i-D popped along to see Julien David’s first full runway show in Paris this season, and boy was it worth it!
With all the right people in attendance, there was a palpable buzz about this new kid on the block, who previously worked for Narciso Rodriguez and Ralph Lauren. David showed a tightly edited, youthful collection that mixed Parisian chic with the street-style swagger of New York and the eccentricity of Tokyo. This season Julien David’s gang will be decked out in voluminous Teddy-Boy-style coats cut in thick tweed, psychedelic scarf dresses, delicate trousers and super slick lace-up boots with coloured soles. A lesson in boyish cool… while other models were dressed down, wearing bags over their heads. We caught up with Julien to find out more…
Where did the idea for the bag over the head come from? I’m really into pixelated images and rough gifs and jpgs, and I thought it would be interesting to make a parade of models with their faces computerised. It fitted into my collection concept: 2D and 3D.
We loved the cartoon-style print, how did that come about? To build the graphics on the scarves I used junk from a hardware store: plastic tubes, foam balls and metal wires of all different colours. When I had finished, all the plastic and metal things were lying in the corner of my studio. It was a mess but I thought it looked beautiful so I decided to make a pattern out of it, which became the dress of look number nineteen.
How has living in Japan inspired you? Moving to Japan has been crucial, I’ve been there for five years and I’ve started my company in Tokyo. It’s opened my mind creatively to a different perception of style and taste. I love to be lost in a culture that’s very stimulating but completely different from the West.
Streetwear is a recurring theme, why is it so important to you? My first collection was based on freestyle skateboarding, and this collection is a hybrid between streetwear and high-end fashion. I’ve made some velcro surfer wallets in ostrich and extra soft lambskin; I’ve also made fitted caps in the most precious fabrics. My scarf prints are always influenced by street culture and pop computer graphics – it’s very much a part of the things I’ve liked since I was a teenager, and still do today.
Describe your workspace… My workspace is minimal and functional. I hate mood boards and I never pin one picture on the wall. The walls are white and everything stays in my head or in my computer. I believe the place I work in should be neutral, so I can move on season after season without nostalgia. And lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Odd Future, Tyler, MellowHype, Ed Banger, SebastiAn, Breakbot at work.
If you could dress anyone in the world who would it be? Anybody who likes what I do is welcome to wear my clothes… I hope as many people as possible!
Text: Caroline Newell