Glenn Martens’ spectacle at the Y/Project Spring 2024 collection unveils was akin to a sartorial magic show, with eager fashion enthusiasts breaking through the barriers to witness the unveiling firsthand. An air of excitement was palpable, stirred by Martens’ renowned talent for capturing the essence of contemporary allure while paying homage to historical aesthetics.
“There’s a magnetic pull in Martens’ creations, a blend of the present and the past that draws in the youth and the seasoned aficionado alike,” remarked a veteran fashion critic, mirroring the sentiment of many in attendance. The collection showcased Martens’ adeptness at synthesizing influences from the architecture of his Belgian hometown, Bruges, while maintaining the edgy, dynamic appeal that resonates profoundly with the Gen Z audience.
Jeans were not just jeans in this collection. Martens presented denim, a foundational fabric of Y/Project, torqued and over-dyed, unveiling a palette of intense colors from lavender to acid yellow and wine red. The craftsmanship echoed the intricate designs and meticulous artistry reminiscent of Bruges’ Gothic architecture. Martens had once more ventured into a dialogue between his roots and the contemporary world, an exploration articulated beautifully through garments.
“I find an uncanny connection growing, the longer I stay away from home,” Martens confessed. This nostalgic yet innovative essence permeated the collection, where the architectural majesty of Gothic towers found expression in twists, twirls, and a diverse range of shapes.
Martens’ creation, reminiscent of art in motion, wasn’t restricted to the architectural. Realistic insect accessories, a cheeky nod to current events, added an element of surprise. “It’s meant to make sure you guys are concentrated,” Martens quipped. Indeed, the attention to detail demanded an audience as invested and focused as the designer himself.
Martens also ventured beyond the tangible stiffness of architecture, integrating an ease that invites wearability without compromising sophistication. The prints on silk, imbued with the essence of folds, pleats, and distressed lace, epitomize this harmony. Echoes of Martin Margiela’s iconic photocopy dresses are unmistakable, a testament to Martens’ ability to navigate the delicate balance between homage and innovation.
“Interpretation over imitation,” might well be the silent mantra underscoring the Spring 2024 Y/Project collection. Drawing inspiration from the liberty of Gothic builders to interpret rather than strictly adhere to designs, Martens crafted pieces that invited wearer participation. Trompe-l’oeil layering, metal-backed fabric, and innovative closures championed individual expression.
“We’d rather ask a question than give an answer,” Martens asserted. His collection is an open invitation to a dialogue where fashion, art, history, and individual expression converge, offering a narrative that is as multi-faceted as the garments gracing the runway.
© Photos: Y/Project
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