Designer Glenn Martens’s award-winning Parisian label Y/Project is no stranger to going viral. Martens, who has a flair for mixing the high and the low, and no reverence for traditional notions of fit and proportion, has created more than a few looks that have caused the Internet to do a double take. Perhaps most famously, there was the official collaboration with always polarizing Uggs that resulted in thigh-high and multitiered takes on the ’00s fashion signifier. Rihanna turned out to be a fan (as she has been of several other Y/Project looks). Certain parts of the Internet were not; the oversize suede-and-shearling creations were promptly roasted by Twitter and various viral sites.
Now another piece, from the label’s spring 2019 collection, is in the midst of a similar viral cycle: denim panties. Yes, denim panties. That’s how they’re listed online, and indeed, they’re essentially a pair of jorts, except cut high like Pamela Anderson’s famous Baywatch swimsuit. The garment quietly premiered on the Paris runway back in September, but the Internet didn’t catch wind until they hit online retailers like Ssense. Now they’re all over your Twitter feed and in articles in places like Fox News and various British tabloids.
Some are wondering where anyone would ever wear these, as if the answer isn’t obvious (Coachella, for one, duh), while others are wondering why they were even made in the first place. But come on, they’re fun, right? They’re fierce. You don’t think if Solange put them on she’d have you all yelling “Yee-haw?” Aren’t you a little bit mad they came out after Lady Gaga’s Joanne era? Aren’t you already imagining when they’ll wind up on some Hadid or Jenner’s Instagram (and then promptly be ripped off by a fast-fashion e-retailer)? They aren’t a particularly practical garment, and they may not be for everyone, but as a piece of nerve-stirring fashion, they certainly do their job.
Besides, this is what Martens does best. “We push it to the edge,” he told W back in 2016. “I’m always asking myself, Are we going too far?” And he noted that absurdity is often the point of some of his designs. “We try to have fun, and I think that translates into the clothes.”
It’s safe to say he’s in on the joke.