What’s in a name? In Bibhu Mohapatra’s case a great dose of exoticism and an unexpected ring. Mr. Mohapatra may not be a household name yet, but that shall steadily change with the next set of collections.
This apparent newcomer to the fashion scene is in actually a vetted fashion veteran. You’ve seen his work in the past –he was J. Mendel’s Design Director for a decade.
Now, this once behind-the-scenes fashion feature, is flexing his creative muscles under his eponymous name. Bibhu Mohapatra is playing the artistic card to establish himself by introducing new materials and by exploring an unfamiliar approach to textile selections, cuts and treatments.
If you’re a wallflower, his overall look may seem a little out of league. But, once this unfamiliar aesthetic is separated into singular pieces, the entire collection becomes much more approachable, and in some occasions easily wearable.
Some critics point out that his work can be a little too intellectual, too researched at times. Doing one’s homework is hardly a crime, especially in a world where innovations and originality are prized above all. Riveted cocktail dresses in silk crepe are not that challenging when they are well executed.
Bibhu Mohapatra’s strength is outerwear and his masterful hand at treating skins (leathers, shearlings, full-furs) like textiles. His experience allows him to cut through impossibilities and make them his fashion realities. His fur pieces are highly original, provocative at times but never offensive. Combining and juxtaposing materials (yes, even metal!), colors and textures are what make his designs so special.
For images of all the designer fur fashion collections for fall 2011 visit Fur-Style.com.