Y/PROJECT

ACCLAIM: Charli XCX by Slow Waves

Charli XCX is Ready to Do It All

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Y/PROJECT Silver Pearl Spiral Earrings from SLOW WAVES

Charli XCX was on the road for the better part of 2018, one of the three support acts who joined Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Reputation tour. Between Taylor’s dates, Charli released a string of stand-alone singles—some of the most joyful music of her career—without an album in sight. That was until January 3rd, weeks after our meeting, when she announced her sole New Year’s Resolution would be to give fans an official studio album.

Y/PROJECT Silver Pearl Spiral Earrings and Thigh High Tartan Boots from SLOW WAVES

The morning we met, Reputation had landed in Melbourne for a few days before heading to Japan. Charli arrived with a trio of friends: twin sisters Danielle and Nicole Kahlani—her makeup artist and hairstylist, respectively—and Henry Redcliffe, her behind-the-scenes photographer. “Taylor is so global,” Charli reflected, tucked away in a corner of the cavernous photostudio where we’d just wrapped shooting. “She plays in stadiums, and on my own, I could never do that.” (Ticket sales from a single Reputation show routinely grossed more than $6 million dollars).

In many ways, Charli’s Reputation experience was as close as she’d gotten to a traditional mass audience since 2014, when two songs she’d written cracked the Billboard 100 top 10. ‘Boom Clap’ peaked at eight, and Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’ spent seven weeks at number one. Reflecting on the mega-hit, Charli laughed “I’m really happy I co-wrote it, because it paid for my house.”

At the same time, between Taylor’s super-shows, Charli was playing her own smaller headline dates, and throwing Pop 2 parties in tiny nightclubs supported by local queer performers. The parties’ namesake mixtape, released December 2017, is full of progressive and challenging pop recorded with icons like Kim Petras and Mykki Blanco. “The fans are a little older and mainly people from the queer community,” she said of the club events. “It feels more like a house party than a show.”

A few years ago, there might have been a clearer demarcation here: between Reputation Charli and Pop 2 Charli. Or maybe a sense that the weird, pop mad-scientist Charli would have to sever her ties to the underground to reach the mainstream heights her talent warranted. That idea feels incredibly distant today, particularly to Charli herself. “I never solidified myself in either one area or the other—at the time, that felt really negative. Now, that feels quite positive because I can really span between the two.” And this year, she’s ready to record the album where she does it all.

Photography Constantine Virtanen
Styling Sarah Pritchard
Hair Nicole Kahlani
Makeup Danielle Kahlani
Beauty Direction Georgia Gaillard
Styling Assistant Nat Pluch

Words by Acclaim, read the full interview HERE

At Pitti, Proof That Real Fashion Revolution Starts with Product by Slow Waves



In an age of hype, Y/Project wunderkind Glenn Martens proved that genuine fashion innovation begins with the way things are made, reports Angelo Flaccavento.



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FLORENCE, Italy — It's hard to stay enthusiastic these days. Fashion is no longer a laboratory of progressive thinking. The profit motive killed the magic, and Instagram did the rest. Fashion is so last century. Influencing is the art du moment. Does anyone actually care about the product? Actually yes, but today’s product seems to need more and more storytelling to prove it’s not just stuff.

This is a dilemma that the Pitti Uomo trade fair, which closed today in Florence, makes more clear every season. On one hand, there is the product shown at the fair in the Fortezza da Basso: outstanding, but lifeless. On the other hand, there are the special events that take over the city: impactful yet, at times, pure entertainment. The balance is what makes Pitti, well, Pitti, but this season the ingredients did not quite gel.

There was a sense of fatigue at the fair, a rather grandiose operation that follows a specific theme for each edition, devised by Sergio Colantuoni. This season, it was boxes, as in: Are you in or out of the box? Groundbreaking? Hardly. These days convention masquerades as rebellion. More or less, we are all in the box, even when we believe the opposite. Pitti’s fashion tribes — with suited formals now flanked by neophyte flocks of streetwear nerds — made this clear.

