Excuse me, there’s a cockroach in your Y/Project shirt pocket.
“It’s meant to make sure you guys are concentrated,” quipped Glenn Martens after the Paris-based label’s spring show. With a bedbug infestation making headlines in town, you bet people are on the lookout for creepy crawlies, but there was nothing to worry about here.
The insect — a realistic accessory, rather than a live one — was only a bit player in the season’s “bit of a medieval vibe,” inspired by Bruges, the Belgian city the designer hails from and left 15 years ago. “The longer I stay away from home the more I’m connected to my hometown,” he continued.
His coed Y/Project collection took its cues from Bruges’ renowned architectural features, but also the design principle that led to their flourishing.
“The basis of Gothic architecture [is that builders] were not supposed to exactly copy-paste exactly the drawing, they had to do an interpretation of the designs,” said Martens.
What the designer wanted was to prompt people to question themselves and make a conscious decision on how they’d look, building plenty of ways to do so into his designs, by the way of anything from hook-eye closures and buttons to trompe-l’oeil layering and metal-backed fabric.
Exactly how far those twists and twirls could be taken was chronicled by the run of show — and symbolized by snake plastrons, he said — opening with a monastic hooded duster, progressing to double-layer denim and French terry shorts that unsnapped to show cotton boxers, and ended in the vast flurries of the girthy final group of silhouettes.
Not to worry, if you’re too shy to play or want a repeatable result. There were also prints, which offered an easy-to-wear interpretation of the brand’s fabric manipulation scanned and applied to straightforward shapes like long knit dresses or silk lingerie gowns.
“We’d rather ask a question than given an answer,” he said. Still, this was a didactic demonstration his ever-growing audience will respond to positively.
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