Duality was Y/Project’s wellspring this season. For the label’s first full-on womenswear show, designer Glenn Martens decided to continue the narrative of his recent menswear effort by reinterpreting some of the looks. Replete with leather, technological fabrics, and teeming with drawstring infused designs, Martens’ fascination with the modern multi-tasking woman inspired a collection that was fraught with versatility, sensuality and some hidden surprises. In speaking about the debut the Belgian designer quantified, “Today a woman has to be adaptable, she has to be modern…be flexible in any situation and I think this collection tries to follow that.”
Many of the looks were quite dark, but tonal and textural variations, such as barely-there see-through dresses and hefty leather bomber, ensured that there was enough variation and tactile interest. Big on fabric innovation and hybrid textiles, the designer also proffered a few interesting concoctions: wide legs pants made from kangaroo leather (that's supposedly untearable), an oil-treated wool coat, which renders the piece waterproof, and soft curpro synthetic silk, which was the foundation for his flowy floor-length frocks. The clear standouts, however, were a parka in tech-cotton that featured a zipped collar revealing an integrated hoodie and a beige knit-vanise twinset, which evoked an image of chain link armour.
When asked to define the fledgling label, Martens is emphatic: Y/Project is not a gothic or a streetwear brand. In fact he strongly opposes both assignations. “The layers and length are definitely like architecture. It’s a double meaning. It’s very constructive and architectural. I don’t want it to be a dark gothic label. We’re not going there. It has a bit of a witchy feeling yes, but it’s more about architecture and construction.” he reasoned.
But with established labels like Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh and Rad Hourani already doing the post-industrial avant-garde bit, it will be interesting to see how the young Martens and the four year old label fare.