Freedom, pleasure, experimentation, play: Diesel stands for democracy, choice, and sex positivity as a human right. At the heart of this season’s runway, models walk around a mountain of 200,000 Durex condom boxes. There will be an additional 300,000 Durex condoms that will be given away free this April at Diesel stores around the world. “Sex positivity is something amazing. We like to play at Diesel, and we are serious about it. Have fun, respect each other, and be safe. For Sucsexful Living!” Glenn Martens, creative director of Diesel.
The condoms send a powerful message about individual freedom to Diesel’s global community. “We have to remind everyone that safe sex is still important, we cannot forget,” says Martens. The installation previews a forthcoming capsule with Durex that drops in April 2023, the first time Durex has made a collection with a fashion brand. The capsule appears in the show, with a jersey T-shirt that swaps the D of Durex with the D of Diesel.
This is Diesel that’s more focused, more experimental, and more ambitious than ever. It’s also accessible, with moto denim cut low on the hips, bleached with whiskers. Denim tops are molded, while moto leathers are distressed to reveal a metal logo. Pinstripe skirt suits have strong shouldered attitude, whiskered just as fiercely as denim.
Diesel’s denim devoré, developed in-house, gives the effect of distressed jeans yet shows the skin beneath. The body is revealed on pieces from oversized shirts and jeans to denim knits, skirts, and dresses, with some dresses embellished with crystals.
Distressing has new intensity, like a little jersey dress that’s laser-cut all over, except for the DIESEL running up the body like vertebrae. The laser-cutting appears on utility hoodies, sweatpants, and dresses, which become even more distressed over time. Double-layer jersey pieces are cut to reveal the color beneath; a jersey long hooded coat has been treated to look like cracked leather. Print tops and shorts are cracked open to reveal creases and prints beneath, and screenprints that both highlight and create shadows of Diesel logos, like a black-and-white hoodie that says across the front “SUCCESSFUL”.
Draped chains hold a silk dress in place; white bandeau jersey tops are held by metallic D, while black jersey gowns are only held in place by a metallic D choker. Pop prints are created from hyper-real close-ups of faces, especially of smiles with too many teeth that beam out from zip-up jackets, tops, and skirts.
Artisanal pieces upcycle existing materials, like biker denims that have been metalized, or a shearling jacket that’s been bonded with denim, then distressed, revealing the shearling once more. Leftover nylons from old linings are covered with plastic, then heated up, creating an effect like strange fur. Deadstock faux fur is painted, then also covered in plastic and heated, creating an effect like liquid fur. Technical biker jackets are blow-torched, creating their own extreme architecture.
Slip-on heels are draped in diamante; denim boots have utilitarian pockets. A new sneaker – the Prototype 3 – is introduced, its oversized sole growing upwards. D-Charm is the new bag, quilted in padded denim with a charm chain, and the 1DR comes in the pop face print. The new Diesel Eyewear collection, in special collaboration with EssilorLuxottica, introduces a new frame, the lenses floating on the wire temples. There’s also a brand new watch, the Vertebrae, its face held by a casing shaped like the bones of the spine.
Το show took place on February 22, 2023, during the Milan Fashion Week, with creative director Glenn Martens, stylist Ursina Gysi, concept and set designer Krzysztof J. Lukasik, casting director Calvin Wilson & Anita Bitton @establishmentny, head hairstylist Gary Gill, head makeup artist Inge Grognard, και original soundtrack by Senjan Jansen working together to produce the vision of the moment.
Celebrities and fashionistas all in avant-garde head-to-toe Diesel looks offered stunning streetstyle to the sea of photographers waiting outside the Superstudio Maxi venue. Inside, most of the A-listers took photos in front of the huge mountain of Durex condoms, an installation that really urged them to embrace it and be part of it in super creative, playful ways!