Mossi Traoré sent his airy lineup down a sunny, outdoor runway in the housing projects where he runs a fashion school. Models looked relaxed, posing together during pauses in the show, even when dirt bikers zoomed in and circled around them. Most of the looks were white or black — or a bit of both — with a few primary colors. This served as a backdrop allowing the shapes, folds and layers of the silhouettes to come to the fore. This season’s collaboration was with South Korean artist Lee Bae, whose striking abstract forms were applied in thick black strokes to the clothing, turning it into a canvas. Thick spots livened up a yellow suit and a crisp collared shirt — longer in the back — while large squiggles transformed a tent dress into a work of art.
The look: Outfits for a gallery opening, where the lighting is good and the crowd is out for an eyeful of original forms of expression — and appreciates a good conversation starter.
Quote of note: “The skirt is the piece I have most fun with, it’s something I can superimpose things onto — here’s one you can wear like a jacket, and when you wear it as a skirt, it’s like a jacket, and you can tie the arms together,” said Mossi, lifting a sleeve at a showroom in Paris.
Standout pieces: A jumper dress with suit collars as straps, trimmed with tulle, a black cape dress with a trim collar and scarf-like cascade of material tumbling down one side, plissé wool skirts; tights printed with Lee Bae’s artwork.
Takeaway: Traoré tackles fashion seriously, but with a light hand, translating his obsession with asymmetry and draping into playful rearranged pieces. The winner of the Pierre Bergé ANDAM prize last year gained support for his work to introduce making fashion and art more accessible to underserved neighborhoods. “There’s a bit more responsibility on my shoulders but people have understood that fashion with social responsibility serves a real purpose,” he said.