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Kris Van Assche Traditional vs Modernity Past vs Present

Thanamas Assadamongkolphan

Master in Fashion Entrepreneurship

Introduction This report is aims to capture the analysis

between past and present of Dior Homme, which Kris Van Assche, the present designer, has brought together traditional and modernity. Besides, this report is aim to develop the clearer understanding of his collections that he has put the conventional together with novelty in both Dior Homme collections and his own label, KRISSVANASSCHE.

The report first introduces the biography of Kris Van Assche, his concept of traditional and modernity, the analysis of his inspirations in his both works, Dior Homme and KRISSVANASSCHE in the past few years. All references are used to conceptualized each heanding and develop basis to provide a better understanding of between past andpresent, traditional and modernity of Kris Van Assche.

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Biography “I grew up in a conservative environment with little space for creativity and personality. I must not have been much older than six when I first started questioning the clothes I was supposed to wear. I realized somebody was making them, and I wanted to be that person.” – Kris Van Assche.

Since then, Dior Homme has become known for its neat as a pin tailored menswear with various fabrics, cuts, and designs from robes and tunics to wide brimmed hats. His biggest achievement is apparently his ability to illustrate Dior’s colossal archive through the eyes of his own artistry and style.

from Belgium since 1976, a fashion designer who’s his creative run so wild and free that he not only establishes sheer pieces of elegance and luxurious outfits but masterpiece that are extraordinary mix of traditional and modernity fashioned which is a perfect consolidation.

Graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and moved to Paris in 1998, Kris Van Assche is acknowledged in minimalistic aesthetic and balancing tradition and innovation, he was instantly assigned at Yves Saint Laurent as Hedi Slimane’s first assistant handling the Rive Gauche Homme line. After that Slimane led the way to Dior and Kris Van Assche pursued, assisting in Dior Homme’s founding in 2000. Unfortunately, the energetic duo did not work out since Slimane’s performed at Dior blew in unexpected end.


In early 2005, Kris came up with his first line of menswear in the Paris Fashion Week, KRISVANASSCHE, which carries on the magnificence successful label today. Also, he endures the Creative Director of Dior Homme since 2007.

Photo : Edward Miller

Traditional vs Modernity

"Traditions have to be maintained. In troubled times like ours, we must maintain these traditions, which are our luxury and the flower of our civilization.” – Christian Dior.

T his quote promptly inspirited

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Kris Van Assche and proved that he truly has the ability to modify traditional to modernity. Although Mr. Dior himself never did menswear in his career, apparently Kris Van is not going to get inspired by women dresses of him but take Mr. Dior’s obsessions with madeto-measure.

Contrast between formality and creativity, Kris Van Assche not only creates fashions that involved modernization but also balances it with initiate of heritage and aptitude. He discovers tools that men can define their personalities from made-to-measure, ready-to -wear to accessories and shoes. By his point of view, he believes modernity derives from inquiring the institution either, for an instance, combing street wear and elegance and influencing from harem plants or military outfits.

When you see too clearly where things come from, you’ve only done half of the job. I’m supposed to take a reference and then rethink it, rework it, digest it, remold it. That’s what I call fashion design, if not, it’s costume design.” – Kris Van Assche.

Dior Homme FW12 Menswear Runway Collection KRISVANASSCHE FW15 Menswear Runway Collection

Photo : Yannis Vlamos

Working in Dior Homme, menswear collections, Kris Van Assche thinks that it is about codes. Men equal codes, they are actual types of uniforms and they like to belong to groups. He takes these codes and let them battle to create something new, like work-wear became skate wear and he constructing it into high fashion also creates items, which are entirely new and argues the glamorous tailoring with casual and sporty codes. Moreover, he takes the influences from ‘80s and ‘90s then re-invents, re-purposes, re-thinks and re-works them and develop into something modern. For an instance, he applies the idea of blazer transforms into sporty jacket or a bomber jacket becomes a flashy jacket.

The look Creating a distinctive, balancing an implicative classical taste

with essential modernization and refining the world of high-spirited elegant, Kris Van Assche’s works are expressed by a prominent feel of formality and the ambitious arrangement of fashion that provokes “bygone days” and comprehension of details. He always believes in the assumption that “less is more”, his minimalist style subscribe to solid colors including chocolate brown, black grey and different shades of blue which can fit with both bony and bulky men.

Additionally, he regularly loves to carry on the idea of combining work wear with sport wear to contribute functionality at the same time sustain the elegant look of traditional work wear. Young men who follow the latest fashion cherish his elegant-and-sporty elements of designing men clothes, footwear, and eyewear, accessories as well.

Photo : Lea Colombo

Backstage at Dior Homme AW14

Photo : Marcus Tondo

Compelling by his vision of take the time to dress up, Kris van Assche has initiated an esthetic exploration and seek a new masculinity squeeze in poetry and authenticity.

KRISVANASSCHE SS14 Menswear Runway Collection


by Kris Van Assche

Dior Homme SS14 Menswear Runway Details

Dior Homme AW 2014 by Kris Van Assche

Photo : Gianni Pucci

Assche, who left the radicalism behind but created the avantgardism instead, which enlarged Dior Homme’s appeal with sporty looks and loosened shapes, has carried on Dior Homme. In spite of these changes, he has remained a firm grip on tailored gracefulness that directed by the body-concious of male consumer, which as stated by Serge Brunschwig, President of Dior Homme. In his opinion, the proposal of Dior Homme is to make the clients slimmer than they think or as slim as they would like to be.

