What a start

Get lost in a daze of denim at Glenn Martens’ magnetic Diesel debut
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 24 February 2022

Not with a fizzle, but with a bang of denim dreams and candy-coloured clubwear, Glenn Martens’ Diesel debut kicked off in momentous fashion at Milan Fashion Week yesterday.

“The power of Diesel is that we talk to so many people,” said the designer in the collection’s show notes, clearly aware this bridging of high and low was to be one for the history books. “We can push sustainability and innovation, and we can push experimentation and concept.” So that’s exactly what he did.

Of Martens’ weighty, multi-chapter collection, the first was all about denim. It was shredded in neon greens, cut in sloping asymmetric shapes to form floppy miniskirts, lifted from the Diesel Library – the brand’s core range of sustainable denim – envisaged in trompe l’oeil catsuits and decaying jacquard weaves, and even given a life of its own in bustling coats strong enough to stomp through the runway without a model chaperone. 

Then came utility, with a mix of distressed biker jackets, film-treated trench coats and that D-emblazoned miniskirt flitting around a set of colossal, inflatable models (you’ll have seen it on Instagram a hundred times by now). This was an accomplished mission in texture that never relented for a second. Not even when entering the intergalactic territory of Pop, with its glittery dresses, stretchy skirt-and-cardi combos and renewed focus on Diesel’s curvy new logo – embossed throughout on corresponding tees and slinky handbags. 

Plundering further through the brand’s rich archive to reimagine old prints on baggy t-shirts and printed trousers, Martens arrived at his artisanal final chapter with a slew of upcycled jersey and bonded denim that simply peeled off the body, like a rainsoaked poster wall in the inner-city. Finishing the show with pastel-pink biker fits, coats lined in neon faux-furs, and smocked organza, it seems this is just the beginning of an inconceivably limitless reign at the historic denim brand.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Diesel WOMENS-FALL-WINTER-22