Dramatic and somber orchestra music played echoing off the tall white walls of the Chelsea gallery where Mohapatra’s creations hung elegantly on statuesque models. Former design director of J. Mendel, Bibhu Mohapatra’s Fall 2010 collection is inspired by two films — Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Il Conformista” and Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis.” With an aesthetic reminiscent of the roaring 20’s in the US, Mohapatra’s collection brought back to life “… man’s fascination with machinery during the time of Mussolini in the wake of Italian futurism and on the brink of aviation’s golden age.” There were 26 total looks ranging from day to evening with highlights including a nice selection of floor-length draped chiffon evening gowns. Feminine pieces mixed and mingled with men’s tailoring incorporating many textures: furs and leathers, chiffon, satin, silk, wool and velvet. The sophisticated makeup keyed by Alexa Rodulfo beautifully complimented the collection with a deep red lip on a canvas of dewy pale skin, highlighted cheekbones and a lightly sculpted eye. In the front, the hair was pulled back tightly reminiscent of the 20’s with soft stacked twists and buns in the back bringing an element of modernity to the look. Overall the collection brought an element of vintage fantasy with a modern twist, a must see for all you fashionistas out there hungry for a taste of old elegance.
– Jen Paelmo