How Big, How Beautiful

What’s the deal with those gigantic Diesel sculptures?
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 25 February 2022
This article is part of Fashion Week – London, Milan, Paris, NYC

If you’ve tuned into any of the three blockbuster fashion shows Glenn Martens has commandeered this season, you’ll know that the Belgian designer does not do things by halves.

Trading places with Jean Paul Gaultier to take the helm of his illustrious couture house, Martens also endeavoured in bringing the French designer’s synonymous trompe l’oeil prints to his own brand, Y/Project, and is now tasked with breathing new life into Diesel. A mission he’s seemingly accomplished in one fell swoop of glamorous overcoats and leather miniskirts – revisit his FW22 debut here.

But besides attracting the regular set of muses and jet-set fashionistas in attendance at Diesel’s FW22 runway, you might’ve also noticed a couple of sexy, towering figures in various states of pose. Sim-like in their pseudo-digital facial features, these characters are outstretched throughout the space, taking up space in skin-tight acid wash denim with their faces down, asses up, underwear on show.

These 25 x 50-foot sculptures were actually designed by Martens himself, akin to that of Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely and Per Olov Ultvedt’s spread-legged She – a Cathedral sculpture from 1966, or Geri Haliwell’s legendary 2000 Brit Awards performance.

Taken from 3D scans of individual models in standout pieces from the collection, Martens wanted to give his audience a truly intimate view of the collection, with some of the sculptures holding the brand’s dynamic D-logo mini-handbags and lazing around in faux-denim knits. Others found themselves on all fours, commanding attention in their unpolished, intense and utterly real states of glory with their best assets front and centre.

While some have took to Diesel’s Instagram to blast the vulgarity of the sculptures (just wait until they hear that the show invite was a pair of edible panties), it’s a conversation starter, for sure. After all, nothing screams “sex” quite like a giant, blow-up doll in straight-up thirst trap mode. As a PVC-clad Madonna once said: “I’m not sorry, it’s human nature…”

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