SEEING DOUBLE: Y/Project’s Glenn Martens, guest couturier at Jean Paul Gaultier in January 2022, has returned for a second ready-to-wear collaboration, this time focused on prints that give the illusion of garment mashups.
The knit-enhanced mesh clothing gives the trompe l’oeil impression of jean jackets spliced with sailor shirts; wader jeans superimposed on narrow skirts, or lacy lingerie floating on slipdresses.
The range includes looks for men, from T-shirts banded with a print of belt-encircled jeans to a tailored coat suggesting a pair of briefs and bare legs.
Martens was Jean Paul Gaultier’s second guest couturier, after Sacai’s Chitose Abe, following the founding designer’s retirement from the runway in January 2020.
That was something of a homecoming for Martens, who was recruited by Gaultier shortly after graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2008 and became junior designer for his women’s pre-collection and the G2 men’s label.
After his high-fashion debut, Martens also turned out a capsule rtw collection, also in the trompe-l’oeil vein. It was based on Gaultier’s spring 1996 “Cyberbaba” collection, and featured various body parts printed on unexpected garments.
One of France’s most iconic and popular fashion figures, Gaultier had the idea of inviting different designers to interpret his couture once he hung up his scissors.
Martens, who is also creative director at Diesel in Italy, likes to tumble together disparate references, from classical tailoring to streetwear to offbeat historical references, including Flemish Old Masters. He is also known for his avant-garde silhouettes that incorporate exaggerated and twisting volumes.
His latest Y/Project collection for fall 2023 included garments made of shredded denim, and other looks where shredded denim appeared as a photo print.