Julien David Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week
In showing both his Spring ’17 men’s and women’s collections today, Julien David has joined the wave of designers recalibrating the fashion cycle on their own terms. Go figure, he also used waves as a metaphor that he rode from the subtropical southern islands of Japan to the material representation of sound. The mixed lineup worked in David’s favor; fixating on whether a waterproof taffeta parka appeared on a guy or girl (trick question, both) felt trivial compared with realizing that his unique fabrics and urban stylings don’t conform to the industry’s normative codes. To wit, stretch denim created from a Gobelin worsted technique that looked like digital tapestry; David showed it as both a workwear ensemble and a draped skirt. The crested checkered cotton pattern resembling sound insulation foam was equally dynamic as a clingy men’s tank and slouchy sweatshirt dress. The designer used a shaggy woven jacquard turned inside out and trimmed into stripes to capture a “city jungle vibe,” which expressed his theatrical personality, albeit more conceptually than the wordplay, whether Wavelength on a ripstop pant leg or Waving on a bucket hat. By this point, one might assume that his softened volumes and self-described “crafty” techniques got drowned out by obvious visual puns, but this was not the case. Faintly tinted denim treated to a “rainbow bio-wash” and pigment-coated white denim spoke to David’s overriding instinct to let the R&D shine through. He noted how the double imperative of creativity and commerce motivated him to merge the collections. It was a smooth transition, made even smoother by his special designs of Bata’s reissued retro Bullets sneakers. A peek inside revealed a motif of Hokusai-inspired waves.