Bold, innovative, hypnotising
Watching Y/Project Men’s F/W21 is like experiencing a million “woah” moments unfold at once. Even though that’s a regular occurrence during the Parisian brand’s incredible shows, with each step up in technical innovation and conceptuality you become ever more glued to the screen. In this latest video runway, the models meander along their gymhall-esque lines in the ultimate act of social distancing. A calculated dance of constant movement, where the clothes sway in the indoor breeze, every intricately manipulated fabric pans dizzyingly before the camera to indulge in the limelight and suck us in. Bold, intense and hypnotising, this show creates an obsessive urge to follow along the Y/Project maze and take it all in.
As usual, there’s a lot to unpack in the collection. The range of garments alone is astonishing: from carefully crafted shirts, a graphic puffer scarf that looks like you’ll never see your neck ever again, to an exposed waistband of some undies (that proves an innovative pretty way to show a logo!). Together, it’s all joined by Y/Project DNA – a calibrated a metric of science and fashion that’s run thorough the brand since the advent of creative director Glen Martens in 2013. Never basic, always elevated, impressive feats. The clothes are the kind of constructions that manage to hold onto all of their mystery – you can’t imagine how they’re made, or even believe what you’ve seen.
Most interestingly, it seems like the first collection where Y/project really embraced fluidity. The use of pastels and florals (in the women’s earrings and the tulip-lipped leather skirt) meant that for a winter collection, there were unusual hints of spring. More so, following an earlier announcement, Men’s and Womenswear were presented together as one. Perhaps this is what it really means to move towards a seasonless and genderless fashion week. After months of fashion commentary on the Insta-void about utility, maybe designers are ready to present in a way that the eccentricity of a runway meets a practical tinge.
Yet that still didn’t stop Y/Project from delivering with capital D. Once again, Martens has outdone himself. Living proof that there are many rewards in not following conventional rules – somehow a scarf, tights and mules can look put together as anything else you’ve seen. Thank God for creativity, Y/Project is fuelling us with the seriously addictive energy we need.