When Phi was shuttered nearly three years ago, designer Andreas Melbostad had built himself an enviable following. Cool girls elbowed each other to squeeze into his front row. Newly installed at Diesel Black Gold, where he replaces Sophia Kokosalaki, Melbostad has delivered a tough, urban collection that will reignite the fervor that surrounded his last shows for Phi. His penchant for contrasting textures, leather, seaming details, hardware, and the color black are an excellent fit for Diesel's advanced contemporary label. "The attitude of the product is familiar to me," he said. "I like that it's a little more accessible."
Melbostad went with an American biker theme for pre-fall and made that familiar source of inspiration feel fresh. The emphasis was on outerwear: motorcycle jackets with quilting at the shoulders, a mac with leather detailing, a long, hooded parka equal parts practical and chic. Denim, naturally, was a major component, too.
Melbostad did it two ways: engineered and treated (some skinny jeans almost looked like leather) or authentic and unadorned. His girls will almost certainly go for the former. Rounding things out was a series of vibrant, Art Nouveau silk prints inspired by an Austrian wall painting. "I wanted the prints to feel like biker tees," he said. In the end, they were a whole lot more sophisticated than anything we've seen on the back of a Harley, but that's no demerit. All around, an exciting beginning.
December 6, 2012 NEW YORK, By Nicole Phelps