And yet those boxes made for an impactful ambiance architecturally: cubist, modular and bold. What really caught my attention, however, apart from an infinity box that was the ideal backdrop for a selfie, were the little boxes where journalists interviewed the likes of curators to buyers as part of a programmed called “Talking Heads” that was beamed to the passing crowds. It was actually quite discomforting to see interviewer and interviewee interact as people strolled by. It looked exactly like the endless rants we broadcast on social media: more or less meaningful, but immediately lost in the vacuum of a hyper-saturated communications sphere.

“Pitti's most crowded, high impact event was a giant and brilliant but largely product-less exhibition-meets-underground concert-meets-art performance: the Slam Jam takeover of Museo Marino Marini.”

That's all we are left with these days: communication. And fittingly, Pitti's most crowded, high impact event was a giant and brilliant but largely product-less exhibition-meets-underground concert-meets-art performance: the Slam Jam takeover of Museo Marino Marini (a modern gem of a building, at odds yet perfectly mingled with the Renaissance architecture of the city) to celebrate, according to the press release, "thirty years of connecting tribes of like-minded people across the world." It doesn't get any cooler than this, because Slam Jam — Luca Benini’s streetwear distributor that’s a profitable business operation run with the panache of an alternative rock gig — has a grip on youth and the underground like nobody else.

The scene was perfect: tons of people queuing outside the museum, tons of people drinking inside, forgetful of the delicate Marino Marini sculptures; Oxyx Collective playing anthems; artist Ortamiklos sculpting brutally functional objects out of Styrofoam; billiard tables in the basement; and a tiny pop-up store selling customised, limited-edition pieces. There was a randomness to it all that felt energizing and liberating. But most of all, there was the precision of the plan: Benini knows too well that the appeal of streetwear is mostly in the aura — design-wise, it's just straightforward, functional stuff, at least in the case of Carhartt WIP, Stüssy and Nike, which were part of the exhibition — and the Pitti project was all about the aura.

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Meanwhile, Glenn Martens, the Y/Project wunderkind and Pitti's special guest this season, decided to show his collection in pitch dark, with the models walking in the cloisters of Santa Maria Novella under the light of small torches provided to guests. It was a blast, visually and emotionally, with the inventiveness of shapes and patterns glorified rather than diminished.

The reason is simple: Martens is a designer of utter substance. Behind the opulent, chaotic layering that is Y/Project's signature lays, in fact, a rigorous mind of an architect: the brains of a thoughtful deconstructionist who's inventing a masculine and feminine iconography all his own, pushing the boundaries of taste and construction, mixing high and low, street and history with fearless bravado. The collection was a glorious summary of Martens’ vocabulary: bulbous cuts and sculptural layers meant to be interpreted and reconfigured ad libitum by the wearer giving icons like the argyle jumper and the trench coat a radical makeover. In an era of hype, Martens continues to prove that innovation can only start from the way things are made, because new construction is what generates new attitudes.

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Compared to Martens' flair for formal experimentation, the catwalk debut of Haculla, the streetwear brand powered by Jon Koon and artist Harif Guzman, felt like deja vu, despite the authentic visual energy of Guzman’s graphics and prints. The posse of dysfunctional kids in freaky make up, the oversized shapes and layered looks are something we have already seen ad nauseam over the past few seasons and it was a pity, because involving a street artist in a streetwear label is actually a good idea — one that requires fine tuning a new language. But it takes time to do so and time, today, is the biggest luxury. When in doubt, however, keeping it straightforward and simple is always best. That's what Finnish designer Rolf Ekroth did, delivering a very interesting mix of functionality and bold design through slightly militaristic pieces equally aimed at concrete jungle dwellers and outdoorsy explorers.

