Layered Oddity. Y/Project SS23

It’s a bit like Gothic cathedrals, a Flemish vibe… like Bruges”, Glenn Martens described his spring-summer 2023 collection for Y/Project. Bruges is a tiny, ancient, weirdly beautiful city that never stops looking fresh because it was so madly built – depending on the time of day and the shape of your mood there are new angles of oddity everywhere. So Martens’s simile worked nicely. This stroll through Y/Project, held in the lush garden of an elite Parisian school on a raised gravel runway as shocked parakeets dashed above, combined his familiar symphonic weirdness with some stimulating fresh notes. The basenote remained distorted denim, imprinted with a so-cheesy-it’s-good Eiffel Tower logo that you wondered might be a gentle satire of the rumbustious graphics so favored at the designer’s day job at Diesel until he gently disambiguated that it had been in place here since 2013. There was a whole chapter of new trompe l’oeil pieces as a second season partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier. Instead of nudes this time the emphasis was on impressing the dressed-down – classic Y/Project jeans and vests and polos – on slips and rib-knits. There were hilarious flipped-finger earrings and four “evil baby” tops whose drawn-on distended bodies were based on a much-regretted tattoo on a drunk British guy that Martens had met while developing the collection. Possibly the most striking innovation of all – this season’s flying buttress – were the apparently impossible tank tops suspended at the shoulder by nearly invisible wiring. And yet the central architectural device underpinning all this seasonally-adjusted weirdness remained the malleable wire endoskeletons that allowed tailoring, denim, and alien eveningwear to be distorted into shockwave shapes. Like Bruges, it is worth revisiting again and again.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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Men’s – Body. Y/project AW22

There was a lot to unpack in this men’s autumn-winter and women’s pre-fall 2022 Y/Project show. This must be why it was held in a spaceship-sized logistics artery on the northern edge of Paris that every day, all day, connects freight trains and trucks bringing goods into the city with 23 loading bays’ worth of courier vehicles. The epic venue offered beyond-enough room for social distancing. And it made for a runway so long that by my watch it took a full four minutes for the models to transit from one end to the other. Amongst the models were two fashion insiders that are close to Glenn Martens: Camille Bidault-Waddington and Olivier Theyskens. Theyskens said just before the show started: “Glenn proposed it to me. I know him and I love him. We work in the same neighborhood and we both come from Belgium.” The next highlight of the collection: the creative presence of Jean Paul Gaultier. Next week during the haute couture presentations, Martens will moonlight as a one-season only creative director for Jean Paul Gaultier. At this ready-to-wear show, Martens presented first hints of the dialogue: “We took one of his most iconic prints and we interpreted it in a Y/Project way. It’s very layered – you have men’s prints and women’s prints and they go on top of each other.” The trompe l’oeil body prints and penis pants that Martens was referring to, and which will be part of Y/Project’s Gaultier-facing ready-to-wear capsule, were certainly striking and worked well with the Belgian designer’s signature garment distortion.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Off-Kilter Glamour. Y/Project AW21

Y/Project‘s Glenn Martens makes his visual brand for the brand so distinct, that sometimes you wish he surprised with a completely new direction. But then, consistence is key to success, especially in times of global crisis. The  pandemic has pushed Martens to unify his men’sand women’s ready-to-wear collections into one. It’s a smart move for many brands. With his new post as Diesel’s creative director, showing less will allow Martens and his team time to refine their craft and push the boat out even further. But back to autumn-winter 2021: majority of the 64 looks on display are threaded with metal wiring which is integrated directly into the fabric, allowing the wearer to scrunch, swirl and bend their garments into whatever shape they desire. It’s a technique Martens introduced a few seasons ago, turning oversized shirts, opera gowns and the brand’s signature denim into ultra-versatile pieces. XXXL polo shirts circle around the models’s bodies; shirts appear frozen in a snapshot, mid-motion, like the wearer is trying to rip it off their torso. The art of distortion is Glenn’s signature – and it’s being knocked off by so, so many designers. My personal highlight of the line-up is the eveningwear, a territory Martens likes to gradually discover each season. Those draped column dresses and flowing skirts are glamorous, but in an off-kilter, Y/Project manner. The collection is tied together with the brand’s on-going collaboration with Canada Goose, which this season includes a couture-like rain cape. Topping off the look is some Cinderella-like glass slippers that are actually made of rubber, courtesy of sustainable Brazilian label Melissa.

