AHOY, MATEY: “This is the world’s first diving suit — made by Paco Rabanne,” Jean-Charles de Castelbajac said jokingly as he pointed to a futuristic-looking 19th-century steel diving suit on show at the Musée national de la Marine in Paris.
The designer was giving fashion editors a tour of the museum, located opposite the Eiffel Tower, ahead of a cocktail party on Tuesday night to celebrate his capsule collection for Petit Bateau. Guests were treated to a mini fashion show and a live set by local band Presque l’Amour, which wrote a song to mark the collaboration.
Full of nautical references — including striped sailor tops, a yellow waxed cotton rain cape and a southwester — the collection taps into de Castelbajac’s love of the sea. “Before becoming a designer, I wanted to be a marine commando,” he revealed, as waiters circulated with trays of rosé and sardine tins containing fishy treats.
De Castelbajac stopped in front of a scale model of a container ship, noting that “Shades of Tomorrow” — an exhibition of his paintings set to run at Seoul’s Nemo gallery from June 12 to 26 — features images of what he dubbed Soul Tankers.
“In my paintings, I use the metaphor of these boats that transport containers, and in each container, there is an emotion. I think it sums up well what is happening in our globalized world,” he explained.
The collection, comprising nine designs for adults and three for children, will go on sale at the Petit Bateau store on the Champs-Élysées and online on Oct. 12, before rolling out to some of the brand’s other stores on Oct. 19.