An Ode to Nancy Cunard

Though ornate fabrics and intricate designs are trademark aesthetics of Indian-American designer Bibhu Mohapatra, the upcoming collection for spring/summer 2015 was a fusion of his aesthetics and inspiration from the life of Nancy Cunard, a 20th century heiress, muse and activist.

"…She was stylish, she was iconic, she wore leather and bangles, she wore bandannas, and was truly ahead of her time," Mohapatra said in an interview with FashionOne. “This collection is an ode to that woman. That edge, that courage she had."

Many of the pieces contained handwoven combinations of leather, lace and even silk. The color palette mostly ranges between black and white, but with the geometric tessellations and African prints, not even the most discerning eye will be bored with this collection.

Amit Abraham of L'Oréal Professionel, was the lead hairstylist for the show. Feeding off the leather-lace stitching used in the collection and the soft-focus flowers used on some of the dresses, Abraham arranged the models’ hair in textured buns, with small spikes.

Gina Edwards of KISS Products, was the lead manicurist for the show. She chose the various prints as her inspiration, using white press-on nails with black interlocking lines. For added detail, four nails were painted white, while the thumbs were painted black.

Overall, the collection does a great job of being inspired by history, rather than simply replicating it. In Mohapatra's words, the clothes make the wearers "more of who they are, and not try to turn them into something else."
Fashion One
Fashion One 
Number of Posts: 1517

Do you have a Fashion story idea or tip? Email us at