Designer Glenn Martens is a child of the Nineties, clearly testified by his soundtrack (the 1991 dance hit “People Are Still Having Sex” by LaTour) and the collection which he presented at Y/Project, the brand he has helmed for just over a year.
Womenswear and menswear shown side by side seems to be more than just the juxtaposition of pre-fall collections and menswear presentations. The fact that genders are converging is often referenced in fashion, not just through the porosity of wardrobe boundaries. Standout pieces were the club kid hoodies, the ever-luxurious leather pieces and precisely tailored separates. It was tapped into that vein of imaginative basics that is anchored in the minimalist 90s. Seeing a designer like Martens rework these gives an idea of how powerhouses such as Celine, Jil Sander or Helmut Lang steered a course towards fashion-shattering pared-down silhouettes.
But to reduce this to a singular decade would have been to turn a blind eye on the synthetic shine of hologram vinyl and the very Cardin vibe exuded by a houndstooth tweed teddy and slacks ensemble. What all of this did point to was a glorification of youthful energy, a form of optimism embodied in shapes that were perhaps not entirely novel, but charmed nonetheless. The palette dominated by dark blues, with a dash of rhodoid red and classic camel for good measure, twisted the urban feel of this collection towards sophistication.
Although some of this felt like a glorification of youth, requiring bodies long and lean, there were plenty of well-conceived pieces to slake the appetites of Y/Project's appreciators of any age.
In the end, it was perhaps the slow inching away from the brand's early days that felt fresh and disquietingly novel all the same. Let's hope the solid foundation work laid by Martens' impeccable construction will continue to foster brand growth.