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Diesel AW23
Courtesy of Diesel

Glenn Martens said safe sex with a massive pile of Diesel condoms

Soundtracked by moans and groans, the designer’s AW23 collection was encased in crinkly plastic and congealed fluids

Debunked by scientists on countless occasions, the idea that athletes shouldn't have sex before they compete is one of the longest-held superstitions in sports. And yet that same puritanical thinking can be mapped across so many other areas of life: Reddit incels think that abstaining from orgasms will increase testosterone levels while TikTokers believe it will make hair shinier, skin clearer, and bring pH levels into an equilibrium. So when Glenn Martens’ team at Diesel completed its latest collection this morning, all hell broke loose, to the sound of 200,000 condoms being flung onto the runway in a behemoth pile of erotic paraphernalia. 

Where Martens offered his SS23 showgoers a glass-blown butt plug, this season’s collection was announced with a packet of Diesel-branded Durex condoms “For Succesful Living.” The whole thing was soundtracked by the kind of moans and groans that get stirred up from deep within the bones, while the clothes themselves seemed to be encased within latex sheaths: hirsute coats and vacuum-packed denim surfaced in crinkly plastic and congealed fluids. As models trampled out from behind the squalid landfill, the set-up for AW23 was a thematic continuation of Martens’ previous outing, where the limbs of a massive inflatable sculpture were entangled in an orgiastic struggle. 

All of that sleaze seeped into the collection: joots had been shorn at the waistband, paper-thin knitwear bore iridescent mesh inserts as if soaked with sweat, and leather two-pieces were printed with ecstatic, toothy grins. Hair was caked in painterly discharge, men wore skin-tight compression tops in wipe-clean vinyl, and flouncy chiffon dresses looked as though they had been torn at by a grapple of overly-eager hands. Alexis Stone, meanwhile, was bound in her own latex creation on the front row, dressed as an SFX Jennifer Coolidge. It was excessive but not completely gratuitous; starting in April, Diesel will be giving away free condoms (including the 200,000 used as backdrop) in all of its stores. Click through the gallery above to see the rest of Glenn Martens’ AW23 collection at Milan Fashion Week