06 Mar 2022
“This couture collection celebrates the heritage and savoir-faire of Jean Paul Gaultier.”
Glenn Martens is the latest designer to step up to the plate, this time reinterpreting the Jean Paul Gaultier couture universe in a single collection. The Y/Project artistic director gets his paws on the Gaultier heritage, lending his keen eye to garments packed with historical references and dramatic allure.
“We seldom get the chance to put together such elaborate silhouettes. For me, couture means pure beauty and elegance. Looks that have no business being on the street.” Glenn Martens.
Which couture house did Glenn Martens first collaborate with? Jean Paul Gaultier, of course. In 2008, as a fresh graduate from the Royal Academy in Antwerp, he began his love affair with the brand’s jovial, free spirit. Today, Glenn Martens celebrates not so much a discovery, but rather a homecoming at the Maison’s headquarters.
Within this new couture collection, guest designer Glenn Martens has melt down the Gaultier heritage and cast it in the raw aesthetic of Y/Project. Sensual, sassy and sexy, the Gaultier woman is transcribed through the lens of the Belgian couturier into surreal silhouettes as he turns the brand’s iconic tailored suits, mesh and marinie?res into corsets that drape over bodies like deified statues. Gaultier stereotypes are revived and rehashed through new techniques, such as the marinie?re appearing in consecutive layers of tulle or multiple strands of velvet lacing. Tailored pinstripe suits exalt and morph the figure, laying it bare and accentuating its curves. Cut-out hip sections deepen the waistline, where the Y/Project signature “V” plunges into a casual-style bodysuit.
References to Gothic statues, so beloved by Bruges-native Glenn Martens, are omnipresent. Flaunting Belle E?poque fabrics, Victorian crimson shades, chainmail-esque prints and Medieval-style long velvet petticoats, his creations demonstrate finesse without ever going overboard. Adoring these 36 silhouettes are a beaded choker top, embroidered silver or garnet corals, patchwork crystals and antique woven brooches.
Cascading down like the train of a gown, voluminous hairstyles further elevate the effect of lofty heels. All serve to blur the boundaries between textiles and the human form.