Glenn Martens knows how to get people talking. His previous exploits as creative director of Diesel have ranged from butt plug invitations to a fragrance that smells like jeans, and his latest act that has gotten the press in a flurry is a super short skirt.
Or at least that’s what I think it is, by the brand’s own admission it is “wearable as belt or skirt” — living in the grey area between being a huge belt and a tiny skirt.
What began as a TikTok review by the content creator Adrienne Reau, which has so far been viewed 5.2 million times, has led to Daily Mail calling it a “‘sloppy’ design”, while Insider claims it left viewers baffled because you can’t sit down in it, and Diet Prada has even gotten in on the fun — asking at the end of its Instagram post: “are you ready to expose your buttcheeks to the breeze?”
Of course, the skirt is nothing new. We first caught a glimpse of it during the Diesel FW22 show in Milan around 9 months ago which was the designer’s first runway presentation for the brand.
At the time, our style writer Alexandra Pauly commented that: “leather belts were transformed into micro-mini skirts, offering an editorial-friendly alternative to that Miu Miu skirt set,” — and our feelings on the piece have not much changed since then.
The design has looked at the trend for shorter-than-short skirts and taken it one step further, creating a fun play on the quip about skirts being as short as belts in the process. The irony of it is what makes it suited for editorials (and not so much for real life), as has been proven not only by Julia Fox in The Face or Nicole Kidman in Perfect Magazine but also by Adrienne Reau — the TikToker whose video started all of this outrage.
In the original post she made, the caption mentioned how it looks good on camera and a short scroll on her Instagram account proves that.
Of course, if it was slightly longer and made from a less rigid fabric it would be easier to wear, and it wouldn’t have prompted Reau’s “your whole vajussy will be out” comment, but that would mean Martens diluting his concept to create what would ultimately be a more boring and ordinary product.
Clothes are made to be worn, but how practical they are once on the body isn’t necessarily what constitutes great fashion. The layers of meaning and expression that can be built in a garment are what makes it akin to art — but that’s a topic best left for academic texts to dissect further.
The skirt’s provocativeness and inherent humor are the conceptual attributes that make me able to put its utility to the back of my mind. Well, that and a seemingly neverending Y2K obsession.
Glenn Martens’ Diesel has become a specialist in bringing back the early 2000s styles we never thought we’d see again and putting its own twist on them — such as massive belts. And this design even takes advice from the Y2K style god that is Paris Hilton, who previously said that: “skirts should be the size of a belt. Life’s short, take risks.”
Only one out of the countless other wild Diesel designs that have recently been released, if Hilton says “that’s hot” then history has proven we all should.