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Gift Guide for Her – Stay Home Glamour

For the starter: this gorgeous Khaite tulle gown in green!

This year, I’ve to embrace the spirit of coming together this holiday season and decided to create dream gift guides that might make it easier for you to go (and filter) through the festive season. Get ready for a selection of beautiful items that will spark joy and last for years. The ones that will certainly please one’s senses and deliver heavenly feelings. Treat your loved ones and yourself! Here’s the curated edit of the most covetable delights, for her, which are all about stay-at-home glamour!

Festive Red. Is there any other colour that says “It’s Christmas time!” with such confidence as red? As we wrap up 2020, now is the time to celebrate our loved ones and share tokens of gratitude with those who have enriched this tumultous year for us. Red is the colour of love and courage, and noting how difficult this year was, wear this colour and radiate with confidence, boldness and passion!

Simone Rocha asymmetric tulle evening dress, Simone Rocha crystal drop earringsSimone Rocha silk midi skirt, Saint Laurent double-breasted tweed blazer & Prada high-shine headband.

Treasure Chest. Looking for something extra special? Dazzling jewellery coming from hot, young talents will definitely work as a unique, one-of-a-kind gift. Precious!

Sophie Bille Brahe velvet jewellery box in blue, Sophie Bille Brahe velvet jewellery box in red, Mondo Mondo gold oyster earrings, Ashley Williams heart appliqué hair pins & Sunnei rubberized pink and gold earrings.

Cute Things. Sometimes we all want to feel like a child. Go for playful and fun if you feel like someone had an especially stressful time this year!

Erdem silver earrings, Sophie Buhai velvet headband, Molly Goddard ruffled blouse, Molly Goddard knitted flower brooches set, Molly Goddard knitted flower brooches set & Ashley Williams handle bag.

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Princess of Wales Checks. Though her legacy extends far beyond fashion, Princess Diana is arguably the greatest fashion icon of the 20th century. Checks have always been affiliated with festive season, but this year, with The Crown‘s phenomenal fourth season focused on early days of Diana Spencer, I feel like we will all love this pattern even more. Remember, that Diana didn’t wear checks in a boring way, though! The bigger, off-kilter and colourful, the better.

Dries Van Noten crepe de chine and satin top, Dries Van Noten wool tote & Chopova Lowena patchwork pleated skirt.

Be Bold. NET-A-PORTER Global Buying Director Elizabeth von der Goltz says Christopher John Rogers is one of the designers to watch and embrace in 2020, and it’s easy to see why. Since launching his eponymous brand only a few seasons ago, the designer’s voluminous silhouettes, sharp tailoring and unabashed use of color have already earned him a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. Rihanna, Ashley Graham and Michelle Obama are all fans. His clothes are made for wearing and celebrating!

Christopher John Rogers over-sized double-breasted blazer

Quality Time. How about making those holidays the most-pampered time of the year, as you stay at your home-made spa? Relax yourself with the finest skincare, scents and charming bling-blings…

Costa Brazil “Kaya” anti-aging face oil, Panconesi single earring, Mondo Mondo cardinal drop earrings, Diptyque “Feu De Bois” candle, Susanne Kaufmann antioxidant oil, Susanne Kaufmann body butter, Susanne Kaufmann bath oil, Susanne Kaufmann glow mask & Susanne Kaufmann enzyme peel.

Nouvelle Vague. How about a pinch of Parisian chic?

Marc Jacobs shift-style mini dress, Gucci x Liberty floral ballet flat, Saint Laurent gold earrings & Gucci over-sized sunglasses.

