Late last month, I concluded this: surf style really is back in.
As Stab Stud is produced out of Bondi Beach, the alleged fashion capital of Australia, we get to participate in fashion’s most obscene extremes. The teeny-shorts-plunging-neckline-trilby craze that is just now gaining a claw-hold everywhere else? We were victims two years back. It don’t make us clever or fashion forward – it means we embrace whatever we consider contrary to what is being worn in the burbs. Contrariness, you see, is the prime motivation of the fashion forward.
Lately, however, I’ve been getting into two MTV surf reality shows, Maui Fever and Living Lahaina. And you know the sorta dudes ladies be lovin’ in these shows? It’s the old school surf fools. The characteristics are thus: pukas shell necklaces, long boardshorts with tropical livery, giant t-shirts and all set off with a hide scorched to a delicious oblivion.
Therefore, we decided that this issue of Stab Stud should revolve around a surfer who epitomises everything surf style: the Sunshine Coast’s superboy, Julian Wilson.
Stab : Define your style?
Julia n: Fffft. It’s whatever’s in my bag.
When entertaining, can you describe your usual ensemble?
Black jeans, not too baggy, kinda tight without strangling, and a cool plain shirt. Usually white and black.
What potion do you use to avoid buttercups (sweat marks in armpits)?
A bit of Lynx.
Your necklaces are superb.
I’ve worn em for the last four years. They’re a lucky charm. If I take it off or lose it I can’t do anything. I’m so jinxed. I’ll go out and break my board and cut my leg every time. It’s so weird it’s scary.
Can you give me one example?
One time I almost drowned. It wasn’t even a big day, just a mellow day, and I got held under for two waves and it was so random. It was in Japan. Real random stuff like that.
How big is the necklace quiver?
Do you agree that good style comes from confidence. Yup. When I put something on, I just run with it. At Snapper, you paddled Kelly to New Zealand. Is that because you know him so well? And would you treat someone from a rival marquee, say Andy Irons or Taj Burrow, in a similar manner?
I dunno, I dunno, maybe not. (Laughs).
At a CT, the competitors’ area can feel like a movie set – there’s so many stars. Does this give you a thrill?
For sure! I don’t ever go trips with, say, Taj so it’s cool to hang out with em
Did any of the stars appear bigger or smaller than you thought?
I thought Bruce would be a bit bigger. He rides the same size boards as me.
Tell me, hypothetically: you’ve been assigned to design a signature short. What would you create?
Something simple, something that works: low-knee length, right on the knee, definitely nothing past it, light stretchy tech nylon, square leg, string and a small little badge on the leg. The pocket on the back has a flap. Simple print. I’d run with something that’s not too loud.
Why did you improve so much between YG2 and 3?
I just got bigger. So everything got better.
Who is the best surfer in the world, in your considered opinion?
Dane. Dane and Taj are the two main guys watch. But Dane is the best surfer in the world.
Do you read books?
I don’t read books. I will when I get older.
What are your three favourite items to travel with apart from a passport, your sleds and a blister pack of Viagra?
Easy. My Apple laptop, Bose noise cancelling headphones and my neck pillow
The Do’s and Do Nots of Surf Fashion with Julian Wilson
Wilson is a man that wears a shell necklace with pride and almost succeeds in making it look cool. However, he suggests that you don’t try it. Wilson surprised us with that smart tip along with some other pearls of wisdom when we leaned on him for some style do’s and don’ts…
1. Be yourself
Right now I’d say my style is pretty much surf: boardies, tees, jeans, hoods and a maybe a cool hat is what I’m usually in. It feels comfortable. I hear a lot of people say they love Pete Doherty’s style. I’m a fan too but I’m not going to rock down to the beach in a slim-fitting suit with pointy leather cap-toe oxfords on. I wear my surf style with pride.
2. Watch your teeth, breath and pits
Like all everything that eats and sweats I’m sometimes plagued by poo breath, food in my teeth and whiffy pits. I try not to be too paranoid but I’ll duck off to the toilet post meal and see if there’s foliage in my whites. I also carry chewy to steady my breath and I occasionally [when no eyes are on me] stick my nose in my armpit for a quick check.
3, Drink rum and coke
It’s what Queenslanders do. I know it might not be too du jour with the Sydney crowd but if they knew Hemmingway was down with the brown they’d be brushing their bleached white teeth with Bundy’s finest.
4. Good manners
Please and thank you’s. Respect. Wash up after someone cooks you a meal. Make your bed when you’re staying at someone’s house.
Look someone in the eye when you talk with him. Practising good manners is good style.
5. Pay for haircuts
I enjoy the experience of a cut and shampoo. I think $70 is acceptable fee, anything more is a little hard to justify for a bloke. I don’t know why some of the boys let their buddies hack into their hair. Unless you’re losing your rug it sits right there on top of your head where everyone can see it, so I get it handled by a pro.
6. Dance your heart out
I think it’s good style to dance when you’re in a club. I’m not a great dancer, I have no rhythm, but I’ve never looked at the guy in the corner refusing to hit the floor and envied his style.
I’m still young and relatively hairless. Hopefully I stay that way forever. If the manhood does kick in a little later I definitely won’t shy away from a back wax or a delicate snip snip around the bat and balls.
I think tipping is cool when the service warrants the bonus. When the service is horrendous don’t tip. When the service is average tip the minimum %15. When the service is tops tip more. If the waitress is a honey, empty your wallet.
1. Team sneakers with suits
I wear sneakers when dressing up for a night on the town but if I’m in a suit the runners go back in their box and the $600 black leather Prada’s come out to play. Sneakers and suits look dumb.
I know some people rag on them but I love my shell necklaces. It’s more than just an accessory for me, my mum makes them and they’re good luck charms. I feel safer when I have my shell necklace on. In saying that I wouldn’t recommend anyone else try to wear them.
3. Deep tees and chains
Speaking of jewellery. The whole deep vee tee and charm necklacething has been flogged to death. Move on.
4. Facial hair
Even if I could grow pubes on my face I’d shave them off. I prefer the slick clean look.
5. Man bags
I don’t do man bags. I travel most of the year and I need space, multiple compartments and two straps to balance the wait of my carry on. Plus man bags look suss.
6. Shants, Polos and Crocs
What other people wear generally doesn’t concern me but there’s a couple of things that eek me out. Those three quarter pants [shants] you see stacks of in Europe are straight up annoying. I also hate the polo shirt with the flipped up collar, it’s real wanky look. And Crocs, I don’t care how comfortable they are, they’re rank.