Over the last year, Gucci has made its mark on Pitti, staging happenings inside its Gucci Garden in the Piazza della Signoria. The place is both a mini-museum, a bookstore and a shop for limited-edition Gucciphernalia: a hybrid space that reflects Gucci's hybrid approach to business, its way in using art for communication and merchandising. But there was a glitch in the system: high-brow culture inside a shop can feel contrived, and ultimately it was much ado about little. That said, Curator Maria Luisa Frisa did a wonderful job in devising the room — devoted to “Androgynous Mind, Eclectic Body” — and filling it with Gucci looks from Alessandro Michele as well as the brand’s archive, including the Tom Ford era, and adding surrounding wall art devised by artist MP5. Yet the conceptual scope of the ambition felt blocked because it was overly Guccified. Gucci, itself, is fluid and based on creative appropriation: why not open Gucci Garden to the same free approach towards other labels? Adding art to the mix is, of course, a step forward, but it would be interesting to see a reshuffling of the museum-like codes.

Of course, there is always the fair at Pitti, where product rules. Super classic product, innovative product, sustainable product, neo-artisanal product: you have everything, and the level can be quite outstanding. From Lardini's faultless industrialized tailoring to Ecoalf’s take on sustainability, channelled through an interesting collection designed by Ana Gimeno Brugada; from Barena's soft take on the informally formal to Atelier & Repairs classy take on upcycling, the offer runs the gamut. Yet, product like this, seen on racks, is quite difficult to review.

Still, it is from product that fashion revolution should start. Mere image-making is tired.

This is where newcomer Aldo Maria Camillo stepped in with the debut of his eponymous line Aldomariacamillo (one word). Camillo is no spring chicken: he held key positions at Berluti and Valentino, and was creative director at Cerruti for a fleeting, brilliant moment. With a fearless move, and thanks to the relationships with factories and ateliers built over the years, Camillo went solo, and it proved a winning choice. The offer was compact: a softly tailored wardrobe for the elegant man with a grungy mindset. The homage to Helmut Lang and Carol Christian Poell was evident and clearly expressed. Yet, it was not nostalgic, or derivative. Camillo designs the kind of soulfully straightforward pieces man of today might really want to wear. Real stuff, free of hype, full of energy. A reassuring proposition, in these dark, communications-saturated times.

Belgian Fashion Awards 2018 by Slow Waves

WBDM, in collaboration with Le Vif Weekend/Knack, MAD (Brussels Fashion & Design Platform) and Flanders DC (Flanders District of Creativity) honoured the established and future talents of Belgian fashion.

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Winners of the 2018 Belgian Fashion Awards were announced at MAD Brussels, during the launch of WE ARE FASHION Festival. The prizes awarded 7 categories to talents either Belgian or established in Belgium.

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Designer Of The Year

Awarded to Glenn Martens, creative director of Y/Project for his new vision on fashion. Y/Project – the Paris-based label that combines conceptual and inventive detailing with playful proportions and a witty take on historical references – is Pitti Uomo’s Next Guest Brand in January 2019.

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Jury Prize

Awarded to Martin Margiela, for his entire career and his obvious impact on the history of fashion but also on today’s collections, and more than likely the ones to come.

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Entrepreneur Of The Year

Awarded to Carol and Sarah Piron for the international development of their brand FILLES A PAPA.

Other winners included Willy Vanderperre and Terre Bleue.

Y/Project Is Pitti Uomo’s Next Guest Brand by Slow Waves

The acclaimed French brand headed up by Glenn Martens will present its Autumn/Winter 2019 collection at the Italian trade show in January

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FLORENCE, Italy — Pitti Uomo has announced the first special guest designer to show at the 95th edition of the Italian men’s trade show in January 2019 will be Belgian designer Glenn Martens, creative director of Paris-based men’s and women’s label Y/Project. As a result, the brand will not show its menswear collection at Paris Fashion Week.

It was Martens' "vision of combining streetwear and couture" that appealed to Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of Pitti Immagine, which oversees biannual fashion trade fairs Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati. “Glenn has created a new aesthetic language that we really like," he told BoF, adding that the designer has "the right ingredients to be successful."

“Our womenswear has much more followers [but] the core of each collection is shown during men’s season [so] Pitti Uomo presents a big platform to put our menswear in the spotlight," said Martens. “If you see the list of designers that have shown before me, it’s great to be part of that family,” he continued, referring to Virgil Abloh, Raf Simons and Craig Green. "I hope it’s going to help our growth."

