by Alex R. Travers
For Diesel Black Gold’s Fall 2014 collection, Andreas Melbostad mined ideas from the mythic world of space. “It was part research on authentic astronaut suits and part investigation into designs that were influenced by science fiction,” he said. You could see that sci-fi influence as soon Julia Nobis strutted down the catwalk in a waxy silver parka with ribbed sleeves. She later put on a silver sleeveless tank (armor?) and matching moto pants. Both of those outfits represented the realities of space travel in one way or another. But the designer has always been interested in the utility and function of clothes. That’s why he used fabrics like neoprene and compact jersey to give his dresses—“the newest thing for me,” he admitted—a sporty yet sexy aesthetic. In his words: “I wanted to create a wardrobe built for survival against the elements.”
Melbostad did that to great effect. Take, for example, his protective coatdresses, which offered layers of structured fabric. Or his perfectly tailored trousers: tough, thick, and anatomically cut from leather or coated cotton with engineered seams that gave the leg a lean, long look. Or even the hypnotic, mirror-like discs on his dresses and blouses that looked like solar panels reflecting light.
His women, he said, shimmered. They were explorers with no specific destination in mind. Maybe it was companionship they craved. Space can, after all, be quite lonely. But now that Melbostad has taken over the men’s wear, too, he’s added another variable to the DBG equation. Was yesterday’s showcase the first chapter of a love story? There were hints of romance—sheer blouses, soft wools, corseted dresses—but he didn’t insist on it. “I want the girls to be very powerful and partners, in some form, with the men. I don’t know what form. It’s an open world.”