Photos: Kevin Sturman. Courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra.
Machinery during the Mussolini days, Italian Futurism and the golden age of aviation sparked Bibhu Mohapatra's creativity for AW10, leading him to create an across-the-board chic collection of vintage glamour, with just enough modern touches to sell. Lauren Santo Domingo styled the emerging designer's show, a 26-look set done in all neutrals with just a few touches of ruby and emerald.
Luxurious outerwear, sometimes trimmed with beaver or fox fur, started the collection off strong, and paneled jumpers and Oxfords fit seamlessly with the simplest of pencil skirts. Then the dresses. For day, Mohapatra rolled out designs in black wool crepe and nude pleated silk. Moving to evening, he delivered a red-carpet-ready selection of gowns, our favourite of which was a deep-V, green silk style with a bound-metal belt. If he keeps designing collections like this, then Mohapatra soon should expect a spot in the Tents.
Last year, the Bloomberg administration, alongside the CDFA, set up the Fashion Incubator initiative. In order to be eligible, entrants had to be "working designers" with orders from retailers, to have been in business for more than a year and a half, have a member of staff to support, have been in receipt of "substantive editorial coverage" and to submit a business plan, detailing this. As a reward for jumping through all those hoops, a chosen 12 would win the main prize of moving into one of the design spaces in the Fashion Incubator space. Aside from being situated in the heart of the Garment District, the spaces (800 to 1000 square feet) would be rentable at subsidized rates ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, knocked down from $2,900.
So who are the lucky 12? That would be Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Jolibe's Joel Diaz, Alice Ritter, Gemma Redux's Rachel Dooley, Bibhu Mohapatra, Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi of Public School, Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry, Ruby Kobo's Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo, Grey Ant's Grant Krajecki and Lewis's Alison Lewis. They'll soon take up residence in the spaces, which each come with a two-year lease. We look forward to seeing what fashion-forward creations come out of what will clearly be such a creative hub.