Kris Van Assche
January 19, 2012 Paris
It's not only on the catwalk that the haves are meeting the have-nots. Wall Street has been occupied, and even post-Zuccotti Park, the tension between classes continues to simmer worldwide. "The blue-collar people used to need protection gear, and I'd say now bankers and white-collar people need protection gear," Van Assche said. He offered it in the form of strap-closed blazers, quilted jackets, coveralls, and blindered glasses. A collaboration with the denim company Lee introduced five-pocket trousers in stiff workman's denim.
This was an image of evolution, not revolution. The pairings Van Assche proposed wove together elements of sporty and tailored, blue collar and white collar. "I think in the end that's what we'll all end up looking like," he explained. Look by look there were hits and misses, but the show overall pulled cleverly from divergent traditions. The mash-ups were grounded by the restrained color palette: gray, white, black, and, interestingly, a color quite close to Bill Cunningham blue, the same as the Parisian street-cleaner-uniform coat favored by one of the original high-low mix-masters, the street-style photographer for the rareified Times.