Y/Project designer Glenn Martens may be a big fashion prize winner who counts superstars among his fans, but he has kept his sense of humor down to earth. The clothing, less so. Announcing the start of the show with yowling cat fight noises — the kind you hear in springtime — he managed to both amuse his audience and silence the cackling frogs in an outdoor pool next to the runway.
What came next was his latest experiment with volumes. Using classically tailored jackets, suit coats and sportswear as a base, he stretched layers of Lycra fabric across waists, collars, sleeves and chests, turning them into something altogether different.
“It’s not about being beautiful, it’s more about experimentation, to see how far we can go and what we can do, it’s up to you to like it or not to like it but it’s not a point of being something really commercial,” Martens said after the show. The designer has mostly racked up some weighty “likes” in recent seasons, winning the ANDAM prize last year and designing those boots that snake up Beyonce’s leg in her latest “Apes–t” video.
Reckoning he would get bored sticking with “easy looks,” he sent clothing through a strange superhero transformation.
One could discern a wide lapel on the long black leather trenchcoat that carried a layer of the stretchy dark fabric over its top half — comic strip material. A loose, sporty jacket, mostly white, had white spikes poking out from the layers of fabric, so did a pair of loose-fitting trousers in similar material, in white, blue and yellow.
He added extra panels here and there, running down a pant leg, recalling Western chaps. Or jetting up behind the shoulders of a very feminine collared shirt, also running down the arms, a bit like that extra layer of skin puffed out by tropical lizards, or an odd bird.
Crotch accents reappeared this season, no fig leaves this time but rather jeans fashioned into high-waisted underwear, worn by a woman, or, in the same shape, an added section to a pair of wide jeans, for a man.
“Obviously we had fun,” he said of the graphic silhouettes. He enchanted his viewers, but also left them slightly bewildered.