Driven by the idea of hybridisation — a fusion of the grand maison traditions with the militant subversions of contemporary street culture — Kris Van Assche paraded a menswear collection characterised by contrasts
The set: A darkly-lit skate park illuminated with red neon lights juxtaposed against an imposing crystal chandelier in the Paris Tennis Club. Strange bedfellows? Indeed. But it was a calculated culmination of two usually distinct worlds: Gritty street culture and refined French aristocracy.
Inspiration: "The idea of 'The Hybrid' is intrinsic to the collection," said Kris Van Assche. "Today, people don't fit into one box, they fit into many and all at once."
The collection: Classic menswear re-told with a punk, almost heavy-metal, street edge. Back-dropped by a large screen playing a specially commissioned Willy Vanderperre film of slow-dancing male models — the same cast of boys who walked the runway — the looks were played out in a colour palette of black, red and white; all authoritatively stepped out in time with Nitzer Ebb's menacing electronic body track, Control I'm Here. The 'hybridisation' took many forms: A truncated black blazer with a red-and-white ribbon on the collar and mid-way down the upper arm to make it appear like a T-shirt (look 2); micro Buffalo plaid, so small that it could be mistaken for gingham, applied to over-shirts styled disruptively over a full black suit and anchored with thick-soled hiking boots (look 14); and the maison's signature white rose motif slathered, monochromatically, across street wear favourites such as voluminous puffer jackets (look 42) and modish skinny white jeans (looks 43 and 44).
I spy: The beanie-cum-cap worn throughout the show. The structure (and sun protection) of a cap fused with the warmth and texture of a beanie. Genius. #Need
Favourite look: That full-leather black suit (look 16) with it's A-line silhouette created by a fitted single-breasted blazer — worn over a black shirt accessorised with a black bow and beaded necklace — paired with wide-cut 'work wear' skater pants, and finished provocatively, with fingerless gloves to show off black painted nails. Talk about an undercurrent of existential angst.
Seated front-row: A bevvy of international celebs from East to West, including American rapper A$AP Rocky, Korean singer T.O.P, Chinese actor Yang Yang, French star Lambert Wilson, flashy architect Peter Marino, and the fashion Kaiser himself, Karl Lagerfeld.
Click on the gallery below to view the full collection.
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