Front Row

Bibhu Mohapatra FW23: Echoes of a Muse

For FW23, Bibhu Mohapatra found renewed fascination in Nancy Cunard, the iconic heiress and avant-garde figure captured by Man Ray. Mohapatra’s discovery of her biography influenced the collection’s narrative.

The runway both commenced and concluded with an ode to Cunard’s “Wheels,” hinting at Mohapatra’s personal aspirations. Signature elements like the delicate drape of plissé, intricate embellishments, and bold sleeve designs made appearances.

Embroideries on tulle stood out, especially when paired with pants, offering a fresh twist. The Bibhu Mohapatra FW23 collection saw diverse ensembles, from pantsuits in varied hues to an abundance of separates. One notable piece was a beaded vegan leather midi skirt.

A highlight was Mohapatra’s partnership with the women-led brand, Janavi India, integrating their scarves seamlessly. The collection showcased beautiful asymmetries, vibrant color blends, and inventive design juxtapositions.

Though Bibhu Mohapatra relocated to the U.S. in 1996, his formative years in Odisha, on India’s eastern shoreline, deeply shape his creative lens. His mother, Sashikala, ingrained in him a passion for handcrafted textiles and the significance of clothing as a potent symbol. Mohapatra often reflects on lessons from his mother and their shared moments of sewing. These cherished recollections and foundational techniques consistently weave into the tapestry of his designs.

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