This season, Kris Van Assche drew a wardrobe likely to become the fitting object of desire of our modern-day businessman. With comfort and poise, and a taste of fantasy, the designer drew on symbols and motifs of Christian Dior’s superstition.
It began with a series of sober pinstriped suits, suitable for the dandy gentleman, which rapidly escalated into more atypical delineations of workwear. It seemed as if Van Assche wanted to expose the unrevealed workings of Saville Row tailoring; just like sitting in the plush changing rooms of a masterful tailor, the audience watched the models parade by, trying on an array of cuts and silhouettes, with which men would dream of filling their wardrobe.
Fabric selvedge lines ran down the front torsos of fitted jackets and highlighted the shape of nimble legs in motion. Like an authentic reminder of the construction of suits, they brought the show to an intimate level, where a man’s every dimension, proportion and way of moving was measured to fashion the perfect garment. Sleeves stood out in a contrasting fabric to the rest of the body, like an unfinished piece or the result of an indecisive artist.
Van Assche additionally drew coats. He drew parkas, duffle coats and overcoats, addressing a very basic but essential need. Why wear a fabulous suit if covered by a banal coat? Mark Twain once said, “clothes make the man”, so how will the man be perceived if his attire is dissimulated?
Van Assche understood the paradigm of today’s active man, in which allure, charisma and confidence cannot be sacrificed for comfort. He flirted with reverie whilst simultaneously inviting practicality. Ranging from luscious and floor-length fur coats to functional pocketed jackets with polka dots, fleur-de-lis and rose prints, he enabled every man to be it all: the handyman, the adventurer, the corporate or the intellectual. Van Assche does not discriminate against any taste, but rather indoctrinates one of overarching elegance and an essence of confidence.