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Bibhu Mohapatra

Bibhu Mohapatra was thinking about early-20th-century photographers Wanda and Marianne Wulz while designing his Resort collection. “They were bold, experimental women,” Mohapatra said at his studio, gesturing to a print of Io + gatto, a composite photo of Wanda and her cat that is both strange and engrossing.

Mohapatra is drawn to women of that era, in part because he is also drawn to the aesthetic movements of the time: futurism, Bauhaus, Art Deco. Some of the best pieces in this broad selection were those that nodded, even ever so slightly, to the geometry that emerges from each of those design practices.

Both the first look (a peplum top and matching skirt in color-blocked orange-red and putty gray) and the last (a black gown inset with appliquéd pale pink tulle petals) were strong. In between, the designer took some of his favorite techniques—starburst pleats on a skirt, matchstick paillettes arranged as daisies on a cropped silk jacket—and built a warm, rich collection that looked a little busy all lined up in one row. The good news was that, individually, each piece in the eclectic mix had legitimate hanger appeal, from the cropped wide-leg pants to a pleated floor-length gown in a floral-printed chiffon.

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