Tag - Bibhu Mohapatra

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Fashion Houston Night Three: Vintage Renaissance, Melancholy Photography, Mark Rothko and Chloe Dao
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Fashion Houston- Day 2

Fashion Houston Night Three: Vintage Renaissance, Melancholy Photography, Mark Rothko and Chloe Dao

New York designer Bibhu Mohapatra once again returned to Houston and graced us with another wonderful collection. His Spring 2015 ready-to-wear collection was inspired by British writer, heiress and political activist- Nancy Cunard (1896-1965). Bibhu had been on a Cunard ocean liner a couple years back and read about her in the ship’s library. He recalls being enthralled by her philanthropist lifestyle and style. Her style was very eclectic, as she favored large African-inspired statement jewelry made from mainly natural materials, such as: wood, bone and ivory. She was known for stacking large bracelets on both arms, from wrist to elbow. The necklaces she wore consisted of bulky cubes, taking on a hint of ‘Cubism.’ Mohapatra’s collection was his view on how he thinks Nancy would dress if she were alive today. Geometric patterns, leather and vintage (notably the 20s/Art Deco period) silhouettes were very prominent in the collection. All the looks were powerful, modern and feminine, while taking on an air of Nancy Cunard’s legacy.

Rebecca Minkoff flew in from New York City to present her Spring/Summer 2015 collection, inspired by Deborah Turbeville- a fashion photographer who was known for turning the otherwise light and whimsical art of fashion photography and turning it into more dark and melancholy beauty. She would manipulate her negatives by scratching, tearing or dirtying them up; as well as fade the color or deliberately overexpose them. Minkoff sent easy breezy bohemian pieces, along with her signature handbags down the runway. Some of the looks also gave off a subtle 70s vibe. A fringed moto jacket, reversible moto jacket, crisp blue and white with blue strip shirt-dresses stood out as key pieces in my opinion.

Houston Community College alum Jo’se (Jio’zei) Reyes’s collection took on an all new meaning to the “in charge” mantra. Structured suiting in dark hues were key elements in the collection. Geometric cut-outs and edgy color-blocking were strong points, while Reyes also took risks by including risqué slits in numerous garments. Regardless of the sensuality of some of the looks, Reyes still nailed the powerful “take charge,” strong career wear.

During intermission, pop/soul singer and songwriter- Ashley Toman took to the stage and performed a couple of her hit songs.

New Yorker Rolando Santana also returned to Houston to showcase his Spring/Summer 2015 collection, inspired by one of his favorite painters- Mark Rothko. The collection wasn’t a literal take on Rothko’s paintings, rather it adhered more to the simplicity of his work, the overall color-blocking and a hint of ‘Cubism.’ Lovely pastels played with darker hues on 40s/50s style dresses, flared skirts and bouncy blouses. Santana also took to toying with multiple textures, such as: fur, sequins, silks, etcetera. It was quite a pretty collection and I’m excited to see what Rolando brings to Houston next year.

Houston’s very own Project Runway darling- Chloe Dao was the last designer to headline night three. Of course, her Spring 2015 collection ‘The Building Block’ was undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser. Chloe goes on to state that, “The designs are meant to be staples in your closet. It was about building the perfect wardrobe for a woman. Within the collection, there were a lot of classic ‘must have’ pieces, such as a luxurious silk striped dress shirt, a sultry off-the- shoulder dress and a the ultimate skirt.” Chloe opted for timeless silhouettes, but added little touches of her own (such as fresh fabric choices). The ‘WOW pieces’ that seemed to get the most rave from the audience were the finale dresses in a gorgeous floral fabric. I also loved the long wrapped striped shirt dress, so crisp and clean. Check out chloedao.com for additional information. Be sure to also stop by her boutique in Rice Village if you are local to Houston (6127 Kirby Drive Houston,TX 77005).

Fashion Houston- Day 2

Fashion Houston day two brought upon a new era of anticipation as the night starred a number of well-known New York designers. The evening’s line-up was Bibhu Mohapatra, Rebecca Taylor, Chris Knott for Peter Millar, Yigal Azrouel and Nicole Miller.

