Creative Emotions Emerge at Mossi

Interviews, Inspirations, Focus

By Paul McLauchlan

For Fall-Winter 2024, Mossi Traoré mused on what it means to channel one’s emotions into a fashion collection by looking to the worlds of art and Haute Couture. While he kept his cards close to his chest, one gets the sense that the designer wanted to explore the multiplicity of man and how clothing can be used as a tool to communicate our sense of self. In his complexly layered collection, a couture-informed spirit underpins craft and construction with nods to the quotidian throughout.

As rich and complex as the human condition, his colour palette journey spans bottle-green, carmine, and grey to classic black and white. The designer has explored a variety of fabrics and techniques within the collection, from elemental items like Japanese denim to Korean cotton and hand-woven Indian cotton. Alongside familiar tropes, he has introduced innovative textiles made from discarded mattresses and recycled milk proteins. Elsewhere, he pushes the needle forward with his advanced drapery skills by using a wrinkle-resistant triacetate. The swishy drapes of an Indian sari are given a Haute Couture makeover, while he looked to installations by Korean artist Lee Bul, who uses mixed media to produce sculptures with a socio-political context, to inspire a passage of asymmetric and architectural silhouettes. Moreover, he conjures Madame Grès, a recurring motif in his collections, in the pleats and folds that give everything a sophisticated touch. Somehow, he ties together disparate ideas with aplomb. 

On a phone call, Traoré explained that “the idea is to mix couture with art and the urban.”

What was the point of departure for this season?

Emotion was the point of departure for my collection. I wanted myself to be guided by everyday emotions, my creative emotions, and be able to share these with people through my designs. 

What will the presentation format entail?

We'll be opening the presentation with a fashion show, followed by a more intimate showroom format to present and explain the collection to the press and buyers. It will be more of an intimate insight into the collection which will give people time to understand our silhouettes, construction, and Haute Couture details. 

What learnings did you take from your first show in Paris through to this season?

It's important to be yourself and to be authentic. The show must tell our story: who we are, what we do and, above all, guide our guests through a journey.

What excites you in fashion right now?

I’m excited by being in the studio with my team. We work to challenge each other and the people we collaborate with. We challenge ourselves to come up with ideas and how we channel them into our clothes. It’s about the experience of experimentation and setting goals for ourselves. Those things keep us happy and motivate us. 

With the Haute Couture school we've set up, we enable young people to join Haute Couture workshops and our work in fashion, which is bringing nobility back to the suburbs. The excellence of couture inspires our ready-to-wear and the bridges we build between art and fashion. The positive social impact of our brand, which promotes diversity and integration in fashion and our working relationship with artisans, is also very important to me. 

What is one reason to be optimistic about the state of fashion going forward?

Collective awareness, even though there's still a lot of work to be done. But young people seem to be taking things in hand and that brings optimism. Industries including fashion are looking to reinvent themselves and prepare for the future, so that's a positive sign. Passing on and preserving savoir-faire is at the heart of my priorities. For my part, I would conclude by saying that we might need to think about earning differently, but living better.