story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
The truest trend to emerge from the Spring 2012 collections shown during New York Fashion Week has been exceptional designers modifying or out and out altering the fundamental nature of the clothes that they produced from the last season to this season. Done right, that approach is an invigorating shock to the system. Bibhu Mohapatra‘s Spring 2012 collection was certainly an example of it being done right.
The Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2011 collection was a hard edged and still glamorous exploration of the designer’s fascination with layering and exposure. That element of revelation is a definitive signature in this young rising star’s early career. It is so surely a signature because it occurred again this season but in a radical new way.
Mr. Mohapatra’s designs this season felt refined and were constructed in a more traditional manner. Not to say that they were staid, there were clever metallic accents, fascinating fabrics galore that elevated the collection, as well as a brilliant play with silk rectangles over mesh that was proof positive that Bibhu Mohapatra has a couturier’s imagination. The collection overall was a mix of elegant length, flowing fabric, and shapely shorter dresses. A few tailored pieces sprinkled in provided proof that Mr Mohapatra can dress his woman well at any time of day and in any situation. It is on such ability that houses of fashion are built.
Some of the best pieces were created with that technique of the rectangles and squares of silk. It occurred over and over and never became forced or tiring. Whether it was in a striking blue blouse or as a curving pattern in black on a sexy sleeveless cocktail dress, it was always exciting and compelling. Jewelry by designer Rachel Dooley’s Gemma Redux brand provided a perfect compliment and finished many of the looks beautifully. It’s the marriage of imaginative vision married to ability to execute that elevates Mr. Mohapatra and his work to the status of designer to watch.