24 February 2010

BadAssche!

Dear all.

Apologies for the notable absence. The past few weeks have been somewhat difficult for me, so please do bear with as I catch up with comments, emails and carrier pigeons (although I think that last one may just have been a pigeon with a sweet wrapper stuck to his foot, he was pleasant all the same).

Hoping you are well.

Kthnxbai...no wait, read the post first!

-

Kris Van Assche seems to be draped upon just about every other body I pass these days. Not in the literal sense of course, because there are laws against that sort of thing thankfully. However from designing for his own eponymous label, to designing for the powerhouse that is Dior Homme, his work is currently rather prolific.

I have to admit that I was actually none too impressed with post-Hedi Dior Homme (*ahem* maybe even post Fall '05 Dior Homme?). Although the shadow left by Hedi Slimane will no doubt continue to haunt the halls of Dior Homme for years to come, and perhaps deservedly so, Van Assche has had quite the challenge. His work has left me at times happy, bemused, amazed, perplexed, angry, sad, excited, confused and apathetic. His success has perhaps polarized the opinions of others too. I suppose many people felt the same of post-Tom Ford Gucci, although in that instace perhaps to more dramatic effect either end of the spectrum.

Dior Homme
Spring 2005

For me, the Spring '05 collection was and is emblematic of Dior Homme, and it is the collection against which I have subconsciously judged all subsequent collections. As cliched as it sounds, I have to echo Uncle Karl's words that Hedi did something magical in that show because "it was so right for the moment" (imagine that spoken in a fast-paced German accent). Things seemed to trickle down in both influence and visual delight after that collection even whilst Hedi remained at Dior Homme.

I think Van Assche had to face a difficult challenge in trying to take up the label when it already had a very specific aesthetic ascribed to it, which perhaps made it harder to provide his own vision. I always feel that a label which does not show a recreation when the design mantle is passed from one designer to the other is doomed, because the fashions which are then produced risk the very real danger of no longer being new; rather, they risk feeling stagnated or, even worse, forgettable.

The analogy I always think of is Karl Lagerfeld designing for Chanel. Whilst the collections are instantly recognisable as 'Chanel', they are quite the departure from the jersey dresses designed by Coco herself. It is in such a way a contemporary translation of an aesthetic and original philosophy that has long since disappeared. Fashion is always looking to the past to create a future, and rather than lamenting that inescapably irretrievable past, designers attempt to create something new, relevant and more exciting.

Whilst my feelings towards much of Van Assche's early work for his own label, as well as for Dior Homme, were mixed, his work has slowly but surely begun to capture my attention, and indeed, my imagination. My latest objects of fancy have been the Spring 2010 footwear offerings for both Kris Van Assche and Dior Homme. Can you tell they are by the same designer?

Kris Van Assche
Spring 2010
(Kris, if you are reading this, an EU44 sent my way would be much appreciated)

Dior Homme
Spring 2010

What I admire about Van Assche's offering are that these sneakers (I hope my British readers will forgive my casual Anglicization of that American term) are both a culmination and rupture in sneaker design and wearing practice. I say wearing practice, for the designs seem influenced by the actual practice and experience of wearing sneakers and laced footwear in general. Anyone who has worn a pair of hi-tops or boots will be acquainted with the process of wrapping laces around the body of the shoe, and it is this practice that Van Assche draws upon. One can see a similar recognition in the infamous and iconic Rick Owens sneakers, where the laces serve a purely decorative purpose, having been subsumed into the aesthetic of the sneaker as a whole and being undercut in function by the side zip.

I always find it odd to think of how function can inspire, and transform into, fashion. One only need look towards the masculine suit for the perfect visual and historical example. I suppose what I respect about Van Assche's work, although these designs are ostensibly lazy by virtue of coming from two separate labels, is how it works both within the current threads of fashion, but also stands apart and works in its own right.

Oh, and just because...


"My real identity? I would never reveal such a thing. If you want to keep up with Superdesigner, you had better get your Assche in gear!"

Currently playing: Avarice - Hannibal OST

xxxx

20 comments:

  1. though they are very similar, I find the Van Assche much more appealing. I think the white sole and the material of the Dior Homme version just turn me off.

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  2. hey, i love your blog. great style. i am new to blogging, please check out my page http://london-dreamer.blogspot.com/ any hints and tips would be much appreciated :) x

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  3. hey, i love your blog. great style. i am new to blogging, please check out my page http://london-dreamer.blogspot.com/ any hints and tips would be much appreciated :) x

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  4. Those laces sort of confuse and scare me in equal measure. I'm hopeless at lacing regular trainers so god knows how I'd cope with those.

    Welcome back DK!

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  5. So glad you're back, mister! And my gosh those Van Assche high tops are dreamy.

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  6. I'm glad you are feeling better, or at least I hope you are.

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  7. Oh...so even you are back...

    U must b on now....


    jolliiesss:)

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  8. I love reading what you write. Everything is always so eloquently worded. Welcome back!

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  9. DK, so so great to see you back. I really hope you're doing well :)
    Van Assche had quite the shoes to fill after Heidi Slimane, but it appears that he is managing. Love the "Super-Assche" illustration XD haha. Ugh, I don't even want to imagine a Chanel with Karl D:

    ~ nicole

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  10. Dior Spring 05, another one of my favorites of all time, not just of dior homme, but of runway collections in general.

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  11. Gosh, if boys dressed like this everyday I'd die happy.

    Faith

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  12. Don't worry about it, glad you're back and that all is well! Your posts are always worth the wait.

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  13. cool..you haven't lost your flare. aw, the insider look..always at its best..good to see your post!

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  14. You're back! Hope all is well.

    Love both shoes. Now wear is the lady's stiletto version? ;-)

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  15. Well, it's been a long gap, and I am glad that you are back. Stay well, dapper Kid.

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  16. aww I hope everything is ok - that carrier pigeon but made me chuckle!

    another truly amazing post! what more can I say :)

    LONDON--ROSE.BLOGSPOT.COM

    xx

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  17. Really like these styles !!
    Hope you're doing well :)

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  18. Fashionable sneakers are fantastic! The pictures from Dior Homme make me wish I was a guy haha.

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