Glenn Martens, a delightful fellow and a great designer is so charming. How could we not then all jolly along post-show, when he said what he often tends to: “We always try to invite our customers to enjoy the garments and play with them.” Then even Martens realized the record was scratched, and ventured an update: “It’s a bit like Gothic cathedrals, a Flemish vibe… like Bruges.”
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. Martens’s metaphor worked well. The stroll through Y/Project was held in the beautiful garden of a Parisian wealthy-kid school, on a raised gravel runway. As shocked parakeets ran above, Martens combined his familiar symphonic strangeness with stimulating new notes.
The basenote was distorted denim. It had a “it goes all of the way up” logo that you thought might have been a subtle satire about the Diesel-style rumbustious graphics. He gently clarified, however, that the note had been here since 2013. As a part of Jean Paul Gaultier’s second season partnership, there was Chapter 2 of new trompe-l’oeil pieces. 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 was a hilarious pair of flipped finger earrings, and four “evil babies” tops. Their drawn-on distended bodies were inspired by a regrettable tattoo Martens got on a drunk British man while creating the collection. The most remarkable innovation was the seemingly impossible tank tops that were suspended from the shoulders by almost invisible wiring.
Yet, the core architectural element underpinning this seasonally adjusted weirdness was the malleable wire endsoskeletons, which allowed for tailoring, jeans, and even alien eveningwear to become shockwave-shaped. It is worth looking at again, just like Bruges.