February 12, 2014 New York
It's a winding way to go about things, but the end result was anything but convoluted. Mohapatra made it his mission this season to further define his voice, tweaking silhouettes that have sold well at retail to emphasize consistency without going stale. It's a smart approach for a fairly commercial designer; "I built the collection based on information," Mohapatra said at his studio a few days before the show, in the midst of model fittings. The end result was a mix of evening and day that was quite pretty but also more focused than past collections. The DNA bar code motif—which could have gone terribly wrong—was a success, best when painted in metallic gold and silver on a series of ivory numbers, particularly a short, full-skirted cocktail dress that came in at a V at the waist. It was sort of a faux wrap, and it worked really well to freshen up the silhouette. That V showed up again on a black tuxedo dress, woven for a quilted effect. The sunset-print evening gowns, while pretty, might've been a bit too literal for evening. That print worked better as the lining of a fur coat. (Fur is a big seller for the designer, so he has teamed up with Blackglama to increase production.)
Mohapatra's other subtle nod to Tibet was in the scarves. He slung them elegantly around models' necks and tied them at the back. They gave the collection cohesion, but also a certain polish. Mohapatra is a very emotional designer—he speaks a lot of spirituality and values when referring to his work—but his analytical side served him well this season. It was a collection of hits that will further establish where he fits in the fashion world.