Out-there as it sounds, the idea of doing a collection called “Dancing on the Moon” came from a guest slot on a podcast launched by the United States Embassy in France, starring actress Laura Felpin trying to throw “the best party ever” next door, as it were.
That they would reach out to Mossi Traoré to figure out how to dress for such a fête isn’t surprising—he tends to move heaven and earth to get farfetched things done. Neither is the fact that he’d pick up on that theme for a show in a construction site—a popular trend in Paris this season—at the Carrousel du Louvre. And because Traoré is always one to revisit tropes, the presentation was capped by a real-deal street dance battle starring members of Yudat, a hip-hop troupe from the designer’s hometown outside Paris, complete with arbiter, jury, losers, and a winner.
But first, the clothes, done primarily in a dark palette of blues, purples, browns, and black, brightened with shots of orange, mustard or silver. “If you’re going into space, you’ve got to be dressed comfortably, like you’re wearing a cocoon, and the materials have to be really nice,” the designer offered backstage before the show. Fabrics included an artisanally produced cotton weave from India with a denim-like finish, cut into wide trousers; lots of Japanese denim, and mylar-coated raw denim worked into a strong cropped, tessellated mutton-sleeved jacket. He also revisited padded, quilted pieces, in an asymmetrical skirt or ultra-wide trousers.
The roundup was short, concise, and transitional: with his couture techniques school now on solid ground, Traoré will be building out his studio and focusing more on his brand. That, plus staging an homage to Madame Grès for the 30th anniversary of her death, with an exhibition and ephemeral atelier to be held at Chanel’s19M in time for couture in July.