Show Off. Y/Project AW18

yproject

Once can’t help, but I note that Glenn Martens‘ autumn-winter 2018 collection for Y/Project had something of a show-girl. The venue, which appeared to be the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on the fancy Avenue Montaigne, was also a clue. Spotlight stealers? Draped taffeta gowns, intricate embroideries on sheer tops, floor-sweeping lengths and a couture-ish tube dress swishing with gold fringing. Of course, all that galore and splendour done in a signature, Y/Project manner, read: stylishly over-sized and distorted.

Slajd13Slajd14Slajd15Slajd16

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s / UGG in the Hood. Y/Project AW18

Slide2

To be honest, it was quite predictable that at some point, with ‘ugly’ shoes having a moment, UGG will also hit the high fashion runways. But I never thought that in such way as presented on yesterday’s Y/Project runway. Glenn Martens earned his fanbase with elongating and distorting nearly each garment possible; so he did in his collaboration with the Australian footwear brand, known for the fluffiest and cosiest boots. The effect? Well, really, really perfect for snowy winters. But the label’s autumn-winter 2018 wasn’t only about big feet, but layering. Layering, layering, layering, whether we’re speaking of extra-large hoodies, tartan shirts or tailoring.

Slide08Slide09Slide10Slide11Slide12Slide13Slide14

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Not Just Pretty. Y/Project SS18

Slide1

Deconstruct and reconstruct with sense of costume history – that’s something Glenn Martens is keen on doing at Y/Project. Here, the Belgian designer’s garments aren’t just ‘over-sized’ like in case of many long-emerging, not-fully-established designers in Paris. It’s more about a witty take on Henry VIII’s and Hamlet’s volumes. Martens knows a lot about fashion (read FASHION, not #fashion) and its old techniques – this let’s him to experiment with the silhouette freely, choosing such fabrics like linen or tulle to do the shoulders and sheaths. From extremely big coats with ruffles and pleats to pearl embellished dresses, Y/Project is a combination of street and royalty. Of course, everything’s worn with the brand’s signature, folded thigh-high boots or laced-up sandals (covered in those kitschy roses). It’s also worth noting that other than dramatic tracksuits and oddly cut ball gowns, Glenn adds more affordably looking pieces, like the dusty pink trousers and baby-blue shirts in his spring-summer 2018 line-up. 

Slide01Slide02Slide03Slide04Slide05Slide06Slide07

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Best Ugly Shoes Of The Season

FullSizeRender

Finding those Miu Miu cowboy boots from spring-summer 1999 on the web a few days ago made me think for a while. Those shoes can be worn  with the same (or even better today) relevance, whether it’s the 90s or 2017. My other thought was, ‘wait, I’ve seen that shoe shape countless of times this season’s’, starting from Calvin Klein and ending on Louis Vuitton. My last thought, and the most clear-headed one, was simple: they are just ugly. Lets not lie to ourselves, the colour, the wooden heel, the ultimately appalling look of these shoes makes them ugly in every single aspect.

But ugly is fun. And fashion loves fun. So, apparently, fashion loves ugliness. For instance, Miuccia Prada (the designer behind these cowboy stompers above) is the pioneer of ‘ugly’ in fashion, successfully selling nylon backpacks at Prada and pulling the envelope even further each season in questioning the term ‘good taste’. No one can help it – the uglier, the better. But am I frustrated with that fact? The answer is no. I will never forget Phoebe Philo’s massive impact on ugly footwear, after presenting at her Céline spring-summer 2013 runway THOSE sandals with fur. The instant reaction was bad, just read through the self-acclaimed fashionistas’ comments on some of Blogspot’s virtual junk-sites. But, as time has shown, those fluffies weren’t as bad as everybody thought back in 2013. Enter Zara today, and guess what you will find? Every second pair of sandals (and  heels) are covered with faux-fur. And no one’s complaining.

If you also have a strange affection for horrendously looking footwear (hope I’m not the only one here), that’s one for you – the season’s nine ugliest shoes, captioned.

We still have to wait a bit for Shayne Oliver‘s debut collection at Helmut Lang. But the brand’s newly revamped website has those boots on-line. They perfectly convey Lang’s unconventional sense for footwear with that shearling fur sticking out. Cringey? Cringey. But cool.

67fb3d62bbbb0bcb483ac37f658af4fd

Cowboy boots weren’t the only shoes appearing on Calvin Klein‘s runway. Raf Simons also has in offer these PVC stilettos, in different colours. Plastic and suede, that’s so drastically painful.

323243CSAC.38NO_1

Céline site claims that these boots are made in Spain according to traditional shoe-making technique. Sharp in the front, slouchy on the back. That peculiar, square silhouette. One of the seasons stranger things, that’s for sure. But of high quality!

Again, Miu Miu. How many Muppets were killed to make these? Note, they’re vegan.

large_marni-brown-fur-trimmed-boot-3

Francesco Risso‘ debut collection at Marni wasn’t only about really, but really messily edited clothing. The designer wasn’t only slammed by the critics for his ultra-psychedelic take on 60s, 70s, 80s, and God knows what else, but also for his shoes. An edgily curved heel. Patent leather. Fur-trimming. I wrote that ‘the uglier, the better’. Well, here’s an exception.

Miuccia hits this post the third time with her Prada footwear. Fur loafers versus those knee-length monsters. I like the fur story, but the boots with buckles everywhere look lame and nerd, even for Milan.

b3c54744d1712251b3a6c0d82941e2e4

I love Acne Studios doing ugly shoes every season. So many things are going on here – ribbed knit, rusty suede, some kind of glue-y material and polished leather. Oh dear, what Jonny Johansson is a genius.

_ARC0841

Demna Gvasalia spandex boots at Balenciaga are already the brand’s classic, but this season’s version in neon-green is toxic like a tropical frog.

70d283592de6263816e3746f35c001dc

You might easily get lost in these Y / Project boots of gargantuan capacity. Glenn Martens knows no limits, and whatever other say – these shoes are as badass as the collection itself.

Hope nobody suffered while reading this post! It’s fashion, after all.

Men’s / Handsome Volumes. Y/Project SS18

Slide1

Glenn Martens‘ aesthetic matures and simultaneously evolves into very exciting fields at Y/Project. The designer leaves behind his signature ‘trashiness’ and pulls off his own take on classiness. Delightful shades of beige, olive-green and burgundy emerged down the street runway in gargantuan silhouettes. Extreme layering an draping have always been rooted in Glenn’s style-codes, but never before were they so refined. The clothes were as diverse, as the casting. Literally, every single piece of clothing coming from this collection can be worn in multiple ways, according to your preference. A cotton shirt with disturbing volumes; deconstructed coats and jackets; not-your-average sweatshirts with zippers in the weirdest places. “You really have to make a choice; you have to think about how you want to wear the clothes,” the designer mused after the show.

Slide01Slide02Slide03Slide04Slide05

Collages by Edward Kanarecki (backdrop: a still from Abbas Kiarostami’s film ‘Close Up’).

Royals are Fly. Y/Project AW17

_lll0879

Marie Antoinette and today’s rappers – at a first glance, nothing in common. But if you look at their shared love for over-the-top fashion, you might get the point behind Glenn Martens‘ autumn-winter 2017 collection at Y/Project. Big fur coats; leather hoodies with shearling inserts; lace-trimmed sweatpants; ball skirts styled with rhinestone embellished gladiator sandals. A clash between royalty and streetwear? Martens would rather call it as finding the mid-point between those two bold universes. A desire for looking, hmm, fly (although I doubt Antoinette would be use this word for her style). 

