Feted couturier Bibhu Mohapatra stuns all with Come  Home collection at LFWxFDCI 

Bibhu talks about all things fashion and his plans for India on the sidelines of the show
Bibhu Mohapatra with her muses at LFWxFDCI show
Bibhu Mohapatra with her muses at LFWxFDCI show

The 5-day gala Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI came to a grand end with a spectacular showcase of more than 70 outfits, old and new, created by feted designer Bibhu Mohapatra. The New York based designer’s show was hosted at the al-fresco fountains at Pragati Maidan and for the very first time, the evening saw legendary Lakmē muses of the past and present including Ananya Panday, Lisa Haydon, Bipasha Basu, Vipasha Agarwal, Simone Singh, Carol Gracias and Shimona Nath walk the ramp in Bibhu’s exotic cocktail ensembles.

<em>Bipasha Basu at Bibhu Mohapatra's show at LFWxFDCI</em>
Bipasha Basu at Bibhu Mohapatra's show at LFWxFDCI

After nearly a decade, it was a homecoming show for Bibhu Mohapatra with Come Home collection -- a mesmerising look at fashion inspired by the enduring spirit of Indian women, combined with timeless designs and colours. It was also a celebration of Bibhu’s roots and heritage of India. Being the designer of choice for the world’s powerful and inspiring women several times, Bibhu’s creations offered a blend of style and elegance that merged the beauty of India with the sensibilities of Western fashion requirements.

<em>Lisa Haydon at Bibhu Mohapatra's show at LFWxFDCI</em>
Lisa Haydon at Bibhu Mohapatra's show at LFWxFDCI

His construction and sharp tailoring have turned into iconic fashion for trend-setting women. The 75 stunning looks unveiled at the Grand Finale comprised not only Bibhu Mohapatra’s latest creations but also brought on the ramp his much-loved iconic signature pieces that traced the journey of his eponymous label. “I could not have been more thrilled to be back after almost a decade and be the closing designer for Lakmē Fashion Week x FDCI. My Come Home collection was a humble effort to honour the women who have helped shape my life. The show tonight felt nothing short of surreal,” Bibhu enthuses. 

We speak to Bibhu on the sidelines of the grand affair to know more.

Tell us about your collection Come Home that you showed at LFWxFDCI.

The Come Home collection is a curation of my body of work ranging from the SS 24 collection to my first ever collection dating back to Fall 2009. The whole range comprises the greatest hits from my couture range over a decade. A lot of architectural details, drapes, vibrant colours define the outfits but all of them are balanced with heavy neutral shades, luminous fabrics like crepes, silk and a lot of embroidery that is done by the artisans from various regions of India. It’s definitely an emotional one for me to be here, trying to chronicle all the different experiences of my life and celebrating the women I grew up around.

It is sort of drawing a parallel between my muses and the collection and I am glad I could bring back those beautiful embroidery that were done for my ensembles here.

<em>Ananya Panday at Bibhu Mohapatra's show at LFWxFDCI</em>
Ananya Panday at Bibhu Mohapatra's show at LFWxFDCI

Shed some light on the symbiosis of the Lakme theme this season with your collection.

It resonates with their philosophy since my collection comprises modern clothes for the modern Indian woman and there is a celebration of colours in each outfit balanced with a liberal use of black and gold.

Tell us how your design philosophy has evolved with time in this post-pandemic era.

What we learned from the pandemic is that change is the only inevitable, and we need to be able to change with time in order to stay relevant. Post-pandemic, we wanted to be more directly connected with our audience, so we opened our first brick-and-mortar store in downtown New York, which was a step in that direction.  

How much has couture fashion changed and how does the new generation perceive fashion?

There has been a democratization of couture. It is defined differently and its focus has been on its source, the craft and how the consumer uses couture. All these have been redefined. The new generation perceives fashion as a medium of expression. Clothes are an extension of their own persona and they are very conscious of what they invest in.

What will trend this Spring Summer 2024 in terms of colours, cuts, fabric and silhouettes?

There will be a splash of geometry patterns, and vivid colours matched with neutrals with lots of surface treatments.

It seems relaxed fashion has become the norm of the day and is here to stay for a while. What’s your take?

I feel that relaxed fashion has always been here, it’s just that we tend to focus on it periodically.

What's your advice for SS’24 wardrobe essentials?

It’s always the crisp white cotton shirt for me.

What’s next for Bibhu Mohapatra?

India. I am just exploring partnerships and conversations and I am not in a hurry. I am just taking my time and trying to find out what’s the best strategy for re-entering India with my brand.

Some tips to step out in style this winter?

Simplicity, restraint and celebration are key reigning factors while choosing your wardrobe. Go all out and embrace jewel tones, they are the toast of the season

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