Sunday 24th January

| BY Paul Toner

Y/Project: Menswear AW21

This was a great season for Y/Project, possibly the brand’s strongest collection yet. The global pandemic has pushed Glenn Martens to unify his mens- and womenswear collections moving forward. (He will now show twice a year opposed to four, on the menswear schedule.) It’s a smart move. His experimental Y/Project collections have always existed in the same universe, and with his new post as Diesel’s creative director, showing less will allow Martens and his team time to refine their craft and push the boat out even further. 

A sense of levelling-up is seen instantaneously. The majority of the 64 looks on display here are threaded with metal wiring which is integrated directly into the fabric, allowing the wearer to scrunch, swirl and bend their garments into whatever shape they desire. It’s a technique Martens introduced for AW17, turning oversized shirts, opera gowns and the brand’s signature denim into ultra-versatile pieces. These aren’t just clothes for clothes’ sake, they can be whatever you want them to be. 

Swimmingly-big polo shirts circle around the models like a python mid constriction; trenches fly as if caught in gale force winds; shirts appear frozen in a snapshot, mid-motion, like the wearer is desperately trying to rip it off their torso. Away from the twisted fantasies, expect more brand staples: peel-away trousers, hoodies that can be flipped inside out or upside down to morph into something completely different. It’s all a bit of a headfuck, but undeniably Y/Project.

The collection is tied together with the brand’s on-going collaboration with Canada Goose, which this season includes a Couture-like rain cape. Topping off the look is some Cinderella-like glass slippers that are actually made of rubber, courtesy of sustainable Brazilian label Melissa. Forget dressing the red carpet, Glenn Martens has his eye on fairytale fantasies.

Photography by Giovanni Giannoni.