PARIS, France — The way that Glenn Martens makes something complex and beautiful out of something banal is uncanny. Whilst many other designers strive to perfect simplicity, his personal quest to squeeze abstract expressions out of a polo shirt or a pair of jeans is impressive, and oftentimes more romantic than he is given credit for.
That’s why the corridors of the Theatre du Champs Elysées was not such an incongruous choice of venue for the designer, whose play with historical inspiration has created some of the real wow moments in Y/Project’s short history. Still, the opening look for Autumn/Winter 2018 said street: a striped ‘dad’ sweater with its neckline folded under and then pulled over its shoulders worn over jean shorts, their left side extended, draped, and folded over to make a single peplum. These wrenching tricks continued through the Autumn/Winter 2018 offer as what is now the brand’s bread & butter, yet it was the more sensual wildcard looks that shone here, from a tripled silk peignoir look to the draped iterations in floral jacquard, padded velvet, faux fur and fringe that subverted ideas of costume in a thrilling way.