MORE AW17 COLLECTIONS: MEN

MORE AW17 COLLECTIONS: MEN

13/10/2017
Brace the brisk winds and stay warm in style this season…STIJL Men’s AW17 collections have arrived:   HAIDER...
DISCOVER THE NEW AW17 COLLECTIONS

DISCOVER THE NEW AW17 COLLECTIONS

27/09/2017
Baby, it’s getting cold outside… But do not despair, the AW17 collections have arrived and we have more...
NEW IN STORE: Y-PROJECT

NEW IN STORE: Y-PROJECT

26/09/2017
The good, the bad and the ugly. A trio of labels that were once relied upon religiously. But at some...
Dries Van Noten becomes baron

Dries Van Noten becomes baron

19/07/2017
Today, king of tailoring Dries Van Noten was awarded the honorary title of baron. The world-renowned...
Installations by Gioia, Walter and Jacqueline

Installations by Gioia, Walter and Jacqueline

24/04/2017
Last Thursday, the highly-anticipated centre for Fashion And Design – MAD – finally opened its recycled...
When two artists meet

When two artists meet

17/04/2017
His obscenity is never obscene – Jean Genet A contemporary trend for fashion exhibitions has prompted...
Interview with Gioia Seghers

Interview with Gioia Seghers

19/03/2017
How did it all get started? I graduated from La Cambre in 2012 and my final collection was backed...
How the modern-day master reinvented the Flemish tapestry.

How the modern-day master reinvented the Flemish tapestry.

11/03/2017
Dries Van Noten’s menswear collection was a prelude to those hot summer nights we’re all aching...
Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

10/03/2017
Good fashion designers create garments that flatter, feel good and last a lifetime; great fashion...
Unlikely Muses: the city of Staphorst

Unlikely Muses: the city of Staphorst

09/03/2017
While the fashion industry is still struggling to publically pronounce a reply in face of recent political...
NEW collection summer 2017

NEW collection summer 2017

15/02/2017
Now in stores.
Coming soon

Coming soon

01/02/2017
The new collection will be available soon. Stay tuned!
NEW IN STORE: Y-PROJECT

NEW IN STORE: Y-PROJECT

26/09/2017

The good, the bad and the ugly. A trio of labels that were once relied upon religiously. But at some point, the tables turned, because over the last fifty years, the greatest and most original moments in fashion were those born from an exploration and violation of those definitions. It seems there’s something special lurking within the bounds of ‘bad taste’.

Someone who knows bad taste is Glenn Martens. In fact, he’s obsessed with it.  Since becoming Creative Director of Y-Project in 2013 (which arrives at STIJL this season) the Antwerp Academy alumnus has pushed every boundary of beauty that he could find. “We want to be a brand that raises questions,” the designer says. “We often play with the codes of good and bad taste. There’s a lot of humour of course, and a lot of winks left and right.” Perhaps it’s was his light-hearted approach that helped Y-Project to win the prestigious ANDAM Prize earlier this year, but most likely, it’s due to Martens’ innate ability to turn something conventionally understood to be ugly into something so achingly cool. Funny how fashion works like that.

The designer wasn’t always so offbeat. He remembers a time, growing up in Bruges among the city’s medieval architecture, when he was obsessed with the codes of traditional Western beauty. It was only when Martens matured as a designer that he felt the urge to confront the concept of classical. “I wanted something that challenged me more,” he explains. “Indeed, anything can be high or low taste, it all depends on the attitude. Once you understand this, you free yourself from a lot of boundaries.”

It’s without restrictions that Martens has been able to embrace every area of fashion – high and low, formal and casual, male and female. “I would never be able to do nothing but streetwear, as I would never be able to do only sophisticated silhouettes. I need to touch everything, and I’m curious. I need to know how the body works, how a cocktail dress works, how tailoring works… I want to play with everything."

For Autumn/Winter 2017, that playful curiosity finds itself juxtaposing references of royalty and hip hop icons. “We imagined Tupac as the Henry VIII of the ‘90s,” he explains, “so you’ll see these renaissance sleeves in nylon bombers.” We also spot sumptuous silk playboy shirts with excessive sleeves pooling around the wrists that unbutton to reveal identical versions within and five-pocket jeans with two waistlines, the lower part lacing up with gold chains – a perfect remix of medieval corsetry and rapper’s bling. And to top it off, the lovechild of ugly and convention, is a pair of sludge-coloured corduroys stacked with layers of obsolete turn ups, everywhere, of course, but at the hem.

But it’s not just in witty references and imaginative repurposing that Y-Project treads a unique path in the industry, though. Having cut his teeth working on Bruno Pieters’ revolutionarily sustainable Honest By label, Martens says, “I was really educated into ethical thinking, it’s something I care for,” continuing, “I think it’s nice to get to know the people who are making your clothes, and to see how they live their lives. They are as important as my design team in the chain of this product.”

In ethos and product, then, Y-Project proposes something rare in an industry based all too often on mindless buzz and duplication. It’s something Martens is justly proud of: “A lot of brands create armies – when you wear the brand you become one of them – with us it’s more about pushing the individuality. You really have to reflect upon yourself and think about how you want to wear something."