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Mossi Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear

Mossi Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear thumbnail

Mossi Traoré isn’t just a designer—he’s a one-man idea factory. Most of his ideas have a direct link to the clothes he designs, some spring from the couture techniques taught at his school Les Ateliers Alix (so named after Madame Grès), and others manifest through a “geographic camouflage” of creatives, as the designer calls it, just because bringing those people together feels right to him. All of it, however, is rooted in his very personal concept of integration, sharing, and the perpetuation of craft.

Clearly, he’s onto something. This week the actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made the trip to the Mossi atelier outside Paris to try a dress inspired by Madame Grès. But Traoré also is working to centralize his vision, at least geographically speaking, by bringing it straight to the heart of Paris: He just opened a first permanent boutique at the Printemps store inside the Carrousel du Louvre shopping complex.

For his spring presentation, he chose a gallery space next to I.M. Pei’s inverted pyramid to show a short collection of 16 looks embellished by the Malian artist Ibrahim Ballo using craft techniques. Ballo too was on hand to demonstrate his process in between lineups.

Taking shared roots as a point of departure, Traoré celebrated African motifs and craftsmanship. What might appear as a yellow-and-red print or weave, for example on a zip-up jacket or a pretty bolero, are in fact details painted and embroidered by Ballo. With a couple of notable exceptions, such as a sharply spliced denim jacket or a saffron shirt dress, this collection hewed toward breezy time-off styles: It’s easy to picture that bandeau with a long skirt or a floaty dipped blue dress embroidered with Ballo’s 3D knots on the Riviera and similarly chic resort destinations. Lovely as it was, the outing left this reviewer wishing for more of the kind of urban couture flourishes that won Mossi the ANDAM Pierre Bergé Prize last year.

But there’s more Mossi on the way, in various other guises. Currently, Traoré is putting together a pop-up gallery to highlight his fashion collaborations and ironing out a roster of cultural happenings that will start in November, among them a dinner event with the rising French culinary star Mory Sacko and a multidisciplinary dance battle in this very spot. Here’s looking forward to seeing those—and the clothes they may inspire.

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Junya Watanabe Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear thumbnail

Junya Watanabe Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear