Ugg Boots Have Gone Thigh High Thanks To Y/Project
“Like putting your thighs in butter,” was how Glenn Martens, creative director of Y/Project, described the experience of pulling on a pair of the thigh-high Ugg boots he debuted on the autumn/winter 2018 menswear catwalk in Paris this week. That’s one way to sum up the dramatic proportions and enduring appeal of the fuzzy-on-the-inside Californian export. Do you dare?
Y/Project’s sprawling fan base will scream: yes! The Belgian designer has an ingenious knack for amorphous footwear – see the thigh-high boot-jean hybrids he created for the collection that won the 2017 ANDAM Prize, plus the gargantuan, tulle-suede boots-cum-tights he designed for spring/summer 2018 – but combining his off-beat aesthetic with the fuzzy fabrics of the purveyor of the original comfy classic, Ugg, produced an exemplar in the so-füssbett-it’s-fabulous category. “I’ve actually never had Uggs before, this was my first time,” he said. “When I was a teenager I knew the brand and always wondered about the people who actually wore them. But after wearing Uggs, through the collaboration, I realise it’s so true that you don’t ever take them off.” As for creating a crotch-grazing version? As Martens told Vogue last year: “I set very few rules in my personal life. I tend to project that into my work. This results in very eclectic designs. At Y/Project, we do whatever we want, whenever we want. I think you can feel this freedom.”
Such an extreme streak has put him on the map in a sea of young upstarts in Paris (also interesting to note: the Belgian was once Demna Gvasalia’s fit model). Martens agrees with the Balenciaga and Vetements’ creative when it comes to stimulus: “I get my inspiration from the street. I’m that creepy guy staring at you in the Métro. I love watching people, seeing what they wear, how their clothes affect them.”
Clearly he’s been watching Sienna Miller, whose tanned legs propelled the marshmallow boot to prominence in 2009, and returned them to prominence just four days ago, stepping out in a shaggy pair in New York. Dig them out from the back of your wardrobe and wear with spring’s carpenter jeans and a screen-saver shirt. Just think how warm you’ll be.