slide20slide21slide22slide24slide25slide23slide26slide27slide1-kopia-2

Men’s – Napoleon. Y/Project AW17

_arc0529

What happens when hip-hop star’s clothes land in Napoleon I’s wardrobe? Or Henry VIII  takes style tips from Kanye? Glenn Martens, the designer behind Y/Project, is here to envision those impossible scenarios. Fusing royalty with streetwear, the Belgian designer styled distorted denim jackets with aristocratic, scarlet velvet. Every high-profile rapper has his / her merch outside the concert, selling everything from t-shirts to scarves: Martens reinterpreted the latter, putting faces of famous royals on each of them. Also, the floor-sweeping corduroy coats will make any entrance grand.

slide05-kopiaslide06-kopiaslide09-kopiaslide07-kopiaslide08-kopiaslide1-kopia-3

#2016 – Glenn Martens

glenn-martens_photo-by-arnaud-lajeunie

Y/Project is a prove that Paris looks forward to labels found by new-gen talents. Glenn Martens‘ vision blurs between the terms feminine and masculine, but also, reflect on the generations’ love for  pastel-pink trashiness, Cher’s good, old looks and this neo-goth, neo-grunge mood (which appears repeatedly). But you can’t compare Glenn Martens’ label to the fashion collective Vetements – the philosophies of these two brands are totally different, just like the approach. At Y/Project, drama plays a role – bishop sleeves worn loosely with pencil skirts; sheer robes with ruff-like collars ooze with ethereal elegance, but with a modern-day twist. The list of must-haves keeps adding up, and curiosity of what’s to come at Y/Project is absorbing.

While others re-invent heritage, French brands or mess around with underground rave culture, Glenn is somewhere in between reviving Marie Antoinette dresses and developing a 21st century gear for cool women (and men). For spring/summer 2017, the designer nails denim pants, which are very much into elongated silhouettes. Velvet body-con piece or a pony-hair top subvert the term “elegance”, just like unconventional evening wear which focuses on exaggerated, sleeveless parachute dresses. The models wore layers of pearl necklaces, ironically contrasting with the so-in-demand street-wise hoodies. Following the anti-fashion maxim, the uglier the better, Glenn sent out a line of the most trashy mules and stilettos you have ever seen. “They’re from Chinatown,” he said backstage, without an attempt to conceal this fact. I doubt a modern-day princess would immerse herself in those cumbersome clothes – but a Parisian skate-girl, for sure.

Before Y/Project, Glenn had his own, namesake label. According to him, after few seasons he had a feeling he “slightly burned out”. Then in 2013, he came in as creative director of Y/Project, just after the death of the brand’s founder – Yohan Serfaty. Y/Project used to be all about darkness and leather (think Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens aesthetics). Martens’ revamp lead the brand to a new client, and a new image.

It seems that 2016 is the year, when we have all really discovered Glenn. I bet 2017 will be a bomb for the brand, too!

Your wardrobe needs…  Y/Project t-shirtY/Project beltY/Project extended jeans & Y/Project tweed bustier dress.

Chinatown Mules. Y/Project SS17

tumblr_oe8a8bkjbx1tbvqu6o9_1280

Amid the new league of young, fashion talents based in Paris, there’s Jacquemus, Koché, Courrèges boys, and of course Vetements collective. Another one in the hood is Glenn Martens, who is the designer behind Y/Project. While other re-invent heritage, French brands or mess around with underground rave culture, Glenn is somewhere in between reviving Marie Antoinette dresses and developing a 21st century gear for cool women (and men). For spring/summer 2017, the designer nails denim pants, which are very much into elongated silhouettes. Velvet body-con piece or a pony-hair top subvert the term “elegance”, just like unconventional evening wear which focuses on exaggerated, sleeveless parachute dresses. The models wore layers of pearl necklaces, ironically contrasting with the so-in-demand street-wise hoodies. Following the anti-fashion maxim, the uglier the better, Glenn sent out a line of the most trashy mules and stilettos you have ever seen. “They’re from Chinatown,” he said backstage, without an attempt to conceal this fact. I doubt a modern-day princess would immerse herself in those cumbersome clothes – but a Parisian skate-girl, for sure.

slide01

slide06

slide05

slide04

slide03

slide02

slide1