Belgian designer Glenn Martens has created a new aesthetic language at brand defying label Y/PROJECT driven by contradictions, in which chic is combined with extravagant and eclectic references. A fashion-insider favorite, the brand has gained momentum based on its forward-thinking designs and some very unexpected collaborations, including Y/Project x Honest By, and those over-the-top thigh-high Uggs on your Insta feed.
Having worked under founder Yohan Serfaty, in addition to working as a junior designer at Jean-Paul Gaultier the young designer seems intent on pushing his own boundaries. The brand has mastered a look of tailored slouch and unfussed élan. This blend of poised apathy has been described as “visual catnip,” for millennials. Upon his arrival at Y/PROJECT Martens slowly transitioned the brand from Serfaty’s philosophical gothic sensibilities into what it is today – a vibrant brand equally inspired by history as well as streetwear, with a technique-driven design process that nods to his architectural background. His streetwear is enriched by historical and couture touches sometimes out of scale apparent this season in the Fall 2019 collection’s pop-out trousers and jackets.
Martens does not design for one specific person or one style – instead, his goal is to design versatile clothing that can be transformed by the wearer and made into their own. “The idea is really that often, in one single garment, there are different ways of wearing it,” Martens explains. “You can flip it down, twist it up, or take it off and have a classic piece.” Fresh and unpretentious, yet technically impressive Martens asks what would be fun to make, what would make someone happy. Noteworthy signatures of his design language include heavily worked fabric volume, seams and edges that migrate to strange locations, mesh casings, and hard-to-pin-down silhouettes created from classic garments that look like they’ve been pulled, stretched, distorted and rearranged into new forms. A theme he explored for fall through the deconstructed jackets with the inside linings pulled out and double openings. Y/PROJECTS clothes are meant to defy and sometimes even reposition your expectations. As Marten explains “when clothes are not connected to gender and age and still work, then fashion is relevant.”