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Kris Van Assche's Gendered Uniform

Kris Van Assche's Gendered Uniform

Kris Van Assche has said in relation to his own vision of menswear that he is repelled by the "uniformization of sportswear" and yet his womenswear has the distinct feel of being something of a uniform, indeed his Spring 2009 collection was very much the modernist attire of the Antwerp School.

Slim yet unrestricted, simple and and unassuming, the collection was nonetheless exactly the sort of garb a commanding creative woman has taken to be her own. It is almost a cliché at times as we have come to accept a kind of darkly dressed dominant heroine as the acceptable way of appropriating the signals of a man's authority for our own. And few designers are more qualified to riff on the shared set of gender power references in dressing than Kris Van Assche.

Paneled vest like tops, brooding oversized sweaters, Spring 2009's obligatory voluminous sheers and thankfully menswear touches with louche suit jackets made for a collection that we find vastly appealing both in its own right and as the kind of wardrobe we too wish to appropriate in our own struggles towards expressing the allure and power of the modern feminine.

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