Since his appointment as Creative Director, Glenn Martens has pioneered Y/Project’s feminine-meets-masculine style that transcends gender fluidity. Marten’s Spring 2020 menswear collection is imbued with an unwavering sense of zaniness in the context of real life, overlaid with a variety of historic references. For Spring 2020 Marten’s has taken ordinary clothes like track suits, polo shirts, sweaters, jeans, and blazers, and deconstructed them, often times with insanely provocative flourishes. Many of the garments appeared stretched beyond recognition, and are scrunched, twisted, crushed and rumpled into a mosaic of wrinkles, or sliced meticulously with razor blades into a quasi homemade chenille. To add to the madness disoriented closures are misaligned and reconfigured to create elegant folds.
Y/Project is also known for their unconventional hypeworthy, denim, and this season saw new outrageous styles with multiple zipped patch pockets layered on elephantine stovepipe legs with his signature double waistline. Others looked like giants sized jeans with the waistline gathered into skirt-like folds. A more streamlined version appeared with an extended front hemline that covered the top of the shoe with built in cowboy boot stitching. Some of the most stunning pieces however, came in the form of silky, elegant twisted shirt dresses, with half of the garment stretched out so that the buttons created radiating folds as they meander from side to side. There were also plenty of Martens’ signature asymmetrical jackets with the linings exposed, or buttoned to created soft organic folds. A few tracksuits highlighted some of his most impressive draping, appearing as if they were literally swirled around the body in a whirlwind.
Another key strength for Y Project this season are the accessories including accordion folding bags, triangular Doctor’s bags, and inner tube sized leather fanny packs. The accessories game did not stop there, head to toe styling touches added to the list of must-have pieces. Among them Y-shaped ear cuffs, belts with layered tails, and a parade of equally stunning shoes ranging from curlicue sandals to buckled square toe loafers, and the daintiest kitten heels shaped like folded china plates.
While the manipulations that create warped volumes, chaotic twists, and uncanny reconfigurations to Y/Project’s everyday clothing appear almost uncomfortable, like an accidental result of rough handling, there’s something ultimately very optimistic and delightful about them. Marten’s process transforms and lovingly celebrates these humble garments to create elevated forms of newfound classical beauty. It’s easy to imagine this clothing both as the wardrobe from a dark charming fairytale, or as a by product of living in a chaotic world. “It depends on how you look at it,” Martens explain. “If you look at things a different way you can see the good things in it, and I think there’s always a positive way of looking at things. …Hopefully,” he adds with a grin.