MFW: Glenn Martens’ Magic Fuels The Diesel Machine
For Spring/Summer 2024, shreds of clothing and dilapidated denim evolve Diesel's rejuvenated aesthetic
In recent years, Diesel has become a brand to brace yourself for. Since creative director Glenn Martens took the reigns, reinvigorating the four-decade-old denim brand from a static relic to a hot topic, Diesel has been flung back into fashion’s zeitgeist. Most commendable has been the Belgian designer’s ability to make sense of the brand in 2023 beyond just a Y2K trend trove—something we see especially in his latest Spring/Summer 2024 collection.
With his latest evolution, Martens is faced with the challenge of keeping cool when experiencing exponential growth. For many in his position, it would be all too easy to repeat what’s been working commercially or go off the deep end entirely with something drastically new. Instead, we’re presented with an evolution of the brand that still plays to its nostalgic appeal but embraces the opportunity to push these creative boundaries in a way that only Diesel could make work.
Apltly titled ‘Only the Brave’, a nod to the brand’s founder, Renzo Rosso and his fashion group, the show’s setting opened its gates up to over 7,000 people. Naturally, the free tickets that had been made available online—first served to 1,500 students from Milanese universities before opening up to the wider public—had been snapped up in minutes. The gleeful crowd, who bopped to the four-hour-long DJ set that preceded the show and continued partying well after, didn’t flinch when the rain began to pour. Proof of a great time, if you ask us.
Denim, a founding staple of the brand, was the highlight once again, paradoxically renewed to look destroyed. Distressed doesn’t quite cut it for these pieces, where rows and rows of laser-cut slashes hung loosely in jeans and jackets, layers of overlapping cuts appeared as if models were wearing three different pants on top of each other, and devoré and foiled treatments of denim gave off a stained effect. Even dresses and tops were washed to look like dilapidated denim.
Elsewhere, shredded jersey over sheer fabric made up ‘naked dresses’ that looked burnt to a crisp, artfully covering what needed to be covered and still managing to flatter the figure. And just as Martens sold us on a belt as a skirt, he now has us looking at the merits of utility bags as tops. However, look 61, where the ‘skirt’ returns only just as its empty silhouette, does deserve a special mention for turning this look on its head. Taking a viral moment and giving it long-term success? How very Martens indeed.