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Glenn Martens’ awaiting and the reinterpretation of Diesel traditional codes for FW22 collection

The alternative to luxury, sensuality and sustainability, the refresh implemented by Martens for the Diesel brand

The roaring of the return on catwalks

After a three-year absence from fashion week, Diesel returns to the runway for Fall Winter 2022/23. The brand’s comeback coincides with the debut of the collection of its new creative director, Glenn Martens. Together with Renzo Rosso, Martens rethought the roots and identity of a brand that has been active for forty years.

Diesel was among those who promoted denim to the level of high fashion as a denim expert. The attributes considered in the creation of the collection are the ones that characterize the label: denim, experimentation, rebellion, game. Besides disruption and sensuality, there are issues such as fluidity and upcycling.

«The power of Diesel is that we reach out to so many people. We can push sustainability and innovation, experimentation and concept. It’s pure Diesel – you have to put it on in two seconds and go live your life. For Successful Living», these are the words of the creative director. To make clear the desire to resurface the sensual soul of Diesel is the same setting of the parade. The location becomes a red room full of inflatable dolls with sexy attitudes. 

The four chapters

The collection spans four different chapters: denim, utility, pop and craft. Some motifs are recurrent, such as the use of work belts, hook-and-eye fasteners, and trompe l’oeil play. Asymmetries are an integral part of the collection, quite possible because in several pieces it reshapes salvaged fabrics. A part of the collection takes up basic garments such as sweatshirts and sports pants, changing their identity. Cuts on the ankles or head opening sometimes make the jersey appear. Then there are aviator, shearling and reversible jackets.

Denim, low waist, micro-tops and skirts are nevertheless the most recurring elements in the collection. Light blue, green, yellow and metallic pink are some of the colors that cover the models and dresses of the pop bracket. These garments feature a D-shaped notch at chest level. Symbol among all of them is the recovery of the logo’s heritage and archives. Even the velvet garments, from tops to miniskirts, take motifs and graphics from the Diesel archive, reinterpreting them.

Lampoon, Diesel FW22 sculptures
The Diesel sculptures made from 3D scans of five individuals wearing looks from the collection

Denim: past and present

For the development of the collection, the new creative director could only start from the fundamental garment for Diesel. The denim studied, cut, joined, remodeled in its various forms reflects a brand that chases the trends of the moment. The contrast between the different textures in the same look brings back the craving for the game mentioned above.

«There’s real denim, and then there’s trompe l’oeil, like a printed romper with denim jacket and jeans effect. There are also jacquard woven pants with a denim pattern, and flocked denim that has been overprinted with a worn effect denim trompe l’oeil», explains the brand. Then on other garments such as jackets, the denim is shiny and textured thanks to the insertion of a film.

MTraditional denim pants often have a belt to keep them in place rather than look destroyed at the waist. Then there are belts that are so overbearing that they can become the miniskirts themselves. Most of the denim items in the collection are part of Diesel Library, an initiative to build on more responsible denim. Proposing genderless garments, continuous in seasons and durable through more ethical production methods.

Enhancing ethical garment development

For the first time, Diesel’s collection includes garments created from 100% recycled materials. Those used are denim, cotton and spandex with a waterless indigo dyeing method. The brand has decided to rehabilitate through this procedure its production waste in a kind of circular processing. The recovery process can provide the collection with a new and positive direction in the future by creating a new type of yarn.

The project is called Diesel Rehab Denim, and is developed thanks to the collaboration with Tejidos Royo, sustainable fabric specialist. Other recycled materials include a jersey that is paired with denim to create pieces that resemble posters torn from walls. Organza is also recycled and has been used to create mini dresses that feel so lightweight.

The resulting boost from the association

Martens, one of the most obvious names today, seems to have integrated with the brand’s vision by adding a boost. The Belgian designer, after starting his career at Jean-Paul Gaultier became creative director of Y/project.A reinterpretation of Diesel’s history serves to revitalize the brand. Analysis and undoing of traditional forms follow today’s trends, but are distorted. The experimentation in the styles of the chapters as the juxtaposition of elements through the fil-rouge of denim guide this operation. The fake fur made from denim shreds that covered the models’ bodies was the most memorable item.

Glenn Martens

Belgian fashion designer. Martens studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. After working at Jean Paul Gaultier as a junior designer, his eponymous label made its debut at Paris Fashion Week and ran for three seasons. During Milan Men’s Fashion Week in June 2018, Martens presented his capsule collection with Diesel for its Red Tag Project

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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Hemp / made in Italy
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check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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