Glenn Martens once again redefines denim, featuring butt plugs, Julia Fox and breaking world records.
We knew it was going to be an iconic show when Glenn Martens invited the guests with a glass butt plug. But we didn’t quite know the scale of it. Opening the doors of a stadium in the outskirts of Milan to around 5,000 attendees, Diesel truly claims their title as ‘a democratic brand’. With free tickets and passes for Milan’s fashion students in the world of elitism and exclusivity, even Julia Fox commends Martens’s vision. “I feel like Diesel really speaks to the youth, the kids. We love to see it.” says Fox, the spokeswoman for the new generation of all things provocative and radical. After receiving a full rack of their last year’s collection as a present from Kanye West, Fox brought the brand to the public as a staple It-girl must-have. In turn, we suspect that she was definitely on Martens’s moodboard – Diesel SS23 went full on teenage dirtbag.
The show begins with the fierce-looking models taking charge of the runway with an intimidating power walk. “They really want to fuck you over and have fun. That’s really how we cast our models and also how we talk to our models—it’s really about owning your situation and not giving a shit. Not giving a shit is really important.” declares Martens as his collection perfectly encapsulates the attitude. Mixing in inspirations from skate culture, punk, animalistic qualities and couture, the collection is a perfect melting pot for the not-giving-a-shit generation. It as also a love letter to denim and its many forms we couldn’t even imagine existed: fringed, frayed, distressed, cut out, corseted, overlaid, and consistently raw. As a pleasant surprise, Martens weaves in soft details of lace and silk, creating balance, complexity and unexpected elegance. Of course, leather and metallics also make an appearance. Every piece is an exaggeration, like a hefty sculpture made of out denim, immortalising the medium into art.
Speaking of sculptures, the whole show was set against the backdrop of a gigantic inflatable structure that resembled an obscure sex scene from an alien world. Hovering over the runway at around 40m above the ground, the artwork officially broke the Guinness World Records (goodbye, the giant rubber duck), once again highlighting Martens’ vision of grandeur. Overall, Diesel put on a show that definitely won’t be forgotten any time soon, showed a massive middle finger to the fashion industry, and encouraged us to enter era the unhinged and unapologetic.