2 August 2010

An Elegant Slouch

Kris Van Assche
Spring 2011

We are told that, traditionally speaking, a man's clothing ought to hang from the shoulders. Trousers ought to be worn at the natural waistline, held up if needed by braces, so that the line from the shoulder remains for the main part uninterrupted. The trend to wear jeans and trousers at the hip has infiltrated even the wearing of suits and one tends to see a rather inelegant slouch on the suits worn by many men. Their trousers hang too low, looking all the more curious given that the trousers are cut specifically to be worn higher.

That is not to say that hang ought to be from the shoulders alone. Indeed I have relatively slight shoulders which makes the traditional silhouette somewhat problematic unless I wear garments with a strong shoulder but closely cut and tapered torso. A hang from the waist, or indeed hips, when done correctly can be an interesting and refined look. For a number of months I have been on the hunt for a pair of slightly high waisted, pleated trousers that taper towards the ankle (a good pair from Richard Chai would be nice). The silhouette is perhaps more feminine, in that, once coupled with a strong shoulder and cinched waist, produces an hourglass shape, and gives the illusion of a longer leg. However with a slight slouch and less extreme taper it can comfortably have a masculine feel.

Whilst the style can be translated for more formal tailoring, it is by its very nature casual. Taking inspiration from the weathered and comfortable clothing of the working class man, Kris Van Assche presented a series of delightfully alluring looks that had a more elegant slouch with an emphasis on the waist as opposed to the shoulders. Cool and comfortable the collection was one of interesting details and a nice play with fabrics.

This was one of my favourite looks in the collection. I loved the kimono style jacket, especially the waist sash. The soft drop of the shoulders and the thin lapels, coupled with the longer sleeves gave the jacket an inherently casual feel. The sash allowed the waist to be greatly emphasized, which not only gave the illusion by default of broader shoulders and chest (also helped by the scoop neck of t-shirt giving an uninterrupted expanse of bare chest), but also allowed the flair from the hips to provide quite the unique line to the trousers.

The trousers were automatically given the look of a taper from the flair of the jacket at the hips. The flat front, lower cut and rolled hems of the trousers gave the look all the more casual a finish and a really interesting shape. Overall the look had a somewhat feminine quality with the exposed décolletage, cinched waist and indeed sash detailing of the jacket, and I think it was the softer element of that feminine influence that I really enjoyed about the look.

Here again one notes a curiously feminine influence, specifically in the shape of the shirt sleeves. The tight taper of the sleeve from the elbow, provided by an lengthy sheer arm band, allowed for what is essentially a puff sleeve. And yet there is also a strong masculine element to the cut in that the puff of the upper sleeve gives the illusion of a more muscular arm. Note the lower slung trousers with only the barest hint of a fold from the tucked in shirt. The tight tuck of the shirt allowed for a smoother line that elongates the torso helping to create a more interesting shape alongside the tapered forearms.

The styling and construction of this look was absolutely fascinating. The sleeves were bound by black cord just above the elbow giving an ever so slightly ruched effect. The look appears upon first glance to have been constructed using two shirts, with the dark blue upper layer having had its sleeves pulled up to reveal a white undershirt that also peeps out from beneath the lower hem of the former.

The shirt is however actually one piece, with the stark almost painted white bleeding out from the deep blue. I have always found dip dye shirts rather interesting, especially when worn fully buttoned and in a more elegant fashion, and indeed from that point of view this look did not disappoint. I would love to get my hands on the shirt to really inspect the transition.


If you would excuse a quick aside, I saw the photograph above on Jak & Jil and my immediate thoughts were...

Currently playing: Every Time - The Radio Dept.



  1. That last little pic made me laugh. I've noticed on lots of shows, lately the guys are wearing their pants a whole lot lower. tucked in the back but not in the front. I like the grays.

  2. Really, enjoyed the commentary on this one. Cool collection.

  3. I like the last two shirts especially.

  4. Aww hell yeah I loved that last photo ;)

    Love the way you break down menswear collections. Hope you're having a good week so far, DK.

  5. cool photographs
    WOW! these pictures are so beautiful!
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    tuxandtie.blogpsot.com or www.alexingram.com

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