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For the past nine years, Kris Van

Dior Homme SS15 Menswear Runway Collection

Photo : Yannis Vlamos

Back in 2013/2014 collections, the main concept is about minimalism with northern European tradition like a unique mixture with Parisian in more baroque side, which he has described his style as ‘baroque minimal’. Specifically in Autumn/ Winter collection, he conveyed an essential elegant in the ideal of athleticism that related to the clothing. It came down to the idea of a slim-fit black suit, white shirt and

In Spring/Summer 2015, he conveyed a playful collection that examined the classic navy theme with a twist. The letter written by Christian Dior, which he has found in the maison’s archives, inspired this collection. "Traditions have to be maintained. In troubled times like ours, we must maintain these traditions, which are our luxury and the flower of our civilization.” This sentence is a summary of this season’s return to classical chic.

The reason why he choose this letter as his inspiration of this collection is because, formerly, the point that Christian Dior was talking in the latter is about challenging times and about tradition that quite battered him since it just gave the idea of an accurate thought and it made sense to him when he read it. Therefore he has interpreted that our time still needs fashion, luxury and tradition, which can make people dream, later, came out with this collection.

"I like the idea of having Christian Dior's signature stamped all over the collection… It’s almost as if he was there." — Kris Van Assche

Apart from the typical sailor stripe raincoats and t-shirts in basic colors, he represented Dior’s letter by creating hand-written prints, which hitched on blazers, jacket, jeans and suits. Additionally, Dior’s signature was applied as a detail on shirt collars as an immortalization to the legendary designer.

Photo : Lea Colombo

Backstage at Dior Homme SS15

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For the latest collection, Spring/Summer 2017, of Dior Homme by Kris Van Assche, it was inspired by the New Wave era that make impact on his youth. “When I was a kid in Antwerp, we used to love going to the funfair, all these new wave kids, these punk kids.” – Kris Van Assche.

Photo : Yannis Vlamos

Details of Dior Homme SS 2015 Menswear Runway Collection

Dior Homme SS17 Menswear Runway Collection

He has long been about contrast and stil carrying old inspiration into modern days by generatin fascinating combination. By taking Punk and New Wave mix with sporty elements as a representative of this collection; however, he still keep the tailored suits that Dior Homme originally built its menswear business on which can well-blended together into a single outfit.

Photo : Yannis Vlamos

KRISVANASSCHE SS15 Menswear Runway Collection

a more casual and youthful outlook to suiting than that his work for Dior Homme,KRISVANASSCHE, the collections present abit sporty, clean and classic such as adding unexpected details in an exquisite aspect. He still has appreciation for the elegant sport wear such as the ease of elastic; the functional pocket or the snap buttons, which worked very well when transformed to the sense of the traditional men’s wardrobe.

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KRISVANASSCHE SS13 Eyewear Collection

KRISVANASSCHE presented its luxurious “Croc Skin” accessories collection for SS14

Photo : Silas Lee

KRISVANASSCHE FW14 High Top Sneakers

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Besides, he was not only produced the ready-to-wear collections but also eyewear, footwear and collaboration with other brands such as Lee, Eastpak and Sneakerboy.


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EASTPAK by KRISVANASSCHE 3rd Collection Lookbook

Unfortunately, in 2015, he has disclosed that that he is going to pause working on his own label and confessed that he will take an intermission from producing his collections under the 10-year-old label and focus on his role at Dior Homme instead.

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Sneakerboy by KRISVANASSCHE SS15 Multi-lace Sneaker

"Times are tough for independent labels, this wonderful adventure has reached a point where I feel the need to take a break and some distance to better think about how to develop my brand in the future." – Kris Van Assche

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KRISVANASSCHE SS13 Runway Show and Backstage Visuals

Conclusion A s a result of conducting a research

Photo : Louise Damgaard

Dior Homme 2015, fabric swatch courtesy of Dior

and analysis on between past and present, traditional and modernity of Kris Van Assche a conclusion can be drawn. Dior Homme is absolutely represent his own perspective of the contrast between tradition and creativity since he desires to generate fashion which involves innovation together with the heritage and craftsmanship that the brand has been carried for a long time.

Focusing on the luxury aspect and balancing the expertise in a contemporary and modern way, he put a lot of the significance on the tailoring and ateliers. In these days, the luxury aspect of Dior Homme is crystal clear; therefore, he switches his focus on younger fashion instead, like sport wear and street wear influences. With the acceleration of his styles and personality get infused into Dior Homme brand; he decided to put his own eponymous brand on hold last year and gave the devotion to the House of Dior in preference.

References Amy Verner. 2014. The Life and Art of Kris van Assche. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 October 2016]. Helena Yeung. 2016. Devotion to Dior: Kris Van Assche Talks Streetwear and Sacrifice. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 October 2016]. Lauren Milligan. 2015. Kris Van Assche Closes Label. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 27 October 2016]. Bervin Cheong. 2016. Dior Homme is for the man of the 21st century. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 October 2016]. Marta Represa. 2014. Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche on Traditions and Tailoring. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 October 2016]. Matthew Schneier . 2012. FALL 2012 MENSWEAR Kris Van Assche. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 31 October 2016]. Matthew Schneier . 2012. SPRING 2013 MENSWEAR Dior Homme. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 4 October 2016]. Tim Blanks . 2014. SPRING 2015 MENSWEAR Dior Homme. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 6 October 2016]. Alexander Fury . 2016. FALL 2016 MENSWEAR Dior Homme. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 7 October 2016].

Kris Van Assche Traditional vs Modernity Past vs Present

Kris Van Assche  

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