Paris FW opening with the Glenn Martens Y / Project on the first day is a grateful reminder always that A you are in Paris and B that there is this unlimited and boundless pool of creativity in fashion readily available in myriad of colors, shapes, concepts, materials, and people. Ever eclectic, and always changing mister Martens from Belgium, who has build a distinct global cult following over the years for his marvelous creations, mixes in hyper non-conventional and post-contemporary style both streetwear and sportswear with classy and traditional chic, which is something, frankly, which only very few (bar none) menswear designers are capable of doing. And in this respect Y / Project is beyond any particular trend in that it manages to set a trend.

Hoodies under classic blazers, faux furs (of course), UGG city loafers under swollen pajama trousers, buckled urban cowboys with traditional bespoke overcoats with double panels and visible linings, suits turned halfway inside-out with oversized lapels, cuffs or collars, not to mention oversized pleated shoulders, and – something which was probably never seen before and which might end up in a museum one day (see if you can spot it in our slide show below) – the reversible jacket-coat blazer, where the outside is a dinner or business blazer and where the inside functions as an outdoor coat and street jacket (zipper and all) – just in case (so very Parisian) you would want to go and be cool and smoke alone outside for a few minutes while having to return to your business meeting – or hot restaurant date – just right after. But you are prepared.

And so the Y / Project always seems to move on like a grand incredible tableau of pretty awesome characters inspired by Breughel the Elder that have both personality and style. Which of course is always good for at least one iconic image.

Vogue and others jumped on the one image right away. And so here does Best Dressed Man, for whether this was his intention or not, by creating the oversized hoodie and by setting it against a blown-up doudoune (down jacket) à la Moncler, mister Martens is onto something. For here is an iconic / ironic image fit as metaphor for our warped times picturing a self-absorbed urban streetwear millennial wearing expensive winter luxury goods but who is no longer able to see or look even but one inch or centimeter beyond himself.

Add to this a casual look of a set of plugged in headphones, whether that be to listen to music or to chatter on a most recently purchased latest model smart phone, and voilà, here you have the perfect millennial passenger ready to take on the world in the name of that grand 21st century concept and project called ‘me’. Autism incorporated. Louis Vuitton Supreme. Adidas Gucci. G-Star Chanel. Or simply the Glenn Martens Y / Project. Ahead of the times as always. And the opening act for Paris Fashion Week Homme.

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Words by Sandro and photos from Y / Project.

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