Y/Project’s Feverish Game in Spring/Summer 2023

The Parisian label returns with an unyielding new chapter.

Since last season’s collaborative efforts with Jean Paul Gaultier, followed by being a guest designer for the maison’s couture presentation and then causing an uproar with a knockout Diesel ready-to-wear runway, it’s been an excellent year for Glenn Martens.

Creative director since 2013, Martens has helmed Y/Project as an outlet for experimentation, where we see the manipulation of denim, subversive hems, and slouching boots. Described as a “game between the real and the fake,” Martens takes the Y/Project consumer on a whimsical yet methodic journey.

There’s an itch that Martens always seems to satisfy – including Gen Z’s obsession with Y2K; he never fails to emphasize a sense of playfulness throughout the coed collection: This time around, trompe-l’oeil is here to stay as the label continues to collaborate with Gaultier. Eiffel Tower logos collaged onto skin-tight tops, “evil” infant fingers flipping off onlookers through soft knits and gold earrings, and asymmetrical lines imposed on the collars of hot-pink satin dresses and fold-over jeans. But there were two standouts in Marten’s seeming unlimitedness – the continued unwieldy curliness of thigh boots and tank tops that invisibly held up on shoulders.

The press release named the many silhouettes we see inserted throughout the runway a “contemporary malice,” an irony that the label continues to explore. That seems to be a starting point that attracts us to Marten’s weirdness: we all pine for a bit of debauchery.

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