"James Bond, man!" enthused a beaming Julien David as he was being congratulated on the trompe-l'oeil tuxedo print of his finale's wetsuits. On the runway, it had been boardshorts and blazers, bow ties and boater caps. A canny melange of luxuriously tooled fabrics and user-friendly technical ones took the season's story through the paces, as the live brass band BB15 - all wearing scuba gear and wetsuits - provided the jazzy soundtrack to the proceedings, piano and all. This was once again a moment.
But first things first. This was, more than ever, the story of a boy who grew up at the time where streetwear was shaping to be the phenomenon it is today. Christian Hosoi, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, all the right reference boxes were ticked. At the helm of his own brand, he's been toiling away at retelling that story, switching it up with fabrics. In fact, his collection embodied just the kind of slice and splice action that put French-born, Japan-based designer squarely in the crosshairs of the cool types, and his designs, on the streets.
Coming back full circle, the collaboration he has struck with sports- and streetwear- giant Quiksilver feels like a natural continuation to the major tropes of his work. It was so artfully done that, bar the Quiksilver logo that popped out here and there, this could have well been all him, alone. What's more: the most important detail here was left unseen, and a point that the fanatically attentive David had not been able to achieve on his own. All the fabrics used in the collaboration, including the neoprene, came from recycling. With the manufacturing firepower behind the Biarritz-based brand, his desire to explore this avenue has become a reality.
There were, to be fair, a couple wipeouts in the proportions, and the cursor was more often on casual than not. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing when one's audience reaches to the younger, suit-averse set. While the wetsuits sported by Olympic gold medallist Iouri Podladtchikov and pro surfer Marc Lacomare were not for everyone, they did offer a glimpse of the broadness and all-encompassing conception that David can develop in a wardrobe.