From Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan to Jennifer Lopez and Lupita Nyong’o — the record of celebrities who’ve made some dazzling trend statements in Bibhu Mohapatra creations is lengthy. But ask the Odisha-born designer, who moved to America in 1996, about who he thinks carries off his outfits the very best, and he responds: “Michelle Obama”.

The former First Lady of the United States has been seen in beautiful creations by the designer on fairly a number of events — whether or not it was the poppy print costume and coat on her arrival to India with then President and husband Barack Obama; the ivory mousseline and embroidered guipure costume on the Phoenix Awards dinner; or for her look on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

In an unique electronic mail interplay with, the New York-based designer talks about his newest creation, pandemic and the style trade, collaborating with celebrities, his design aesthetics and the one particular person he actually wished he may design for. Excerpts:

From Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez to Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor Khan – your designs are embraced by every one. How does it really feel?

It is all the time an ideal feeling to be acknowledged in your work, however it’s particularly rewarding once you create a bond with a number of the folks you look as much as, by collaborating with them. For me it’s a blessing and an honor to have the chance to work with these people, however I’m extraordinarily lucky to name a few of them as pals.

How would you describe your design aesthetics?

It is all the time a examine of the juxtaposition of the opposites.

You designed a set amid the pandemic. How was the expertise, and what’s all of it about?

I really feel fortunate and privileged that I used to be capable of keep in contact with my workforce and we had been capable of design and launch the spring 21 assortment, after a eight month interval of lockdown. My Spring 21 assortment was impressed by life and works of Amrita Sher-Gil, the trailblazer first feminine modern artist of Indian respectable. I wished to see change and make change an inspiring course of. I wished to collaborate with artists of various genres to articulate my craft. So typically, it’s the work of artists confronting the darkness and obstacles in our world that may finally (and infrequently abstractly) assist us make sense of our place inside it.

This second in historical past — if we’re listening and searching deeply with our complete selves — has the facility to completely shift our perceptions relationships with race, privilege, fairness, empathy, and hope. Through artwork, and, on this case, via dance and motion, we are able to observe how bodily — and compassionately confronting limitations and blocks can profoundly push us to reassess, improvise, and discover a method ahead…in our work, our artwork, and in ourselves.

To change, we should transfer, be it awkward, unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and (hopefully) enlightening. Because standing nonetheless is not an possibility.

The pandemic, nevertheless, has modified the best way trend is perceived — did it in any method translate/seep into your assortment?

As we went via this pandemic, I’m simply much more appreciative of privilege I’ve of working with my workforce and with artisans all over the world. My assortment is empowered with plenty of hope and optimism for the longer term.

Sustainable trend has turn into a buzzword within the final two years. What is your tackle the identical?

Sensible creations and conscious consumption have turn into my motto within the post-pandemic world. We can by no means return to the best way issues had been, if we did, will probably be a disgrace.

Whether it’s the excessive trend or the best jewelry, numerous hours are devoted by artisans who carry the legacy of those crafts whereas creating each bit to perfection. This course of can solely be sustainable if it in flip acknowledges, enriches and empowers the particular person by giving due recognition to their craft. That to me is the true definition of luxurious, with a spotlight to protect and maintain the generations defying historic crafts. And I used to be glad to be a part of The Luxe Life with Tata CLiQ Luxury, a platform that not solely resonates with these sentiments however brings conversations like this to mainstream audiences

You have been part of the trade for lengthy now — what has been your largest studying in all these years?

I’ve learnt that one all the time has to consider the neighborhood and social fairness. Real progress can’t occur except we’re progressive sufficient to incorporate everybody’s story within the narrative, everybody that contributes to my course of.

If there’s one particular person you actually want to design for, who would that be?

Audrey Hepburn

If you needed to choose one one that you are feeling carries your designs the very best.. who would you title?

Michelle Obama

The pandemic additionally pressured the style trade to go digital. As a designer, what’s your view of digital trend exhibits vis-à-vis bodily ones?

I believe that expertise was already making a robust progress on the planet of trend, however the pandemic has pressured a lot of the professionals to just accept expertise as an ideal different. However, expertise has a protracted option to go to turn into an alternative to the actual really feel and contact of textures. Also with restrictions on internet hosting social occasions, I vastly take pleasure in discovering extra artistic methods to indicate my collections and inform my story, be it via robust imagery or a strong quick movie.

One trend pattern you by no means understood.

The velour fits that had been all the fashion a couple of decade in the past.

How a lot affect do you draw out of your Indian roots when conceptualising and creating a set?

My heritage is my artistic basis. Since I’ve moved to the West, I’ve constructed my aesthetic construction on that strong basis of my heritage. I design for a world viewers, however the influences of my Odia heritage is all the time current as a guiding line. Be it the color story, textiles, conceptual particulars or the embroidery craftsmanship, my Indian heritage all the time gives me with an edge.

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