Imane Ayissi wove African textiles into his haute couture collection shown in Paris on Thursday, mixing raffia-lined garments in bright colours with dresses coated in sequins or airy silk fringes.
“This is a window to show techniques of African artisans,” said Ayissi.
Models walked down a runway in an ornate mansion near the Arc de Triomphe, parading sculptural dresses and sequin-coated tops that were trimmed with raffia.
A fitted minidress in splashes of orange, red and green featured a traditional tie-dye technique, with a sprinkling of orange Swarovski crystal embellishments added for sparkle.
“We’ve gone through some very difficult times, with the COVID-19 pandemic that was hard for everyone; it’s time to try to rebound,” said Ayissi, gesturing towards a hot pink dress.
The Cameroon-born designer, who is based in Paris, is currently featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibit “Africa Fashion” in London.
Haute couture fashion week in Paris, which wound up on Thursday, features some of the most prestigious fashion houses, including Christian Dior and Chanel.