Philipp Plein is plotting to go on the road once again, to bring his all-inclusive, non-reclusive brand of fashion mayhem back to New York Fashion Week next February for the first time since 2018. That will follow a new store opening in SoHo. And before that, this November, he’s cooking up a resort show to remember in Paris. But tonight was about his first full show back in Milan. Backstage, Plein conceded this installment was not one of his biggest—there were only around 2,000 of us, and no jet skis, monster trucks or upside-down stunt motorcyclists. But, he added: “it’s not about the size of the show, it’s about what you bring to the catwalk.”
Shortly afterwards, before Tommy Lee came out to soundtrack the collection from a drum kit on an elevated mirrored platform, and before Paris Jackson (the second Paris walking Milan tonight) came out in the first look, Plein himself hit the runway with a mic. He said: “Our last show was two days before the lockdown for 6,000 people, and it’s great to see you back. My shows are for the people who love the brand. And after this show we are going to have a thousand more people join us for a party like you have never seen, and we’re going to dance and celebrate love and happiness.”
The crowd whooped—as you would—before Plein delivered a smoochy tribute to his partner Lucia and their recently-born son Rocket Halo Ocean, plus his nine-year-old Romeo.Then Lee came out, flexed for the delighted runway photographers, threw off his biker jacket, and ascended his podium.
“It’s a rockstar collection for a rockstar brand,” Plein had prefaced. “And what is a rockstar? Someone who can do whatever he or she wants to do.” The collection that ensued was full of heavy metal on leather, and heavy with Swarovski in denim. Menswear was mixed with women’s following June’s focus on Plein Sport. There were the established Plein-ian tropes of Liberace-opulent sportswear and lightning-revere tailoring mixed with moto. Plus his design team did not rely only upon hitting the established standards: there were notable advances, especially in womenswear silhouettes and streetwear denim, that suggested real ambition to expand the collection’s level, reach and offer.
By the time PP and his models came down to the platform to collect Lee and dance on down the runway, many in the audience were standing, too. The other thousand who had come to the party were ready to get it started.