Next season's affiliation with the East and Near East raised the bar on so many levels. First, diversity, which is a rare occurrence on the runway, and second, women's rights. Often is the mention of women's issues when discussing second or third worlds. It's something that unfortunately goes with the territory of poverty and a lack of higher education. There is not one designer who tackled these current (and redundant) issues better than Bibhu Mohapatra. His fall collection is riddled with oriental themes, but with one powerful message - confidence outweighs all beauty. What is glamour without attitude, pose without dignity? Bibhu from a young age was aware of the mistreatment of women in his birth country, India. That's why his clothing reflects the very women who have stood up to chauvinist norms; those who carved paths for others.
[Photos courtesy Bibhu Mohapatra]