Honest By Y/Project: cutting edge
By BEL JACOBS
Oh, joy: Antwerp-based pioneer in transparent luxury Honest By - for whom 'transparency' was a basic concept before it became a buzz word - and cult label Y/Project team up to create the limited edition capsule collection.
Honest By Y/Project marks the return of Y/Project creative director Glenn Martens to a brand he knows well, after designing its first collection in 2012.
The latest collaboration is a six strong selection of genderless, seasonless styles chosen by Honest By creative director Bruno Pieters and Martens himself from the Y/Project archive.
It’s an offering of unmitigated sustainable cool, a benchmark in ethical design: Martens’ talent for unconventional drape and pattern making captured in the exaggerated geometric silhouette of a taupe gabardine trench coat and in a wide-sleeved draped turtleneck in white cotton jersey.
Y/Project’s off-kilter experimental spirit goes on, in the brand’s now signature double shirt in pale blue striped cotton - glamorous, romantic, piratical - and in a drawstring skirt with a single detachable pant leg.
A black organic cotton jersey sweatshirt falls into a long column dress; a pair of buccaneer denim jeans is articulated at the knee and fastened with 18th century French military cufflinks, a perfect translation of Martens’ MO of fusing historical references with streetwear.
The association between Martens and Pieters goes even further back: Pieters tutored him while he was at Antwerp’s Royal Academy before commissioning him to create the inaugural collection.
"Y/Project is already a very honest brand,” says Pieters. “Glenn has the ability to take the best of what is offered to him and make it his own. Glenn always appreciated what I was doing and was interested in it so is already very conscious of the environment.”
The love is mutual. “To me, Honest By has always been one of the most ground-breaking luxury brands in the industry,” says Martens. “A lot of young, so-called ‘hype brands’ claim they want to change fashion or break the industry. Only Honest By has challenged its core and has addressed that which really matters.”
Nonetheless, creating the collection with Pieters has opened his eyes still further to the reality of a compromised industry.
“We are very much aware of where we produce, and while I wouldn’t say we are totally certified in terms of fabrics, we’re trying,” he told Vogue, pointing out that, when he arrived at Y/Project, 80 percent of the collection was leather.
Now he says, “the only leather in the Spring 2018 collection are the shoes.”
Each piece is made in France from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified materials and responsible manufacturing processes, with - as per Pieter’s usual beliefs - every element, from buttons and linings to hangtags, declared 100% transparent and directly traceable to its suppliers.
Beauty and heart in one gorgeous ethical package.