Ecstatic moaning on the soundtrack and 200,000 boxes of Durex condoms on the runway both suggested that Glenn Martens will deliver a sex-positive Diesel collection. Before the autumn-winter 2023 show, the designer stated that in April the brand would be handing out half a million free company-branded Durex prophylactics in its stores around the world, promoting fun and safety. “We are a very cheeky, straightforward brand”, the designer added. Also cheeky were the first look’s Y2k-inspired low-low rise jeans – whose moto styling accelerated us into this collection. As is de rigueur at this house, denim innovation was front and center. But in overall, the line-up had nothing new to offer, as most of the ideas were recycled from Martens’ first offerings for the brand. Nomadically shaped knitwear had been finely plucked by laser into wild, but cool disrepair. Two cleverly tufted knitwear pieces – one pink on black, the other gray on black – were there to reflect Marten’s stylistic penchant for grown-out hair dye. Painted and over-layered utility wear in a subtly wild paint-splash camo contrasted with double layered jersey pieces from which the outer sometimes was peeled back to reveal the inner. Digitally distorted pictures of over-toothed smiles were used as close up prints on the phase of near-climax fits. The most intriguing pieces of all were from the hand-fashioned artisanal section; these included a long jacket of layered lining and a moto jacket that referred back to the opener artistically melted and then layered with another skin – accidentally vaguely condom-like in consistency – of membrane. Martens said rightly that he believes his Diesel design language is becoming ever more distinctly identifiable.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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