With a third child on the way and the 25th anniversary of his family-run business in full swing, it’s no wonder Philipp Plein, Milan’s great showman, lit up the night with one of his biggest runway spectacles yet.
Plein always goes XXL big with his shows, rolling motorcycles or monster trucks onto the runway, or preparing feasts fit for Louis XIV at his showroom presentations.
Saturday night’s outing was just as mega, with models flying around the show space on a swing ride that flashed with neon colors, or whizzing across the runway on rollerskates with light-up wheels.
No wonder the sequin-slicked, surgically enhanced crowds outside were pressing against the metal barriers and trying to wangle their way into the show, which was held at an indoor sports arena near the city’s old fairgrounds.
Plein has a ferociously loyal fan base, including customers — and collectors — from around the world who swoon for his giant, bejeweled watches; loud, patchwork high tops, and gold, crystal-studded cowboy boots.
The designer said they’re even going crazy for his tailored clothing.
“Sartorial clothing is becoming more and more important to my business,” said the designer, who was backstage with his 10-year-old son Romeo and his partner Lucia Bartoli, who’s set to give birth to their second child together imminently after their son Rocket.
Tailoring, he said, is the fastest-growing category at the brand for men and for women, “which is why you’ll see so many colorful suits and beautiful blazers tonight.”
Quavo, who opened the show, was dressed in a shiny silver jacket and leather flares, one of many tailored looks. Jackets came in bright graffiti prints with chubby lettering, or in solids like baby blue, raspberry or cream. Some were paired with motorcycle pants in denim or leather.
Skaters threaded their way between models, rolling to a boppy ’80s soundtrack that Plein compiled himself that included “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”; “99 Red Balloons”; “Walking on Sunshine,” and “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).”
The skaters showed off sportier looks, including flippy skirts, itsy-bitsy rainbow sequin tube dresses, artfully faded denim with smiley face, heart and star patches and logos galore. The Plein name and initials were plastered over white gym socks, an orange track suit, T-shirts with flame prints and motorcycle jackets.
Other models wore skyscraper platforms instead of skates and rocked across the runway in short frilly dresses — a pink and white one had a built-in bikini top — or sparkly, embellished suits with teeny skirts and cropped jackets.
The silhouettes weren’t all shrunken. For Plein’s lower-key customers (if they exist) there were belted graffiti coats with ’50s flair, and a lovely, flowy gown the color of an egg, sunny side up, which captured the good cheer of this collection.
“Fashion is a serious business, but the clothes have to be fun,” said Plein, who took a bow alongside his pal Saweetie, who was dressed in a black bikini under a long leather coat with crystal-embellished lapels.
With her blond mane, bright green nails and big smile she added even more bounce to this high-energy, celebratory show.
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