[September 1 2017] : Magazine
fashion designer, Paris
interview by ANNABEL FERNANDES
photography by ARNAUD LAJEUNIE
style by URSINA GYSI
ANNABEL FERNANDES — Your studio is in République, in the center of Paris, away from the intimidating Avenue Montaigne. With street culture filtering into the catwalks, does your location impact your designs at Y/Project?
GLENN MARTENS — The brand is about daily life. Living and working in hot spots, like where we are on Rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, gives you an eclectic view on life. We are situated in a melting pot. It’s very intercultural, which in my view reflects what the society of 2016 should be and what the brand actually also wants to reflect. Just being on the street and people-watching is so refreshing. It’s all the inspiration I need, so in the end I don’t need a mood board.
ANNABEL FERNANDES — It’s true that in your studio, you don’t have any mood boards.
GLENN MARTENS — We make fabric mood boards, rather than visual mood boards. For the womenswear collection, we were influenced by Queen Elizabeth I, so we used a beautiful hand- woven British tweed from Harris Tweed — the supplier for the Queen of England — which is an old-fashioned house that I love. In contrast, we also used nylons and snakeskin. It wasn’t at all a translation of her style, but about the heaviness of the image and her personality.
ANNABEL FERNANDES — Tell me about growing up in Bruges. It seems to inspire your work.
GLENN MARTENS — It was a metropolis in Europe back in the 14th and 15th centuries, much bigger than Paris, but it stopped developing and growing. So nothing has really changed since the Middle Ages. There’s not much happening there, but with its impressive Gothic architecture, it became a tourist attraction, making the city centered on consumption. You have Christmas stores that are open all year long! It’s this big clash that’s super- interesting to me. I guess that’s something that’s translated into my personal work and even my personal tastes.
ANNABEL FERNANDES — If we speak of influences, I see romanticism that has historical references, as well as a ’90s alternative radicalism. How do you connect these influences?
GLENN MARTENS — There’s no rule. It just happens. We do what we want and try to find some balance in be- tween the...
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