If fashion is a spectator sport, then a Y/Project show can feel like a game of musical chairs. As guests randomly grabbed front row seats in the show venue, a dark arched passageway under the historic Alexandre III bridge in Paris, attendants rushed out with folding chairs for late arrivals like influencer Caro Daur.
Six years after taking over as creative director of the label, Glenn Martens remains one of the hottest tickets of Paris Fashion Week, with a knack for churning out click-baity designs like his detachable jeans, worn by celebrities including Hailey Baldwin and Gigi Hadid.
This season saw the Belgian designer taking stock, with a collection that offered fresh takes on many of his greatest hits. Chief of these: his trademark twisted constructions, which he exercised on everything from trenchcoats to jean jackets, men’s shirts, ribbed sweaters and pencil skirts.
Variations on the corkscrew motif included a signature trompe-l’oeil print on a spaghetti-strap slipdress; spiral-seamed sheer dresses, and evening looks with loosely coiled satin neck ruffles.
But there was plenty of merch in the mix, from the shorts with an oversize lining fold to the filmy Windbreakers with drawstring waists. As the soundtrack of Strauss waltzes sped up and careened into sonic chaos, was Martens making a veiled comment about the fashion merry-go-round?
“I think people sometimes think too much of us as a think tank, and I think sometimes these think tanks can actually be grounded and be continued as proper garments and pieces,” he offered backstage. “I think it’s important to own ideas.”
That approach not only makes commercial sense, but chimes with the trend toward sustainable shopping. After all, what’s the cost per wear on a medieval-style red velvet evening gown?