Freedom, pleasure, experimentation, play: Diesel stands for democracy, choice and sex positivity as a human right. At the heart of the FW23 runway, models walk around a mountain of 200,000 Durex condom boxes. 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.
This is Diesel that’s more focused, more experimental, more ambitious than ever. It’s also accessible, with moto denim cut low on the hips, bleached with whiskers. Denim tops are moulded, 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 colour 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.