Rough, Tough, 'N' Rugged. Kris Van Assche
seems to believe it's his designer's duty to remind us that adult clothing can have these youthful attributes. Duly noted. The opening look of his Fall collection announced it again, by splicing into a sober black suit a bit of brash sweatshirt. The show continued along these hybrid lines. There were the subtler gestures, with pieces made in not-the-usual fabrics—track pants in suit wool, say—and then the less subtle ones, where hoodies were sutured to suit jackets, knits turned to shirts, collared shirts with ties into pull-on jumpers. Van Assche insisted it was a gesture of defiance, and it was delivered with the light touch of a schoolyard brawl. "You are what you wear," he said. "Simple as that. Menswear is so full of rules and codes. This is about not getting put in a box." Or getting put in every box. Van Assche's boys are walking palimpsests.