Diesel Black Gold's Space Odyssey Was Inspired by NASA Suits

Andreas Melbostad’s fall 2014 outing for the label started with a bang, literally: A large metal plate, reminiscent of a solar panel orbiting outer space, crashed down on the stage right before the show began.
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Andreas Melbostad’s fall 2014 outing for the label started with a bang, literally: A large metal plate, reminiscent of a solar panel orbiting outer space, crashed down on the stage right before the show began.
Photos: IMAXtree

Photos: IMAXtree

Andreas Melbostad’s fall 2014 outing for Diesel Black Gold started with a bang, literally: A large metal plate, reminiscent of a solar panel orbiting outer space, crashed down on the stage right before the show began. Spectators gasped. All the better to communicate the earth-shattering sense of far-off futurism that shaped the DBG aesthetic this time around. “It was the tension between the past and the future that helped create a wardrobe built for survival against the elements,” Melbostad explained. But among all that tension, he discovered his ability to rehash a classic dress with the brand’s signature glam-rock codes. We talked to the designer backstage to find out more.

The crashing gate, the alluring astronauts, the strong women -- it all felt reminiscent of the film Gravity. How does space, specifically, relate to your design aesthetic? I wanted it to be a very sharp collection, and I loved the idea of retro-futurism because there’s something quite optimistic and positive about it. So it was part research on authentic astronaut suits and things like that, and then part research into different periods and different designs that were influenced by science fiction and the future-and-fantasy idea of it.

Any specific science fiction references? Well, the real starting point was a book on NASA space suits, a very sort of detailed book about the actual utility of them. And I’m always interested in the utility and function of design. So that was really the starting point. And then, obviously, the ’60s and the ’90s -- I mean, the soundtrack was very much taken from the '90s.

Yes, I heard Lindstrøm. With the incorporation of menswear, how does it affect the womenswear? Is it a love story or is it purely plutonic? I want the girls to be very powerful and partners in some form with the men; I don’t know what form. It is, after all, an open world.

Anything new for you this season? The newest thing for me was the dresses. The neoprene and the power jersey world was kind of new for me -- and for Diesel Black Gold.