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Y/Project AW19@eugeniasaetti

Y/Project just declared sexy gold fishing waders hot for 2019

The Parisian label – helmed by designer Glenn Martens – was the guest at Pitti Uomo AW19

Last night, at the entrance of Basilica of Santo Maria Novella in Florence, guests arriving at Y/Project’s headline Pitti Uomo AW19 slot were handed mini flashlights. Initially to help them navigate its darkened halls and find their place next to the runway, as the show began it transpired that the audience were also going to be responsible for providing the lighting. 

Creative director Glenn Martens had built his show around a distinctly democratic approach: alongside the collaborative production, he had unlocked the doors to fashion’s runway spectacle that are normally only open to non-industry people via social media by inviting scores of Florentine students and citizens in the spirit of egalitarianism. “I was thinking about the democratic aspect of Pitti, as it is ultimately fair and more open,” Martens explained. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or an editor at a magazine. You have to work together to see the show. It was about everyone being equal.”

This also means everyone gets to wear thigh-high gold wader-esque boots for AW19 – a look everyone in our section tried to get a picture of but then forgot to aim our lights at, resulting in less than ideal snaps. Insert joke about how many fashion editors it takes to light a pair of gold boots, and a lesson about perhaps just letting the runway photographers do the photographing while we focus on taking in the show.

There was also a ‘for the people’ thrift store vibe to the collection. Second-hand fleece finds were re-appropriated through Y/Project’s signature double-shoulders and tulle overlays, and a charity shop cowboy emerged, spliced with oversize suits tweaked to fit. Subtle Florentine tributes also popped up in the shape of psychedelic renaissance silhouette fake furs printed with stained glass church windows.

“Y/Project is about eclecticism and diversity of people, so we tried to celebrate individuality. Characters, not stereotypes,” Martens explained after the show. “A lot of the clothes are constructed in a way that you can change them, twist them, scale them up and down, to emphasize the freedom of owning something and making it personal. One jacket can be seven. There are a lot of brands where you gradually become that brand, that person they propose. We try to do the opposite.”