On his seventh collection, Glenn Martens didn’t rest, but delivered his strongest effort since taking the creative helm of Diesel in late 2020.
He paraded it under a Guinness World Record-approved set-up — that saw the return of gigantic inflatable characters introduced in February, only this time rendered in the biggest scale ever — and in front of almost 5,000 people, as part of the brand’s initiative of opening the show to the public.
“I’m not quite sure why we did it,” Martens joked during a preview when asked if he felt any pressure for such an attendance. More seriously, the designer stressed that Diesel stands as an alternative to fashion and its democratic approach well fitted with the idea.
While the venue and participation got bigger, Martens’ expansive collection continued to hammer on the three pillars he has been anchoring his creative vision on and that catapulted the brand back on the hype radar (the timing of the overall Y2K comeback helped, too).
“I have to talk to all people, so I have to insist on it,” said Martens about his threefold focus on denim in all forms, utilitarian inflections and MTV-heyday pop aesthetics.
But within these perimeters, he is still finding range via fabric manipulation and innovative treatments, with the seasonal results pointing to a more mature — but always frisky and irreverent — direction.
Bellies got more covered, hemlines got longer, but still the Diesel woman was fierce and raw, only even more likely to exist outside an Instagram post.
Denim interwoven on organza and with a bleached effect offered a summery, romantic take on Diesel’s forte, with the technique replicated also on an indigo knit dress. Tulle was overlaid on denim coats and pencil skirts and ripped to create a new way of offering a distressed effect, which evolved in fully slashed looks as the lineup progressed.
Elsewhere, jelly coating added a shiny, waterproof effect to a denim windbreaker, while boxy vests and long skirts had trims exaggeratedly frayed by hand. As the booming techno soundtrack accelerated its tempo, the collection culminated into the final artisanal pieces, including Diesel’s version of furs crafted from leftover labels.
As the Daft Punk hit of the early 2000s best put it, this made a case for a “better, faster, stronger” collection.