PARIS (AP) Belgium's Kris Van Assche got creative with the black jacket, serving up 28 variations on the old menswear staple at his Paris show Friday.

Through innovative layering and the addition of unexpected elements, Van Assche transformed his slim, razor-cut blazers into something almost revolutionary.

The 32-year-old designer at times seemed to be channeling the Star Wars hermit Obi-Wan Kenobi: Some of the most interesting blazers had cape-like hoods growing out of their lapels an innovation the old Jedi knight would certainly have approved of.

One jacket appeared to be two at once, in sumptuous velvet from the waist up and in a shiny metallic fabric from the waist down.

"It's a reflection on how to wear the black jacket that we all need but that can feel uncomfortable to wear," Van Assche, who also designs for Dior Homme, told The Associated Press. He said that all but five of the show's 33 looks included black jackets.

The show, held at Paris' Musee de l'Homme, was also heavy on layers. Models wore the vamped-up blazers over long, Indian-kurta-like shirts in gauzy fabrics, over ruched leggings or wide-legged microfiber pants tucked into clunky combat boots.

One show-stopping look rearranged the elements of the three-piece suit, placing the vest on top of the jacket, its inky black fabric setting off the metallic shine of the suit.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.