Diesel Black Gold Spring 2017 Menswear
Small Trades, Irving Penn’s book of stark black and white portraits of workmen wearing their everyday uniforms taken in the 1950s, stands as one of photography’s masterpieces. “The dignity, the proud postures, the fiery spirit that he was able to capture: I was so inspired by it,” said the serene Andreas Melbostad, Diesel Black Gold’s creative director, before today’s show. At that time, denim was just a humble, sturdy fabric, suited for the hard life—certainly it wasn’t the uniform for cooler-than-cool hipsters, fashionable rock stars, and street-style gurus that it has become. “I wanted to bring back that original, modest yet noble vibe and elevate it in a contemporary way. Giving it cachet but steering clear from retro, vintage, or costumey interpretations; making it more abstract,” the designer elaborated.
Workwear influences were aptly integrated in the urban, utility-inspired lineup; streamlined and slimmed down, they made for a sharp silhouette. “I wanted a more precise look, less layered and more edited,” said Melbostad. And edited it was, yet all of Diesel BG’s staples were there, only with adjusted volumes and fine-tuned proportions. The emphasis was either on fitted tops paired with baggy parachute nylon pants or else, reversing the play, voluminous outerwear worn with extra-slim jeans with a crushed effect. Boxy kimono padded jackets referenced the crisp, immaculate shirts worn by chefs and waiters; raw, dark denim brought to mind the protective, tough quality of overalls, while aprons and jumpsuits called to mind butchers, fishmongers, or factory workers. All looked cool and lightly handled; yet a subtle emotional undercurrent could be felt, expressed in the color palette. An unusual nude-pink shade was added to blacks, indigos, and whites. “I wanted to give the show a more cinematic vibe, a bit of romance and poetry,” Melbostad said. This gentle approach enhanced by contrast the strength of Diesel’s DNA, which by the way is already quite strong; a little smoothing of the edges only added to its character.