Diesel brought the backstage front and centre for FW24

Diesel brought the backstage front and centre for FW24

by Juliette Eleuterio
4 min

“The show will start in 10, 9, 8…” announced the robotic voice at the Diesel Fall/Winter 2024 show, allowing all of us to get our phones up and running, awaiting the first model to walk out.

Creative Director Glenn Martens has been revolutionising fashion shows ever since his appointment to the denim brand in late 2020. His first show was opened to thousands of students, an unheard story within the world of fashion which is used to handing out rejection after rejection due to low capacity. 

Every season has been a step ahead towards the goal of democratising fashion, and this season was no different. In fact, this collection’s doors was opened to the public days before the show, where everyone was invited to sign up to Diesel’s 3-day live, chronicling the atelier’s last minute effort to sew together the last threads and steam out the final wrinkles, as well as the show space being constructed, an event previously unheard of within the close-gated industry.

The show space itself followed a similar suit. While it didn’t invite the public physically, the lucky selected few — and by few we mean thousands — became the show space, plastered across large screens that divided up the show space, joining the show Zoom-style. 

It wasn’t just the barrier between the in and the out of the industry that Martens broke this season — the Creative Director also blurred the lines between backstage and runway. Before the show started, the robotic voice took over the speaker to give us the details: 63 looks total, 16 minutes and 31 seconds for the entire duration of the show, and a whole lot more jargon of admin, most of which wouldn’t even make it on a press release.

Then, as if the runway director’s intercom was put on full blast, the robotic voice announced the model’s name with a prompt “Go,” for all 63 looks. As the first model walked out, wearing a grey fitted button-up shirt-dress with bleach detailing, the crowd was taken aback when no music accompanied the show.

The first few looks were kept relatively subdued for Diesel, with an arrangement of grey-focused looks, utilising a range of materials from leather to denim, and textures from sheer to glossy. The announcer kept calling out model’s names, when eventually techno-sounding beats came as quickly as they went and the clothing followed suit.

Moving the offering up a notch, Diesel presented animal and floral-printed jackets, one print seamlessly bleeding into the next. Forget florals for Spring, Diesel is saying florals for Fall. But of course, in true Martens style, the floral arrangement had a gritty, distressed edge to it, with the material being ripped at its edges.

What followed was a series of maximalist furry looks – think Antarctic explorers if they slayed – with denim used consistently throughout, with Martens continuing to prove his genius ability to make the basic material everything apart from that. Distressed, dyed, patented, and used for all sorts of garments, not just jeans, denim was once again given a youthful revisit this season.

The show ended where we’ve seen Martens explore more and more in his past few seasons at Diesel: with bold, colourful graphics that pay homage to rave culture. We saw a bodycon dress printed with multiple screens, similar to the show space, nodding to the strong sense of community that makes up that subculture. There were also quilted jackets, tank tops, and jeans, of course, that blended graphic detailing with fur trims, creating for a tantalising textural treat.

Once again, Glenn Martens for Diesel was a success story that unfolded in front of our, and thousands of others’, eyes. It wasn’t just a show with an excellent selection of fashion, but also one that defied the status quo of the industry, and for that all we can do is applaud.

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