#1896 Kris van Assche took on the teddy boys and won

Kris van Assche is nothing if he’s not consistent. The Belgian designer’s collections explore a similar proportion and colour palette each season, and his shows are executed precisely without excess fanfare or runway gimmick. For spring/summer 2012, van Assche looked to the teddy boys for inspiration, and found it in their polo shirt-with-suit combos, pork pie hats and creeper boots. It was insouciant summer suiting, all floppy jersey and three quarter length drop crotch pants, and it looked comfortable as hell.

Summer is all too often a season that designers leave by the wayside – layering is out of the question, as are coats, jackets and those other interesting bits, but van Assche took the ball and ran with it: his coats were cut in shirting, long sleeve shirts came with cool cotton-pique bodies and bomber jackets looked light enough to wear on a warm June evening.

The only complaint would be that some of those polo shirt arms were verging on the too-long side, but that’s nothing a couple of sleeve rolls wouldn’t fix in a jiffy. Besides that, it was an extremely wearable and good-looking collection. Polo shirts with suits is an excellent proposition for summer, and it’s one that I’m going to have to try out myself.


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