Clifford on the Catwalk Fall 2015
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Designer touts Houston love, understated glamour and search for world's best fried chicken

Designer touts Houston love and search for world's best fried chicken

Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 41
Bibhu Mohapatra onyx crepe gown with ivory silk barathea train. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 37
Bibhu Mohapatra indigo bird cage embroidered chiffon and crepe gown. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 16
Bibhu Mohapatra ruby organza embroidered backgammon dress with dyed ostrich feather skirt. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 14
Bibhu Mohapatra ruby dye broadtail mink cutaway jacket with sheared mink shields, ruby silk blouse and marigold draped pants. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 6
Bibhu Mohapatra onyx, ruby and ivory crepe day dress with side drape detail. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 5
Bibhu Mohapatra indigo and midnight dyed astrakhan coat over onyx and indigo backgammon jacquard dress. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 38
Bibhu Mohapatra marigold crepe harness gown. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 35
Bibhu Mohapatra ruby backgammon embroidered crepe gown. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 28
Bibhu Mohapatra onyx crepe dress with bird cage print silk tail. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 designer 42
Bibhu Mohapatra acknowledges at the end of his fall runway show. Photo courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 41
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 37
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 16
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 14
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 6
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 5
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 38
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 35
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 Look 28
Clifford Fashion Week New York fall 2015 Bibhu Mohapatra March 2015 designer 42

NEW YORK — For fall, Bibhu Mohapatra is into understated glamour. His new collection, unveiled at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, features clean, graphic looks in primary shades of black, white and silver, with bursts of marigold, ruby and indigo blue. Bias-cut gowns with flowing trains, ostrich feather skirts and luxe fur coats with a light, unbundled-up feeling dress up the collection without too many bells and whistles.

Mohapatra told style.com that after traveling to India in early December to mourn the death of his father, he stripped out the floral motifs from the collection and replaced them with brushstrokes and feathers for a more restrained look. "She's the same woman, but a little more restrained, serious," he said, referring to his customer and this collection.

 "Women in Houston actually buy clothes to wear. If I had the choice I would like to have that in all of the cities." 

There's still plenty of "wow" factor for his upscale clientele, particularly in the evening gowns and draped day dresses in graphic color-block patterns. When in Houston a few months ago for a personal appearance at Elizabeth Anthony, which showcases his collection, Mohapatra said that, while he is known for evening gowns, his expanded daywear and fur collections are increasingly popular.

"I think I get to know my customer every season because she’s evolving. She has become global. When I send my products to China, it’s the same woman. Physically she may be different but she’s exposed and she understands the aesthetics. So whether it’s China or the Middle East or India or New York or Houston, I’m getting to know my client better, so my product is evolving based on that."

From periodic trips to Houston (he is good friends with Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow and his partner Christopher Gardner and has also shown his collection twice at Fashion Houston), Mohapatra has been impressed by the way Bayou City women dress.

"But the reality is that they have a special affinity for arts and culture. Let’s take clothes out of the equation for a second. Look at the appetite for art alone. It all kinds of centers on that," he said. "Women in Houston actually buy clothes to wear. If I had the choice I would like to have that in all of the cities."

During his next trip to Houston, look for Mohapatra to dine on a local delicacy. When asked what was something people didn't know about him, he said, "I love fried chicken. I love it so much to the point that I could eat it every day."

CultureMap advised him to check out Frenchy’s on his next Houston trip because it's a favorite of Beyoncé.

"If it’s good for Beyoncé, it’s good for me," he said.