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Martens, who attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and graduated top of his class, worked under Jean Paul Gaultier as junior designer for the brand’s men’s label G2 before launching his own namesake label in Paris in 2012, which was discontinued after three seasons.

He joined Y/Project shortly after, assisting the label’s founder and creative director Yohan Serfaty. Following Serfaty’s passing in April 2013, Martens took over the helm, transforming the Rick Owens-inspired menswear label into a more eclectic men’s and women's brand that merges youth culture with historical references.

The approach of marrying high and low culture quickly resonated with global retailers — Y/Project currently has over 150, up from 12 in 2013 — along with a celebrity clientele, including Rihanna, Chloë Sevingy and Gigi Hadid. The brand was also a finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2016, won the ANDAM Award in 2017 and is expected to reach €5.5 million ($6.3 million) in revenue by the end of the year, up from €3 million (3.45 million) the year prior. Recent collaborations with Diesel and Ugg are a testament to its ongoing appeal.

Martens says showing in Florence feels like somewhat of a homecoming. “It was the first city I ever visited without my parents when I was 17,” he says. “As a child I’ve always been intrigued by the artistry of Florence. Now that I have the opportunity to show there, I want to connect it with the historic background that makes up part of Y/Project’s brand DNA.”

By Christopher Morency for Business Of Fashion

VOGUE: Forces Of Fashion by Slow Waves

A Runway That Reflects Our World: How 4 Brands Are Bringing Fashion to Life

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There’s nothing typical about Gypsy Sport, Ambush, Y/Project, and Martine Rose. Each of these brands is not only helmed by young talents with a knack for disruption—Rio Uribe at Gypsy Sport, Verbal and Yoon at Ambush, Glenn Martens at Y/Project, and the eponymous Martine Rose—but they have found innovative ways to express a sense of the cultural, contemporary, and communal.

At a typical Gypsy Sport New York Fashion Week affair, you can find pregnant mothers and young drag queens modeling Uribe’s craft-couture pieces. Tokyo-based Verbal and Yoon have bridged the gap between street culture and the hallowed halls of Parisian fashion with Ambush, which turns staid luxury tropes on their heads. At Y/Project, nothing is too weird for Martens, from thigh-high Uggs to mashed-up velvet suiting—all of which reflects the way his friends are dressing now. And then there’s Rose, who took her London Fashion Week show this season to a cul-de-sac in St. Leonards Square, where street-cast models captivated homeowners who watched from their windows.

Street Casting Is a Must

From his first rogue show in New York’s Washington Square Park, Uribe has been adamant about casting his friends and collaborators in his events. “I wanted to express fashion, and I wanted to show body types and skin tones that are not often celebrated, so I got all my friends together and was like, ‘Hey I’m starting a fashion line and having a fashion show by the park,’” he told Nnadi. “It’s always about the people, for me. It’s about bringing people into the circle.”

Rose echoed that sentiment, explaining that her recent menswear show was entirely comprised of men from the neighborhood she held it in. “All of the cast for that particular show were local boys from the area, some of the residents had their grandsons [in the show] . . . I really identified with that feeling of community.”

For Martens, who has been leading the wave of diversity at Y/Project, it’s the person in the clothes that matters most. “We do a lot of street casting, especially for menswear. For me, it’s really because we try to create diversity on the catwalk in a way that every single look is a different person. We really have to fall in love with a model, it doesn’t matter where the model comes from,” he said.

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There Are Benefits to Being an Outsider

Yoon recently joined Dior as a director of jewellery and accessories for its menswear lines—but she admits that the differences between an iconic maison and her own brand, run with her husband, weren’t all that great. “We’ve always been the outsiders, everything was self-taught. The way we grew as a business wasn’t the way that a lot of people have gotten into those big houses, so to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect,” she began. “Once I went in and I realised that everything that I learned—starting the business from nothing and getting involved in every aspect of it—it’s the same principles. And I had so much that I could contribute to this big house that they didn’t realise. That’s the reality that we’re talking about.” She went on to explain that her from-the-ground-up mentality at Ambush—she is closely involved in the marketing, public relations, production, and sales of her brand—gave her an advantage when stepping into the Dior ateliers.

