Now here is a daring question in fashion: it is a well-established known fact that the world’s limited supply of high class designers rotates slowly from major fashion to fashion house as if they are baseball of football (soccer) stars vying to play for the world’s most exclusive and glamorous teams – SO WHY is Glenn Martens still running his own employee project campaign for the Y/Project? We had so hoped he would have replaced Raf Simons by now after Dior kept everybody guessing for more than one year on who be their next creative director. Perhaps that the truth is – quite logical after the John Galliano scandals – that not all the answers always lie in quality design itself, but also in the personal and professional appeal of the leading man or woman. Because take it or leave it, Glenn Martens still is a Bad Boy Boogie of fashion who likes to do his own thing.
The glorious picture here above proves the point. For which other designer would dare to come up with the simple idea to – hey, why not – to dress up and style your own employees (and family and some friends) for a change? Surely not something that the house of Dior would advocate.
So yes, there it is and there he stands, the latest Y/project campaign project, at the local employee picnic in the yard with a photographer at hand (Arnaud Lajeunie) of course, a gloriously androgynous creation with all the star quality of a Dior runway walk or an early seventies Rolling Stones or Bowie photoshoot passive aggression drooling all over the image – but no drugs or alcohol or sex necessary. Just incredible style powerfully speaking by itself of itself which is a feat not easy to pull at the local company picnic using an employee who has not been trained as a professional model. Glenn Martens and stylist Ursini Gysi show a gift for the natural and unexpected here.
Here is another example, this time of two employees lounging on the couch in some of the menswear from last year’s collections (we recognize it from the previous runways). But as you can see (you will see this in runway backstage pictures as well) what makes this styling so great is that here is another vivid example that it is the clothes who carry the man and not vice versa.
Are you serious? Napoleon, or Empress Josephine and not Tupac Shakur? Are we dressing without masks for a Venetian party like two young princes of a renaissance family? And what about this very sinister (sinister meaning left) bling hand casually straddling one’s thigh? Is that to say you always have an extra hand at hand to scratch your latest itch? Well, they say the most needless use of accessories for men – like stuffing a pipe for example – is often best to feel comfortable with a certain style, and this is a good point, because the Y/Project employees in these pictures not only look relaxed looking like de Medici princes – they look great!
So yes, what Glenn Martens proves here is that great styling can make people really happy! Employees, people, men, women, friends, family. A great way to start the new Y/Project AW17 campaign. And so the press release states:
“Y/Project celebrates individuality. It’s all about individuals and moments.”
Corporations and companies, please take note.
Words by Sandro and photos from Y/Project