Y/Project’s Glenn Martens unveiled his vision for the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2022 Haute Couture collection by exuding grace and humor.
One of the looks is a Breton marinière which has been turned into a dress and then hand-embroidered to ripple 3D-style with hundreds of faux coral fronds. The sailor stripes are pure Gaultier, yet the twists to this dress—the folded-over shoulder line, the knit panel which sinuously and unexpectedly juts out from the left hip—are pure Martens at Y/Project.
In essence, that’s what makes this collection so magical, so right and—not a quality that should ever be underestimated—so much fun. At today’s show Martens gave us at a joyful, escapist exercise in what you can do when you’re let loose in the wunderateliers that are the Gaultier workrooms, and you yourself are a designer who’s not exactly averse to getting a little inventive, maybe even a little crazy, with the construction and execution of your work.
“I am only doing this for one season, so it’s not like I have to envision a whole new future for the house; that’s a very different exercise,” Martens said. “This is a celebration of Gaultier. I’ve stayed close to the woman Jean Paul created in the past—pure diva goddess beauty, hips, whatever, all that drama he loved. I’m building on that through what I think of his iconic Gaultier moments. This marinière…it’s so him, but I completely fucked it up with all the fake coral spikes. I’m reinventing those iconic moments in my own way.”
That’s what makes Martens’s version of Gaultier couture fly: the acknowledgement that it can’t be a retread of the past glories of one of fashion’s greatest designers, but instead honor what went before and incorporate the best of yourself.