The suit has menswear designers in its thrall this season. Its latest celebrant is Kris Van Assche, a designer not heretofore renowned for biz casual. And not here, either, it turns out. But boys become men, and men need suits. "I was thinking of these guys who are 20, 25; they've all been wearing sweatshirts," he said after the show. "They need to get into their real life and buy a suit and go to work. It's about turning this really adult piece into something cool. The suit is really everywhere, but they're never comfortable, they're never cool, and they're never easy to wear."
If his suits aren't totally recognizable as suits, they are recognizably KVA: loose but angular, dark, protective. There's an armored look to the designer's clothes. They reveal very little, and they open with difficulty. Traditional suits tend to be defined by their buttons—two-button, three-button, or, heaven help us, four, or more—but Van Assche's close with zippers or, more often than that, with covered plackets that make them seem seamless and impenetrable. They creep up to cover the throat. And when they don't, he'll happily make a knit turtleneck dickey (no other word for it) to do the job.
It's a dog-eat-dog corporate world out there, an old saw Van Assche takes nearly literally. Protect your neck.