Glenn Martens’ Y/Project returned to the Paris Fashion Week schedule with a club-meets-couture display for SS24. Known for its playful combinations of men’s and womenswear, we saw a delicate and daring collection that felt as ready for sweaty all-nighters as it did for refined red-carpet appearances.
High ceilings provided an ethereal echo onto the elegance below, contrasting with the gritty peeling white paint which clung to brick walls. The industrial location seemed to echo the Belgian-born designer’s ability to bring beauty to brutalism, something seen in the past through avant-garde alterations to workwear-rooted denim and a streetwear design sensibility.
First up, we saw long monk-like robes constructed from the remnants of overcoats, torn up and folded asymmetrically underneath a one-sided lapel. It was also seen in a shiny-all-black iteration, giving us Glenn Martens’ take on a fashionable Grim Reaper.
Next, we saw tailoring injected with streetwear-esque printed patterning, which overlaid fading pinstripes. A blazer and trouser combination was paired with black leather square-toe boots which poked from beneath the oversized bottoms. The pattern also featured on an ankle-length skirt, which was worn with a scrunched Y/Project logo shirt.
Denim skirts were business (well, business-casual) at the front and party at the back, complete with layered detailing, which fell below the knee, while at the rear, it was cut to a cheeky miniskirt length and worn with a neck-high shirt.
In the middle of the show, guests were treated to a series of steamy, sexed-up looks serving Venue MOT vibes. Only we didn’t know if they were leaving the club following a hedonistic heavy one or working in the steelyard early the next morning, as sports and workwear met with more tailored designs.
Baggy work boots were paired with below-the-knee sweatshorts and vests, with a model walking, one hand in pocket, channelling the riotous, rave-ready energy often found in Martens’ designs. Naughty shorts-focused looks provided a horny hit of hedonism, as the grey marl bottoms were unbuttoned at the waist, with an unevenly worn plaid dress and a bag carried to the side.
Utilitarian deconstruction arrived in the form of a beige bomber pulled apart at the front and featured zip detailing which extended over the shoulder onto the back. It was worn with two-tone indigo denim tucked into black baggy boots. Later looks brought the same kitsch coolness to the table, pairing layered shorts that combined tailoring with a basketball-style sportiness with a leather pair of boots and a jacket, worn undone and perfect for a having it large.
Other outfits saw sweatpants meet with square-toed cowboy boots and a navy vest, which channelled the energy of the club kid who drew the short straw, doing the hungover shop run the next day. Similarly, one look showed loose cargo-style denim trousers featuring extended detailing which protruded from the thighs, paired with a dissected hoodie of the same material accented with red detailing.
To finish the show, Martens presented a series of more dainty, delicate looks, which saw sheer fabrics used to construct long flowing dresses in both black and white. A pink, striped Oxford shirt-style dress was combined with sensual silk to complete the feminine look. Alongside flowing dresses, we also saw grey tailored trousers worn with a matching overcoat, which featured a turtle-neck-like closure at the neck, complemented by a matching menswear look in an all-black hue.
The Y/Project woman combines a feminine sensuality with a daring prowess, seen in ruched knee-length dresses which combine pale blue lace with off-white silk, worn with a pink “snakelace” to mirror a snake wrapping itself around its victim.
Martens closed his binary-blurring extravaganza of men’s and women’s looks with a heavy couture-like offering, which showed dresses, jeans, trousers, and jackets constructed from rigid ruched detailing which spilled from the body. Dresses were coloured in a soft pink and turquoise and wrapped around the wearer’s head. Models closed the show wearing the two looks side by side, hands in pockets, as a final example of an eclectic and endearing design showcase. Y/Project’s SS24 show encompassed everything the brand is known for, being both cool and clubby and red-carpet-ready, elevating what we see and do every day into an artistic display.
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