The most famous designer out of Cote D’Ivoire might be Loza Maleombho but there are several other designers doing really good work there as the Couture D’Afrique showcase at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg Spring 17 showcase proved. It introduced us to menswear designer Ciss Saint Moise and his interpretations of traditional Ivoirien menswear looks. His collection is particularly well timed given the attention the country’s national team garnered for it’s opening ceremony outfits.
In some ways the designer reminds of Nigerian Kola Kuddus, gaining the bulk of his clientele through bespoke menswear services, but this collection sees him fully enter the ready to wear market. But Cisse differs from the Nigerian designer in his willing to explore contemporary silhouettes and western dress as well as his forte. He does so pairing velvet blazers embroidered and bedazzled with embroidery patterns, motifs and techniques normally associated with traditional menswear and updates traditional menswear, shedding the amorphous silhouettes and streamlining his cuts to better flatter the wearer.
Ultimately Ciss Saint Moïse’s triumph is in his workmanship. Excellent tailoring and a superior understanding the male form speaks far more than fancy skirting and the widespread androgyny that seems to be sweeping through African menswear. His work makes a compelling argument for classic tailoring, and proves that both worlds can co-exist.
Simon Deiner/SDR Photo.