Even an exclusive interview with Bibhu Mohapatra before fashion week, in which the designer shared his inspirations for Fall 2011 (The Crucible,The Occult, Futuristic Distopia, Good vs. Evil) could not prepare me for the experience of stepping into the box at Lincoln Center as the collection was unveiled. From Carl Orff's thundering overture O Fortuna blasting in the background to the models whom were expertly portraying menace through haughty looks and judgmental glances, the presentation was absolutely, terrifyingly thrilling.
And that is before we even get to the clothes.
The perfect tailoring and exquisite detailing for which Bibhu Mohapatra has become known was present in every piece but this time the collection also had a palatable creative energy that contained the truly cinematic inspiration for the collection, and made it so much more than a fashion week presentation; it was an artistic tour de force.
But when you cast aside all that art and expression, the pieces were just plain pretty.
At the most basic level, the thing that brings me back to Bibhu Mohapatra's work season after season is that as capable as he is as an artist to draw on a seemingly outlandish inspiration, and actually execute in a manner that is both clear and dazzling he never loses his understanding of the female form and the principles of great construction. In other words, these pieces aren't just avant-garde and interesting they are wearable, and undoubtedly will be worn on red carpets and in gala halls everywhere for years to come. From silk cocktail dresses with woven strap details, to goat hair coats with punched leather accents, these are definitely the pieces women will want to wear in Fall 2011.