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Photography Raf Fellner

Patching things up with Nicola Formichetti

Championing the punk logomania from the creative director’s first collection, we take Diesel's denim to the streets with a series of GIFs

TextVeronica SoPhotographyRaf Fellner

Denim is usually championed by style from the streets, but for his first season as creative director at Diesel, Nicola Formichetti is bringing subculture to the runway. With a heavy focus on DIY techniques and embellishments like distressed denim, spike studs, pins, badges and brooches, the FW14 collection is a showcase of what Formichetti calls “the punk spirit at Diesel.” The fly poster-style patches on denim from the collection tie in to the aesthetic of punks – who flaunted their band and slogan badges as personal symbols of pride, fandom and self expression. The DIY punk mentality of the collection is admittedly ironic, given that the theme of customisation is pre-personalised for the wearer. “It’s very important, this feeling of personalisation. We’re giving core elements that can be reworked,” Formichetti explains. He cites the references for the patches in the collection to include embellishments and patches from army corps, mixed in with coats of arms, military rankings and punk and metal band logos. 

While embellishment is an important theme for the FW14 collection, denim innovation remains the DNA of Diesel, produced with an artisanal hand where designs are matched with innovative and often painstaking treatments. For example, a pair of jeans will be “scored and ripped all the way down the leg, re-patched and overwashed in order to look a hundred years old – and will last another 100 years,” Formichetti says. The dirty denim and staining techniques seen on the FW14 jackets and jeans look like they’ve “absorbed the natural hues of earth,” while some denim jackets, shirts and shirt dresses are destroyed, crumpled or spot-washed so that fade marks give the fabric a lived-in appearance. When asked about the innovative Diesel techniques in detailing and embellishment he was most proud of incorporating into the collection, Formichetti says, “All the innovations we are able to develop with denim are incredible, but one of my favourites is the bullet hole type of treatment. I love the bleaching techniques, and the over-exaggeratedly destroyed-looking denims are amazing too.”

Take a look at the FW14 collection shot on some of Formichetti’s muses in our autumn/winter 2014 issue below: