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Glenn Martens’ first full collection for Diesel drives into the future with upcycled jersey and deadstock denim.

DIESEL have always put pedal to metal with their campaigns. Whether it was sailors getting off at the end of WW2, a mock public announcement about teaching kids to kill or glorifying ‘wardrobing’ (returning pieces you’ve worn with the tag intact), the Italian label was disruptive long before it became a B2B buzzword.

It’s no shock, then, that this week’s unveiling of Glenn Martens’ SS22 collection was backed by typically surrealist, brainscrambling visuals, this time courtesy of Frank Lebon. Soundtracked by rave-nostalgic producer Leon Vynehall, it centres around a main character frantically moving from party to city to elevator to some sort of cosmic, uncomfortably gelatinous red room. Half dream, half reality and more than a little bit Run Lola Run, it’s an enter-me-if-you-dare portal to futuristic fashion.

The looks are seriously cool. All-gender and rooted in black, white, blue and red designs, it makes use of striking, cut-out panels, patched-together pieces and boxy, oversized fits. Denim is at the epicentre, used for topcoats embossed with the DIESEL lock-up and high-waisted jeans holstered with five pockets for literally all of your valuables. Much of it is deadstock, too, reviving and reimagining old offcuts into bold new cut-and-sew garments.

Unlike every email we ever send, the collection is full of attachments. First up, there’s an interwoven belt accent, tethering together tees, tops and dresses, with a wrap-around, asymmetrical structure. Cowboy boots are sewn into jeans, forming an all-in-one bottom half with an all-American charm, while statement organza pieces connect fabrications in billowing, enveloping silhouettes.

It also sees the start of new project the DIESEL LIBRARY, a made-to-stay denim wardrobe that acts equivalent to a permanent gallery collection. It’ll form the first port of call for future releases, holding genderless, seasonless, timeless styles that ooze evergreen appeal. If there was an actual library loaning card released for this, we’d tattoo the barcode onto our hand and be in-and-out on the daily (we can dream).

Debut collections are vital for evaluating a new creative director’s vision for a heritage brand, so we’ve eagerly eyed this collection. Glenn Martens hasn’t reinvented the wheel here: he’s swerved into a more leftfield lane for DIESEL, coasting towards greener pastures new and lofty, conceptual design. We’ll be tagging along for the ride.

Watch DIESEL’s SS22 film below now, directed by Frank Lebon and soundtracked by Leon Vynehall.


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