Y/Project gets a bit repetitive – which, in a way, makes Glenn Martens‘ mastership of exaggerated distortion so distict and consistent. And offering a product that utterly reflects your brand is every brand’s priority today. “I had to adapt to a new system, and a new way of working,” Martens told Vogue. “I was thinking, What’s the core of the clothing I make? At the end of the day, it’s to make people happy. The biggest thing you can do now is to bring emotion, because people want what they wear to stand for something.” You could say that that has been a constant ethos of his. Martens has always found joy in making fashion, and that attitude shines through in his work. It’s what makes his clothes – complex designs, often layered in their construction and laden with historical references – fundamentally so intriguing. That inventiveness of his comes laced with a generosity of spirit and a healthy dash of much needed humor. Spring-summer 2021 is no exception. Martens has consolidated much of what he has achieved this past seven years at Y/Project. To anyone who’s a fan of his playful denim, or his clever, interactive knits, there are the likes of bedazzled marbled gray or pristine white jeans, both with those saucy deep-V trompe l’oeil waistbands he loves, or sweaters that would be classic were it not for their askew collars which can be altered at their wearer’s will; this time around one of those might be paired with a new trouser shape he has developed which mimics a silk sarong. The latter might not exactly be for the faint of fashion heart, but they’re a gutsy (and cheeky) response to the moment we’re in, part of what he describes as the collection’s “less serious, less drama” new mood. There are pant suits that can be transformed by being unbuttoned or unlayered. Polo dresses which, via the miracle of their drawstrings, can go from Zoom office to going out – or whatever will constitute that in the months to come; maybe you’ll just vamp it up at home. Meanwhile, a faux-leather trench delivers a serious hit of glam, something echoed by the collection’s flamboyant mules or lace booties. Still, it’s an off-kilter kind of glam, one that’s hardly obvious or expected. Sex & The City wardrobe in 2020, eventually facing the end of the world.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.