Glenn Martens has saved Diesel, taking it from the highstreets to the high-end thanks to an injection of savoir-faire and pop-cultural tap-ins. For example, the 1DR bag has been tightly gripped by the glitterati for a number of seasons now, while last season’s Fall/Winter 2022 presentation made a case for editorial denim, taking the humble material to new heights. In turn, Diesel ranked as the ninth hottest brand in the world for Q2 2022, in part thanks to it being worn by the likes of Julia Fox — who recieved a full rack of the brand’s Spring 2022 collection from Kanye West.
For Spring/Summer 2023, Martens intrigued from the off by inviting guests with a glass buttplug. This was followed up with smart moves like seating Julia Fox and Anna Dello Russo (the Italian fashion journalist and Editor-at-Large for Vogue Japan) next to each other, in turn creating a soon-to-be moment for the Internet.
Counting down from 59 seconds, Diesel’s public-attending show commenced with warning sirens and a heavy euro-techno beat, with models weaving between the largest inflatable sculpture in the world — literally, as approved during the show by The Guinness Book of Records.
Naturally, it kicked off with denim. A heavy, monstrous breath matched the beat of the models’ walk, building suspense with denim look after denim look. Each celebrated the material’s ability to shift shapes and adopt textures and colors, with elongated coats wearing a typical faded effect and others appearing in a fully coated finish, almost as if a layer of plastic has been laid on top. This was most noticeable on the orange ensemble, a look that zipped from top-to-bottom to allow the wearer to create their own look; as sexy or as solemn as they wish.
It was a show of many themes, with army inspirations infiltrating camouflage designs and animalistic qualities dominating everything from the 1DR bag to wraps that doubled as a belt and a skirt. Crocodile skin detailing worked even the most staple of items, a tank top, while other essentials were accented consistently with the Diesel “D” emblem. This was used as a metal plaque cut-out on jackets and again on belts, while a slew of leather pieces echoed previous distressed detailing.
Here, leather was wrecked, complementing last season’s big focus on distressing. It featured again for SS23, with jeans, jackets and billowing coats welcoming an undertone of Martens’ work at Y/Project thanks to their enormity and sheer volume. While the pants were big in the first place, they were extended with frayed add-ons on the side, creating sculptural moments on the runway that was enhanced by formal overcoats and shirts following this theme.
Biker references clashed with skateboarding as jeans — heavily beaten up of course — worked the show, while a slew of 1DR bags, new D-Clutches, and a stunning array of skinny-fitting leather boots accented the entire collection.
In case you missed it, here are all the best trends from London Fashion Week SS23.