The gridlocked mass of people at the check-in desk hinted that things were business as usual at the Diesel Black Gold
show, but the debut collection by its new creative director, Sophia Kokosalaki, was anything but. "I wanted to infuse technique into the clothes," she said backstage, "but still have them maintain that rock 'n' roll soul inherent to the brand." While past seasons have leaned heavily toward complicated, overly distressed garments, Kokosalaki's approach was much cleaner and more focused. There was black leather—skinny trousers, sexy little dresses, sleek moto jackets—paired mostly with faded denim shirts and vests. High-end touches could be found in the stitched-up seams and patchworked layers ("I approached the denim like it was yarn," the designer said). With the exception of a one-shouldered velvet jumpsuit that didn't quite mesh with the otherwise tomboyish offerings—even the sexy body-cons that closed the show had more swagger than sweetness—it was a solid effort that will ensure the brand stays on the radar of the many top editors and retailers who made it through the crush.