Kris Van Assche’s Instagram feed showed several images from American artist John Baldessari a week before the show, with the simple phrase “Styling at #krisvanassche! Inspiration Wall for #FW14.” Indeed it was that simple. These black and white images with cut-out sections of color were the backbone of the collection.
In an uncharacteristically lighthearted manner, Van Assche let the bright pop colors of Baldessari infiltrate his otherwise somber aesthetic. Individual applications on suiting and shirting were directly referential, but the more cartoon print applications of exploded menswear textures like herringbone and houndstooth showed a deeper infiltration. The garments, too, took on more cartoonish proportions with nylon outerwear in rounded forms, and exaggerated shirting and parkas. The flat colors jarred a little with the more classic tailoring pieces, but gave the collection runway frisson.
The final prints with an all-over multi-colored and monochrome circular motif were particularly successful, and set many an editor chattering admiringly. This newfound fun saw Van Assche in good form.