August 30 2014

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Julien David Delivers Menswear With a Kick


French-born Julien David is still based in Tokyo, but his home country is giving him a warm welcome. He’s just come off winning the ANDAM, the French syndicate’s annual up-and-comers prize, and this season, his menswear made it onto the runway for the first time, where his women’s has been for several seasons. It spurred him to grow up, but not much. His Fall collection had a lot to do with suits, but “I wanted to do my suits,” he clarified. They were proportioned like the streetwear he’s championed, stretched long and loose, as if they’d been made from taffy. “Often high fashion for men can be too classic or too dark and dramatic,” he said. “My goal is to take some references from streetwear and inject them at the right places in my designs, trying to find the right balance.”

His suits, as it turned out, were witty, wearable approximations of the stuffier versions paraded throughout Paris and Milan this month. Textured in Tencel, wool flannel, and wool serge, they had a Muppet fuzziness thanks to the addition of Alpaca. Playful use of Japanese fabrics like these gave the collection kick. And if they had kick, the full roundhouse was delivered by what David called “crazy check” shirts: long-haired plaids woven in reverse so they tufted up—the flannel in IMAX 3-D.

Photo: Shoji Fujii

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