Uggs. As one of the world’s more controversial footwear choices, it’s likely they conjure up a distinct image of the mid-00s, when they were immortalised as the final component in the Juicy Couture tracksuit/oversized CC shades combo that became the uniform of the celebutante. I mean, what else were you going to get snapped dropping by Starbucks or emerging from the airport in?
But if Juicy velvet can be given a new lease of life on the runway by an avant-garde Parisian collective (see: Vetements’ multi-brand extravaganza show), then why not Uggs? Today in Paris, Y/Project, the label helmed by Glenn Martens, debuted a deconstructed shearling bootie the likes of which the world has never seen. We’re talking thigh-high, wader-style Uggs. How do they stay up? I don’t know – and tbh, I don’t even care.
“With Y/Project, we’re always very in your face. I think the Ugg boot is such an iconic design, so for me, the whole challenge was: what do we do with that? How do we twist it?” the designer said post-show. “Putting your foot into an Ugg is like putting your foot in warm butter, so why not put your entire leg in it?”
As well as thigh-high versions, there were boots that featured multiple cuffs, and some super-fuzzy pool slides. The footwear was sent down the runway accompanying jeans trimmed with fur, oversized jumpers and deconstructed statement pieces that were layered over each other in the brand’s signature style. “The collection is about versatility, about how you want to wear the pieces, and experimenting with it when you wear it,” said Martens.
Though Y/Project is known for out-there shoe designs – like AW17’s heels, which wrapped all the way up the leg and were worn by Rihanna in the latest issue of Dazed – these ones take the prize as the most ‘surprising’, shall we say?