The first designer that showed when the lights went down was fashion and costume designer Bibhu Mohapatra. Indian-American Bibhu has always had a knack for fashion from an early age. He started out by designing clothing for his sister. After moving to New York City, he enrolled in FIT. During that time, he won the Critic’s Award for Best Evening Wear Designer during his senior year, which launched his fashion career to the next level. He has worked for Halston and J. Mendel before he transitioned to launch his namesake label in 2009. Since his launch, Bibhu strives to focus on “designing clothing with quality, craftsmanship, luxurious integrity and a life of beyond one season.” His love of lavish Indian fabrics, vivid colors and the crafts of his beloved native India are what draws most of his inspiration for his collections. While his Spring/Summer 2014 collection he showcased during Fashion Houston was influenced by the freedom, grace and beauty of modern dance, whereas the floral pieces showed a nod to have been influenced by the bright orange red Butea Monosperma (or Indian Palash) flower. The flower signifies a notion that Spring is coming and boy was Spring alive in the collection (and even the on the two projection screens between the runway)! Billowy dresses in Palash and geometric cut-out prints danced effortlessly down the runway. If that wasn’t enough eye-candy; tops, dresses and pants that were embellished with 3-D flowers were paired with their chic, crisp white reciprocals. Thank you Mr. Mohapatra for bringing a little bit of New York panache dressed with some Indian flair to the city of Houston.

For the next showcase, we switched gears a little towards a contemporary ready-to-wear collection of New York City designer Rebecca Taylor. In the beginning (circa the 90s) she, along with business partner Beth Bugdaycay started the brand under humble practices, such as going the sales, packing and shipping themselves. Both women are very grateful on how far they have come. Rebecca is well-known as a master of layering delicate dresses and skirts with textured and knit tops. For her Spring 2014 collection, she looked towards Cecil Beaton photographs from India, 90s rap style, American work wear, floral lithographs and a quote in a film about Impressionist painter- Renoir. The quote is paraphrased (since it was originally in French) as, “There is so much ugly in the world, why not make something beautiful?” Rebecca indeed made the world a bit more beautiful that evening as layered sporty yet very downtown chic looks breezed down the runway. The sporty looks also easily flowed into the last part of the collection, which featured pretty frocks and separates with ethereal Impressionist-style floral prints.

Cut25 by Yigal Azrouel was among the myriad of well-known New York City designers to present their collections during Fashion Houston. The talented Israeli born designer launched his namesake brand in 1998 and gained rave reviews for his womens ready-to-wear collections. He is now known for his impeccable construction, lux fabrications and cutting-edge designs. He recently debuted his latest line- Cut25 back in 2010. Cut25 is Yigal’s more contemporary line that associates high fashion with the simplicity of everyday wear. The line offers a youthful, feminine yet edgy appeal that marries exclusive fabrics and body-conscious contours. The Spring 2014 collection that was viewed was very streamlined and simple. There was ample black and white contrasting, moto jackets and vests, Baroque prints, body-con dresses, leather leggings and asymmetrical hemlines.

Chris Knott brought preppy menswear to Houston through his company- Peter Millar. Knott founded the brand in 2001 and created the name “Peter Millar” based on an inscription from an antique lawn bowling ball his Mother had given to him. He felt the bowling ball was from an era when people cared passionately about the impression they were actualizing in their daily lives. It is because of this, that Knott instills careful attention to detail, luxurious fabrics and superb craftsmanship in all his golf and lifestyle wear. We witnessed his Spring 2014 menswear collection that evening, which consisted of classic yet modern mens separates, which were seemingly inspired by Hamptons-meets-Southern charm. Colors were mixed. Solids and pastels popped against stripes and plaids. The classic mens suit was given a new modernized yet handsomely tailored twist. Kudos to Mr. Knott for giving men everywhere a chance to golf and paint the town red in style.

The last designer to show that evening was another well-known NYC designer- Nicole Miller. Growing up, Nicole studied at Rhode Island School of Design and had “intense” training for a year at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where she trained in fabric manipulation, drape and the art of haute couture. She launched her company with business partner- Bud Konheim in 1982. Since then, her designs are focused on either black or brightly colored form-flattering dresses and very uptown separates with a hint of edginess. She pays strict attention to the cut of the garment, such as: necklines, proportions and curves. Miller’s Spring 2014 collection titled “Rebels with a Cause” was set against a digital floral backdrop with the beat of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” blaring throughout the venue. Her signature form-fitting dresses were the stars of the show, with floral prints and body contouring lines. We also saw florals and solids in an elaborate patchwork motif. Florals were tastefully mixed with stripes and popped against neutral solids.

Miller’s show was the perfect ending to the second day of Fashion Houston.

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