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.