"It's my first men's collection—ever," Diesel Black Gold's Andreas Melbostad said backstage after his Florentine show. Pitti Uomo is a large and intimidating stage on which to make your debut, but if Melbostad was fazed by the occasion, he didn't show it. His approach was methodical and, more to the point, probably the right one given the circumstances. He didn't shoot out of the gate with an entirely new proposition; he identified the core of what Diesel does well and offered a stark, pared-back version of it that plays well with the biker-chick look he's been plying at Diesel Black Gold's womenswear. (To underscore the point, Melbostad sent out a few girls in custom looks.)
Diesel's hard-rocking fans should find plenty to tickle their studded, high-shine fancies. The flashier among them will thrill to the silver-foiled separates, and maybe the jeans fairly wallpapered in studs. This reviewer inclined more to the fur-trimmed hooded parkas. But whatever one liked or didn't here, there was no disputing that this was a palate-cleansing first step toward a new, more cohesive Black Gold—though it may be a misnomer to use the word "cleansing" for a collection this treated, oiled, foiled, and spackled. The D in "Diesel" might as well stand for "denim," but in view of the fact that DBG is the company's most luxurious line, Melbostad shied away from it in its plain form. Instead, he drew on the company's yen for denim innovation to create glossy, slick fabrics out of humble cotton that looked like patent leather, vinyl, and eel skin. A working knowledge of alchemy can only serve him well as he starts on collection number two.