#ELLEExclusive: Bibhu Mohapatra On His Latest Collection For New York Fashion Week Advertisement

#ELLEExclusive: Bibhu Mohapatra On His Latest Collection For New York Fashion Week

"I believe that limited resources makes one creative. And sometimes, innovations stem from necessities."

By Ruman Baig  February 25th, 2021

Bibhu Mohapatra’s Fall/Winter collection at New York Fashion Week paid homage to the fearless women of the past and present. Inspired by the socio-political change around him in The United States, where women are finally equalising in the power dynamics, the  Odisha-born designer presented a line that celebrates the new dawn.
In a quick tête-à-tête with ELLE India, Bibhu Mohapatra spoke to us about his positive takeaway from the lockdown, and how less-is-more should be a motto upcoming designers need to emphasise.
Bibhu Mohapatra
ELLE: What inspired your latest collection?

Bibhu Mohapatra: As we sanguinely enter into the ’20s of this century, with hope and optimism, history is being made. The high governing power is entrusted with the task of leadership by women who are no longer nameless or invisible. These women are the modern-day muses and role models of our time. Historically, the artist and muse relationships varied from companions to studio muses to lovers. Whether it is the Harlem renaissance magic between A’Lelia Walker and Langston Hughes or the decades-long companionship of Gustave Klimt and Emily Flöge, the alliance was held strong. With the Fall ’21 collection, we celebrate these female muses and their influence on the works of many successful artists and writers.

Bibhu MohapatraBibhu Mohapatra
ELLE: How did you adapt to the current situation? And what are the business and design changes you had to implement to sustain?

BM:  In the last ten months, it became clear to me that we needed to re-evaluate our journey. It became clear to me that we needed to re-acess our process and make some changes that will allow us to create more responsibly. We have decided to focus on our digital channels and e-commerce platforms. We also dug into our vast archive of 11 years with 2,500 designs and came up with a smaller but more focused and well-priced collection.

It was interesting to re-visit the pieces and up-cycle them, and creating a narrative that blends the new and old perfectly.  By inculcating these practices, we hope to re-route the label’s journey towards a more mindful one. We aim for our clothes to last for a long time with a life span well beyond a season.

Bibhu Mohapatra
ELLE: What’s the one thing you love, and one that you hate about digital fashion shows?

BM: I love the story-telling part on digital. What I am not-so-crazy about is digital, or simulated fashion shows. To me, fashions shows are about the energy in the room and that energy comes from the people in the room. Without an audience, a show is not a show.

Bibhu Mohapatra
ELLE: As uncertainties continue to loom over businesses, what would you advise new designers?
BM: I believe that limited resources make one creative… sometimes innovations stem from necessities! If you are just starting out in the industry, do not let anything take your eye off your consumer.  Always stay connected and take cues from them. Guard your resources and be very careful and smart about utilising them.