It hasn't been the most favorable economic climate for any young designer, let alone one trying to break into the eveningwear market. Credit Bibhu Mohapatra
for being not only talented but adaptable. The designer's third collection was his strongest—and crucially, most rounded—to date. Two oft-cited films, Bernardo Bertolucci's Il Conformista
and Fritz Lang's Metropolis
, inspired the sophisticated daywear he developed for Fall. Strongest were the smartly tailored wool coats, a pencil skirt with brass buttons, and a chunky double-breasted cardigan trimmed in fur. The dresses, surprisingly, were more hit-or-miss. A pale hand-pleated chiffon number was pretty, but the label inside could easily have read J. Mendel (the designer's previous employer). A draped silk evening gown that floated across the model's body, on the other hand, struck just the right note. Mohapatra made an effort to tell a more complete story this season. It's a strategy that should pay dividends in the coming months.