Photos Courtesy of Kris Van AsscheIf you’ve got a thing for tailored comfort, then luxury designer Kris Van Assche’s menswear collection for Fall 2013 may just be for you. What starts as your everyday line of traditional charcoal and black knit designs quickly turns into a versatile line of formal dress and sportswear all-in-one. The collection has such a range from youthful to adult clothing that any businessman who still feels his college boy tendencies beneath his expertly-tailored suit may just have hit the jackpot upon discovering this line.
That’s exactly what Kris Van Assche portrays in his latest collection— equal parts formal and casual wear— both of which are usually blended into the same piece. One can only imagine the cutting tools in this designer’s workshop when looking at the expertly-spliced garments that made their way down the runway in Paris mid-January. Rather than showing a progression from informal to sharper looks, the designer instead chose to create hybrids by mixing laxe and professional aspects into nearly all of the ensembles.
The integration of the two contradictory elements is more obvious in some looks than others— brash athletic hoodies mixed into professional black jackets are a straightforward statement of Van Assche’s philosophy for Fall, while the tailoring of wool slacks into track pants is more subtle. Other tops include collared dress shirts whose lower halves morph into woven sweater fabrics, and vice versa.
For a collection that was designed as an act of defiance against the rules of menswear, Van Assche may not be pleased to learn that my favorite looks included traditionally tailored pants— I find the cuff that falls just above the ankle very attractive— and classic overcoats. It’s these pieces, in my opinion, that show the designer’s gift of skillful tailoring, rather than the distracting and slightly over-the-top hybrid separates.