It was a homecoming show for Bibhu Mohapatra’s ‘Come Home’ collection, which was a fascinating look at fashion inspired by the eternal spirit of Indian women, blended with timeless patterns and hues, after nearly a decade. It was also a celebration of Bibhu’s Indian background and history. His creations have always spoken a language of pure beauty and refinement, and the elegant global lady has coveted them. Bibhu has been the designer of choice for the world’s most influential and inspirational women on multiple occasions. Bibhu Mohapatra is well-known for producing memorable designs for celebrities including Michelle Obama, Kendall Jenner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Priyanka Chopra, and Deepika Padukone.

Bibhu Mohapatra, a New York-based designer, delivered the grand finale of fashion week with a collection that highlighted diversity and women. Bibhu has developed a successful international business centred on creative eveningwear that honours haute couture skills and old-world elegance from his roots in Odisha and his passion to Indian silks and ikats. The designer debuted 75 looks at LFW’s grand finale, including some of his most recent creations as well as some of his hallmark pieces.

The nostalgic event, held in the al-fresco Fountains at Pragati Maidan in Delhi, paid special tribute to Lakme’s past. For the first time, iconic Lakme muses from the past and present walked the runway. Some have even been dubbed “Born at Lakme” and have gone on to become renowned figures in the worlds of beauty and fashion. Shimona Nath, Kirandeep Chahal, Alicia Kaur, Bipasha Basu, Indrani Mukherji, Lisa Haydon, Ananya Panday, and Simone Singh were among the celebrity showstoppers and globally known Indian models that walked the runway. Each woman dressed for the occasion in a manner that fit her personality and brought Mohapatra’s ideas to life. 

As the stage lights up, fountains gush up towards the sky. Sukanya Chattopadhyay, a Hindustani classical vocalist, and Vasundhara Vee, known for her soulful jazz, set the tone as models strutted out in cocktail dresses, structured gowns, smart blazers, slinky skirts, and other embellished clothes. It was an intriguing display of Lakme’s legacy as well as Bibhu Mohapatra’s creative vision and the women who influenced him.

The event combined Lakmé’s rich tradition, Bibhu Mohapatra’s creative vision, and the impact of the exceptional women who influenced him. This big finale promises to be a stunning show of fashion, beauty, and Indian women’s everlasting power. It’s a celebration of timeless style, brilliant colours, and the ladies who make these aspects their own with ease.

Eponymous fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra said, “I could not have been more thrilled to be back after almost a decade and be the closing designer for Lakmē Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI. My ‘Come Home’ collection was a humble effort to honour the iconic muses of Lakmē and the women who have helped shaped my life. The show tonight felt nothing short of surreal and I am incredibly proud of this partnership with Lakmē to mark the launch of the House of Lakmē, unveiling a new era of Beauty x Fashion, growing from strength to strength in the time to come.”

Mohapatra blended contemporary designs with dazzling accents for a flexible evening wear collection inspired by his late mother Sashi.

“All of my easy aesthetic formations are from my childhood in Odisha. That is always present in my work, often subtle but it is always present.” said Bibhu. Because of its rich handcrafted culture, Odisha, his native state, has always had a big influence on his creations. After all, vibrant hand-woven silk and ikat materials from Odisha’s craftsmen can be found in his designs, all effortlessly fashioned into red-carpet-worthy gowns. “Family, friends, and food. But above all, my roots,” emotionally drawn back to India, and he responds quickly with a sentiment that he clearly transfers into his design.

Lisa Haydon looked stunning in a pastel-colored gown with a satin bottom. It was a dress with a deep sleeveline that showed off the pearl decorations she wore. Panday, on the other hand, wore a stylish combo that included a satin top, shorts, and a three-quarter-sleeved flowery jacket.

His first fashion presentation to the finale of fashion week in India, which served as the season’s conclusion, was a reiteration of the label’s strengths and hallmarks. Billowing frocks and seductive dresses were juxtaposed with ultra-modern separates and a broad range of modern materials, all decorated with sequin work, bugle beads, leather inlays, laser cutwork, and miles and metres of diaphanous tulle, organza, and silks. The entire theme was one of plenty and festivity, which was ideal for the occasion.

The appropriately named ‘Come Home’ collection features timeless designs and hues inspired by Bibhu’s history and traditions in India. ”The collection has a lot of Japanese crepes, silk barathea, silk chiffons, silk faille, cotton canvas, and artisanal denim are a few of the fabrics to highlight. Sculptural details are melded with organic elements, the shapes are modern and feminine,” shares the designer. The show at Pragati Maidan included some of his previously featured designs that have been worn by Bibhu’s international muses and stars. “I call them the greatest hits of the brand’s legacy of 14 years. The pieces are unique on their own, but they are particularly fitting because they have a lot of artisanal work done by the artisans of India. I wanted to tell the stories of those artisans by bringing their work home, after showing them at NYFW and PFW.”

Guests found Bibhu’s distinctive pieces—a carefully chosen mix of timeless classics and modern creations. According to the designer, the collection is a tribute to the women who moulded him and honours their individuality.

Commenting on the show, renowned designer Bibhu Mohapatra said“India holds a very special place in my heart, and I am delighted to return to my homeland and bring to the Lakmē Fashion Week x FDCI  runway a collection that champions the prowess of the modern Indian woman. I look forward to presenting my ‘Come Home’ collection drawing inspiration from the House of Lakmē and its effortless amalgamation of Beauty x Fashion. It is an honour to be the House of Lakmē Grand Finale designer this season. I believe that Lakmē and I, both share a common goal of championing women and celebrating their elegance, strength and confidence and empowering them to express their unique identities and talents.”

Harman Dhillon, Vice President Skin Care & Color Cosmetics at Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “We are excited to share that the Lakme story is evolving. Today, it’s not just a beauty brand but rather, an immersive experience we call the House of Lakme. The unparalleled range of beauty products curated for every showstopper on and off the runway, the creative energy of Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI and the indulgent Lakme salons, House of Lakme is here to deliver the experience of a lifetime, every time. In this season’s finale, we join hands with Bibhu Mohapatra for his ‘homecoming’ show, to pay homage to the vibrant Indian woman and celebrate her independence, confidence and leadership.”

“The grand finale was a truly historic event, marking a collaboration between the venerable House of Lakmē, India’s first legacy beauty brand, and the globally acclaimed New York-based designer, Bibhu Mohapatra,” announced Lakmé Fashion Week on Facebook. “This extraordinary partnership was curated in association with the Fashion Design Council of India and was an unforgettable celebration of milestones and legendary muses.”