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Modern Elegance. Need to set the bar high? Timeless elegance will score instant points with every style maven – whether we’re speaking of Rosie Assoulin‘s multi-functional knitwear or this charming Brock Collection dress. Also, Byredo‘s “Slow Dance” is a can’t-go-wrong gift!

Brock Collection bow-detailed silk-organza dress, Rosie Assoulin “Thousand In One Ways” convertible cable-knit sweater, Sophie Buhai classic earrings, Byredo “Slow Dance” fragrance, Simone Rocha beaded headband & Gucci ankle-strap platform pumps.

Like A Pearl. From top to toe – and waist to wrist – these are the modern-day, royal classics that will keep on giving, every time they are worn.

Simone Rocha beaded tote bag, Marc Jacobs boucle flared coat, Sophie Buhai pearl drop earrings & Simone Rocha pearl-embellished crossover sandals.

 

Miuccia Knows. Pretty much anything coming from Miuccia Prada is an investment pieces that’s always “in”. Prada and Miu Miu got lots to love this festive season for all the fans of quirky, yet feminine essentials!

Miu Miu leopard print skirt, Miu Miu glitter ballerina shoes, Prada oversized shell choker, Miu Miu nappa leather clutch & Prada logo plaque chunky headband.

She Wears Velvet. The 1990s revival means that velvet fashion is back for good. This sumptuous fabric can be elegant and luxurious, but it’s worth giving it a fashionable twist.

Sophie Buhai velvet scrunchie, Collina Strada crushed velvet longline coat, Marine Serre pink gloves,<Paula Canovas Del Vas pumps & Y/Project velvet mini bag.

Refined. Lounging at its most sublime.

Saint Laurent pussy bow sheer blouse, Saint Laurent latex-style pencil skirt, Cire Trudon Christmas scent candle, Saint Laurent pumps & Saint Laurent velvet dress.

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Fashion is Fashion! Go for wild non-chalance to shake 2020’s seriousness off. Play fantastic dress-up, even if the festive evening is spent in your living room. Getting dressed makes such a difference, it’s like an attitude-boost!

Saint Laurent polka-dot skirt, Dries Van Noten cropped jacket, Fornasetti Profumi “Don Giovani” scented candleRoxanne Assoulin earrings,Valentino Garavani floral detail shoulder bag & Manolo Blahnik “Camparicaro” pumps.

Prints Meet Prints.

Khaite zebra-jacquard pants, Gucci horsebit handle bag, Prada intarsia V-neck knitted vest, Christian Louboutin leopard print pumps & Stella Jean pop-art print pleated skirt.

Warm Season. ‘Tis the season for warmth, fine fabrics and a dash of something that makes you feel truly cosseted and cozy. We all deserve to treat ourselves with something relaxing and laid-back.

Marni exposed stitch cardigan, Vilhelm Parfumerie “Do Not Disturb” perfumeSimone Rocha floral jacquard long socks & Isabel Marant oversize hooded poncho.

Neo-Disco. With the rise of modern-day disco – think Róisín Murphy, Kylie Minogue, Jessie Ware and Dua Lipa’s 2020 records – that helped as out during the tough lockdown days, how about having an intimate disco party at your home? Turn on Madonna’s “Confessions On A Dancefloor“, and lose yourself to dance!

Paco Rabanne tie-dye t-shirt, Paco Rabanne chainmail earrings, Paco Rabanne mirror-discs midi skirt, Paco Rabanne chainmail bag & Porte & Paire leather sandals.

Colour Pop. Unpredictable colour combinations always lift the mood. Can’t go wrong with an Extreme Cashmere cardigan in bold orange or the already-cult Bottega Veneta intreciatto-weave cluth in refreshing lime.

Extreme Cashmere orange cardigan, Bottega Veneta leather clutch bag, Assouline “St. Tropez Soleil” by Simon Liberati book, Comme des Garcons skirt & Bea Bongiasca pink ring.

Some more festive gift guides are coming soon! Here are some you might have missed – cozy chic for her and “be bold” for him!

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All collages by Edward Kanarecki.