Bibhu Mohapatra spent time in Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer, where he designed the costumes for a production of Aida. While he was there he saw his first luna moth, and he was taken by its prophetic quality and architectural design. A print capturing the energy of a butterfly's metamorphosis emerged—digitally and in a burnout pattern—which Mohapatra applied to sexy, slimming silhouettes that used strong, angled peplums and shoulder cutouts to augment the wearer's curves. Given the designer's inspiration, not to mention his stint designing opera costumes, there was a fear that he might overdo. But Mohapatra relied on his print (which was more exploding glass than emerging butterfly), saturated palette, and strong silhouette to create looks with impact. There was not an extra embellishment in sight.
A cobalt top in the morph print, worn with a pair of slim cigarette pants, had an appealing boxiness: Though the fabric had a rich sheen, it looked suited for day. Evening softened up. Hand-pleated chiffon skirts added a desirable lightness, but angular cutouts and graphic lace continued the collection's geometric through-line. With figure-hugging forms, as most of these were, the fit has to be perfect; a few of the dresses here were too big on the models, causing prints to gap unflatteringly. That's a small criticism, and one Mohapatra will likely have worked out by the time these clothes arrive in stores.