After spending a few months in lockdown in upstate New York, designer Bibhu Mohapatra, returned to the city, with a new approach to his fashion storytelling. The result is a poignant film with a strong message of hope, based on the artist Amrita Sher-Gil. Mohapatra’s signature was apparent—feminine, sophisticated clothing, delicate embellishments (all upcycled from his archives) and an elegance that was grounded. Stand out looks included his take on the white skirt suit, the blazer with crystal paisley embroidery on the lapel, and a ladylike pale blue dress with piping and a caped bodice. Thankfully, there was nary a sweatpant in sight. Mohapatra tells us more.
Why did you choose a film to showcase this collection?
Before I decided to do a collection for spring/summer 2021, I realised that there has been a massive shift in my perception of my own craft. I wanted to tell my story in a different way, something more intimate and through a visual narrative. It was important for me to tell the story of my muse, Amrita Sher-Gil, and my vision for the collection in a way that remains with my audience for more than the duration of a fashion show. I love fashion shows but mainly because of the energy of the people in the room who come to support me. That was in the past, and we have different ways of sharing that energy these days, with a physical distance. For this film, I wanted to collaborate with artists of different genres—the film is directed by Shruti Ganguly and JD Urban, Amrita is played by Surina Jindal, and the muse is the Hamilton actor and star of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story, Ariana DeBose.