolor print with a deep V cut and note card collar.
Bibhu Mohapatra is largely accessible, available at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and a host of boutiques across the country. Remember this name when you get ready to go shopping next spring. You want some these dresses in your closet.