The idea of a Belgian designer, for better or worse, brings to mind a very specific sect of fashion. Whether it is Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester or even Raf Simons, we have come to expect a sort of industry-bucking, genre-defining style. Integral to the anti-fashion movement prominent in the late eighties and nineties, graduates of Antwerp’s Royal Academy have become renowned for discarding classic design tropes, favoring subversion, deconstruction, and romanticism. Kris Van Assche, though, does not fit that mold.

Men’s artistic director of Dior Homme for the past 10 years, and creative director for his currently on-hiatus eponymous line KRISVANASSCHE, the Belgian has displayed a fierce commitment to classic menswear in a way few of his predecessors have. Closer in design ethos to Kim Jones than Haider Ackermann, Van Assche, season after season, presents a slow evolution of modern menswear—a calculated synthesis of sportswear and tailoring. Ultimately grounded in suiting, his vision is the product of a childhood fascination with fashion, a fervent passion for prominent eighties and nineties youth subculture, and above all a fierce tutelage under the undisputed progenitor of the modern male wardrobe: Hedi Slimane.