Three thousand people. Since the mid-1970s that the Pitti Uomo invites a number of designers pointed to the scroll in the margin of his show, the organization florentine had never sent so many invitations for this show Y/Project, the sis the day before yesterday in the cloister of the basilica of Santa Maria Novella. In exchange for the bristol, each host received a flashlight on his arrival, in order to contribute to the lighting of the presentation is to be held at night. “I seized the opportunity of this carte blanche to imagine a different performance of our fashion show in paris. I wanted to stress the importance of each person within a group, the diversity and the collective which are values dear to the brand,” explained Glenn Martens, artistic director for the past five years, a few days before flying to Italy.
Collection of Y/Project Fall-Winter 2019-2020 at Pitti Uomo in Florence. Y/Project-Menswear Guest Designer – 027
Initially, our meeting in Paris had been set prior to the holiday, within the apartment of the Tenth district, which is home to the young company – 25 people in the style of the workshop, prototyping, and administrative services co-existing in a few parts. But that day at the appointed hour, the atmosphere is rather the pot of the end of the year in the entry, prepared on the trestle, serving the ordinary design models. Retreat to the quiet in a café at the foot of the building. The Belgian, warm and good living, do not primarily seek to hide the fact that his daily life is not that of a “D. A.” large-house, a recluse in his vast office, how ivory tower. “I am sharing my work table with the six people who take care of the business part,” he stressed. I love that they participate in the fittings, give their opinions and, even, a boost in the last line right before the show when the pressure is at maximum. Between man and woman, we present now four parades per year. The set of models is developed in-house by seven pattern makers and patronniers. Everyone is side by side and sharing the creation of each garment. It is intense and joyful at the same time.”
This atmosphere of studious and good-natured (which is not without recalling that of the studios of independent creators in the 1980s and 1990s) was quite different in the fall of 2013, when Glenn Martens has taken over the reins. A few months earlier, the founder Yohan Serfaty had been carried off by a cancer. “The beginnings were very complicated,” continues the man who was his assistant, three years before. The brand was in mourning. Out of respect for Yohan and his close collaborators, we opted with Gilles Elalouf, its financial partner, for a smooth transition. The mind has evolved when we embarked on the catwalks female, there are two and a half years. Little by little, the style and image have changed from products very leather and very black – Yohan was a giant filiform stem that normally blocked all the models on its silhouette, to a more eclectic and festive that suits me better.” And that is based on a work of deconstruction/reconstruction, plundering in the history of fashion and the grammar of designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Martin Margiela and John Galliano, to give day-to-clothing hybrids.
“We have a particular identity, which speaks and appeals to people happy. My belgian culture is evident in the diversion, and jokes style a little absurd that appeal”
In 2017, this turn of the style Y/Project was welcomed by the grand prize of Andam, under the aegis of the ministry of Culture. In parallel, the points of sale ranged from a dozen to over 150. Last year, the brand has been approached by the UGG boots to establish a global collaboration. As a staff, Glenn Martens has also signed a collection in the framework of the Diesel Red Tag Project of Renzo Rosso. Last but not least , the Pitti Uomo has chosen Y/Project as a “guest designer” for its 95th edition, which closes its doors this evening. “We are revealed at the right time, in Paris, which was then trying to reinvent itself, to regain the lightness and the joy after the period of the traumatic attacks,” the Flemish, a native of Bruges, who resides in France since the end of his studies at the royal Academy of fine arts in Antwerp, in 2009.
Y/Project belongs to the new generation of stylists in the city and imagine fashion outside of the prism of luxury while managing to exist to the sides of the very large claws. “We have a particular identity, which speaks and appeals to people happy. My belgian culture is evident in the diversion, and jokes style a little absurd that like. The parade is full of ideas. If it has fifty passages, there will be fifty men or women dressed up to look different, when most of the houses established seek to impose a silhouette of the season. Each time, we start with a concept referring to the construction of a type of clothing – tailoring, lingerie or denim, for example. In the end, the entire piece must have the twist that is reminiscent of the starting point and justifies its price.”
Trained in architecture
This approach refers to the formation of Glenn Martens in interior architecture. “I discovered the Academy of Antwerp – and, by extension, the world of fashion – during a study trip around its stunning buildings. On a whim, I submitted a dossier. And I have been selected! During the first few months, I tended to build a lot of boxes around the body,” he smiles. Out nevertheless the major of his promotion, he was hired on-the-spot by fashion designer Gilles Rosier, who then draws the ready-to-wear from the house of Jean Paul Gaultier. Then he assisted Yohan Serfaty, Bruno Pieters and others, is working free-lance for Hugo Hugo Boss in order to finance the launch of a brand to its name. “I’m a hyperactive, he confesses,” yet. The mode key to many things. It takes a multitude of factors for a product to arrive, or not, in our closets. This area has fascinated me since the day I put a foot. If it has changed considerably, I am convinced that we can always get a place when one has a vision. On the other hand, you can not begin without a budget, or network as I have done in 2012. Or create their models, only in the secrecy of his studio, without opening to the outside world.”