Kris Van Assche has always had a slightly repressed quirky sensibility to his designs. His collections tend to skate the razor’s edge between the urban street and office attire (albeit a hip office) in an endless hunt to find the perfect hybrid uniform that can easily exist in both arenas. And they systematically feature some sort of odd twist that sets his designs apart to make them quickly identifiably as a Van Assche.
This season those flourishes came to the foreground in a collection the designer christened “Illusion”. Here everything was not as it seemed. The opening washed denim pieces weren’t even denim, they were printed cotton. And the razor sharp slashes at the knees that left strips of fabric hanging open to expose the skin certainly looked peculiar, but not in a very flattering way.
Better was the idea to take a classic ski sweater (snowflake motif and all) and knit it out of feather light yarn for a summery slant on the winter staple. Fun too were the crossbreed shirts that saw neckties disappearing into button up shirts confected out of wide bands of checked and plan fabric or the bazaar but charming mini horse head motif pieces.
Finally, the idea to transform a bomber jacket, a symbol of rebellious youth, into full length coats proved that Van Assche is not too far off from finding that sartorial sweet spot of sporty sophistication.