Having cut his teeth working for a decade as design director for J.Mendel prior to launching his namesake collection in 2008, Bibhu Mohapatra certainly knows his way around a fur. His presentation today showed that he has grown increasingly focused on flexing equal muscle within sportswear categories as well.
For Fall 2013, he cited photographer Man Ray as a key source of inspiration. Art Deco’s controlled strength could also be discerned within his experimental architecture of seams and his pursuit of a vertically linear silhouette. This formality was subverted via the treatment of a fence-link motif, realized in prints and applique techniques (a Bibhu signature).
For evening, things went the direction of Hollywood’s Golden Era; gowns conjured mantinee greats like Harlow and Hepburn as photographed by Horst. This translated (styling-wise) to “Sunset Boulevard” fur stoles, fastened with jewel-dripping brooches and sky-high, mirrored wedges. These richly glamorous looks spoke directly to those “High Society” ladies in attendance, looking for ways to showstop as they enter benefits and A-list events. At this point in the game, there’s no doubt that Bibhu’s got the uptown class game cornered. In future seasons he’ll seal the deal via injecting the right hint of downtown cool.