Bibhu Mohapatra Gets Serious for Spring with Confident, Muted Looks

The designer followed three basic tenets -- confident, sexy, simple -- in creating his Spring 2012 collection.

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A look from Bibhu Mohapatra's Spring 2012 collection.
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"My woman is confident, and sexy, and simple," says designer Bibhu Mohapatra of his Spring 2012 collection. Indeed, the suits, dresses, and gowns seem to buck the season's penchant for screaming color and sporty shapes. His tones are muted and silhouettes sleek and understated.
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Elegance with a nod of glamour has always been Mohapatra's signature, but don't let soft hues and neutrals, and ladylike elements fool you: There's overt sex appeal in this exaggerated plunging neckline and high slit.
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One of the line's more casual looks: a drape-front suede-and-lambskin jacket and slightly slinky day-to-night dress.
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"There is a play on sheer and opaque," says Mohapatra, "She's using her skin as an accessory for her look, because she's so comfortable in her own skin. She's proud of it."
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The most drastic leap towards color would be the accents of a slate-muted turquoise on a few gowns.
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"I wanted to use softer materials against harder materials," points out Mohapatra. The gentle effect of such contrasts works.
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New techniques this season include raw selvage edges and laser-cut panels made by bonding fabric together. Says Mohapatra, "I wanted to create geometry this time, because geometry doesn't always have to be stiff, but it's structured."
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The inspiration: Polaroid outtakes of famous photo shoots. "So you see someone who is really, really confident and comfortable, and she's sophisticated at the same time," explains the designer.
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