What to make of Kris Van Assche? The way he offered his womenswear26 looks on seven models in an art gallery in Le Maraiswas positively humble compared to the Sturm und Drang of his Dior Homme show or the conceptualized presentation of his own men's collection. And it was very much the better for it.
Though he insisted there was "no big concept," he was inspired (not for the first time) by the tango, by that "unique balance between a very strong woman and a very strong man." There was a constant interplay between masculine and feminine: a man's suit, say, in gray woolen silk worn with the sorts of tops with elasticized necklines that the Latin love goddess Rita Hayworth made her own. There were obvious menswear references in a retooled peacoat or a black waxed-leather biker jacket, but Van Assche also masterfully worked a liquid-silver silk into multi-pleated shifts (knee-length and floor-length) that were entirely womanly. The sculptural volumes here were infinitely more successful than the ultra-pleats he is so fond of in his Dior menswear. Even so, a little levity is surely not too much to hope for (though it's probably futile at this point, given that one of the most striking pieces for Fall was a jacket in ottoman silk of an almost armorlike weight).