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Don’t Get Hung Up on Catchphrases Such as Streetwear or Hypebeast

Streetwear as a catchall fashion term? “It just seems really dated, it feels like an outdated description of something that you can’t just describe very one-dimensionally,” said Rose. “There are so many other things that streetwear encompasses, it just feels too reductive. I think there’s a new and different attitude that has given fashion a new life, but it’s more complex than just streetwear.”

Yoon was quick to note that the idea of street fashion is far from new, name-checking the hippies, punks, and rebels of the ’80s. “Streetwear is nothing new. Every decade has its own—usually what’s happening in the society in the political sense, that’s what gets reflected in the street, and they manifest those ideas through what they wear.”

For Martens, the hypebeast economy of “more more more fashion” is antithetical to his vision at Y/Project—even if it’s a rethink of the fashion model. “When you’re too hyped, you burn yourself out,” he said. “The moment we sell too many denims, the next season we’re not going to have any denims anymore.”

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Sustainability Is Cool

“Sustainability was not something at the top of my mind when I started designing, but as I made collections more and more often, I would have inventory that I was sitting on that nobody was buying and so many samples that never got to see the runway,” said Uribe. “I hated having that much waste in my life.” Since then, he repositioned his business to a made-to-order model. “What I’m trying to do is make it cool to be sustainable and actually appreciate slow fashion.”

Copying Can Be Flattering—When It’s Done Right

“It depends by whom and in what sort of context,” began Rose, on the issue of the rampant plagiarism in fashion. “When it’s students, it’s deeply flattering to me, to be honest. It’s resonating with people. Everyone is inspired, I was inspired by designers. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s an honor to be inspiring the next generation of people. It’s very different when it’s done by a big corporation or someone who’s making a lot of money.”

Uribe agreed. “When a corporation does it, it feels like rape. We made things that were sustainable . . . and right after the show, they have versions at [high-street stores].”

See the full article by Steff Yotka HERE

Vogue Italia: Editorial by Slow Waves

Masterpiece by Agnieszka Chabros

Y/Project Open Toe Mules from SLOW WAVES

Photography: Agnieszka Chabros

Styling: Sarah Cant

MUA: Rob Povey

Models: Awillo & Carol 

View the full feature HERE

Y/Project Homme Spring Summer 19 by Slow Waves

 

"Glenn Martens has a knack for producing clothes in altered states, which made today’s Y/Project venue, the garden of the Faculté de Phamacie de Paris, a perfect fit whether deliberate or by coincidence.

Consider how his clothes might make you feel confident and in control thanks to oversize and structured silhouettes and extroverted color-blocking."

 

"Innovation is essential to design, and its success is usually determined by how deep and broadly it can penetrate. Y/Project looks would appear to be self-selecting; most people usually already want to wear them. "

This wasn’t a wholly crowd-pleasing collection, yet the blocks of billowing fabric and integrated layering felt important—as though they will turn up elsewhere in due time. For now, Martens noted, “I would get really bored if I only did easy looks. And it’s not about being beautiful; it’s about seeing how far we can go.”

 

Text by Amy Verner for Vogue

 

Vogue Italia: Even cowboys get the blues by Slow Waves

 

He arrives, wide eyed.

Nothing is as he imagined. Neon signs flash. Fields of concrete. Mobile phones seem as if almost an extension of the body. Crowds. Filth.

Strangers glare or, worse, shuffle forward almost unconsciously.

Too far from home. He has the blues. Even cowboys get the blues.

The title is based on ‘Even Cowgirls Get the Blues’  – a 1976 novel by Tom Robbins.

 

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Alex Mullins Stone Washed Jeans and Y/Project Embellished Belt from Slow Waves

 

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Photography: Agnieszka Chabros (@achabros)

Styling: Sarah Pritchard (@sar4hcant)

Model:  Zach at People Agency (@people.agency)

 

View the full feature HERE