Reworked Glamour. Y/Project AW19

Similarly to this season’s Paco Rabanne, Y/Project was ‘overfilled’ – but in a good way (even if this sounds strange). Glenn Martens took the old school glamour archetypes, reworked them, and delivered something pretty much madly fashion. He jumped from a superchic tweed coat with faux fur and Turkish rug inserts to a long black satin skirt draped up from a pair of deconstructed pants. A pistacchio kimono coat-dress? Yes. A voluminous jacket with an A-shaped skirt that reminded you of weaved chairs that are all over the Parisian caffes? YES. The closing, XXL gown was so extravagantly billowy that you really wish to see it on the red carpet (Rihanna, take a look!). Martens likes to take risks. Also, he seems to be one of the few designers in Paris who really dare.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Fire at Pitti Uomo. Y/Project AW19

It’s just the beginning of 2019, and we’re already talking about a fashion week. While men’s London fashion week simply seemed to be there, somewhere in the background – with such exceptions as Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s phenomenal spectacle – the new season takes a more interesting path in Italy, in Florence specifically. Pitti Uomo invited Y/Project, the Paris-based label nailing modern-day nonchalance, to present its collection in Tuscany’s magical capital. Glenn Martens took his guests to the Cloister Grade of Santa Maria Novella, and the result was… fire. Indeed, Martens mastered his distinct touches, like distorted proportions, too-short-here-too-long-there volumes and texture clashes to a perfection of its kind, and we know it looking at his previous collections. But the autumn-winter 2019 outing for guys (and pre-fall 2019 for women) goes darker than usual, even slightly dramatic I would say. And we’re not speaking about couture-ish embroideries and ball-gowns. No. But the way the designer tailors a trench-coat, shapes a velvet jacket or elongates a chunky knit is extremely vivid. Those garments leave and breathe! And Glenn evidently experiments with that feeling of clothes in motion. I also loved how Martens injected this flea-market edginess to his new season offering: (faux) fur stoles and floor-sweeping coats looked like stolen from your grandma, while hand-picked Persian rugs were worn as belts and scarves. The vocabulary of Y/Project grows, but  you’re well aware that it’s the same soul. Whether it’s in a off-beat, Parisian location or in one of Florence’s most exquisite churches.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Chic. Y/Project SS19

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Glenn Martens took the word ‘chic’ and completely dissected it in his spring-summer 2019 line-up for Y/Project. The term can be understood (or rather misunderstood) in many ways. One of the most common is the ‘Parisian chic’ that became a catchy phrase for high street brands to sell stuff, and a magical spell for influencers (that very likely end up with writing a book on style). But Martens abandoned that sort of path and proposed a totally different sort of chic. It’s lady-like and eccentric, but smoothly relates to his love for silhouette distortion and streetwear. So, we had everything: from denim panties and the over-sized, tie-dyed denim ensemble to a very couture-ish tailored pinstripe dress and emerald-green gown styled with a glamorous feather-like boa. Martens’ chic isn’t neither casual-to-the-bone or conservative. It plays with those two stereotypical notions, shaping something a bit hilarious and totally relevant. Both, a young and elderly person will look equally good in those attention-catching garments. Glenn agrees: chic isn’t one thing. And I think that’s really, really… chic.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s / Trailblazing. Y/Project SS19

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It’s complicated. With Y/Project, you have this certain feeling when you look at the label’s clothes. Take denim pants or a shirt. They do reminiscent pants and a shirt, but then… not exactly. This season, Glenn Martens surprised with a wrapping technique featuring nylon and lycra stretched atop any garment, which can be effortlessly taken off or put on at any moment. Depends on to what extent you want to sophisticate your outfit. It wouldn’t be Martens’ work if the collection didn’t mess with proportions: deliberately too much of fabric near the crotch, not enough near the torso. Those aren’t easy clothes – but who said they should be? Y/Project intrigues with colour combinations, as well. From wine burgundy and baby pink to soft lilac and rusty yellow, there’s not much in common, nothing really works together. And again – it somehow does! The women’s capsule is equally confusing, but appealing as well. Those denim high-rise shorts over pink tights made a stir in the social media yesterday. Glenn Martens is not a guy that desperately seeks controversy, but his clothes nearly always provoke. Love it. At least, not everyone considers menswear a shallow sport trend outlet.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.