Philipp Plein turned his sprawling headquarters in central Milan into an exhibition of humongous sculptures.
Based on archetypal monsters, they were created by the designer himself — not just as the backdrop for his fall runway, but to be eventually sold via art dealers. They included Lil’Boo, a shy little ghost, Lil’Diablo, a sinister fellow with a crazy hairdo, and Lil’Cyclops, a one-eyed creature reminiscent of Mike Wazowski of Disney’s Monsters & Co.’s fame.
Plein said backstage that the monsters were first intended as NFT-only art and then he turned into physical objects, intending to exhibit them next December at Art Basel Miami. Making the art project all the more irreverent, the designer reinterpreted the classical Laocoön and His Sons statue and shod all the characters in Plein sneakers.
The art inspired the fall collection in straightforward ways. He splashed the colorful Lil Monsters crew on everything from crystal-encrusted trackpants and bomber jackets to fluid shirts and puffers. Monster-shaped patches appeared on cool varsity jackets while embroidered versions adorned playful knits. Plein added a few women’s looks, too, including faux furs bearing the monsters on the back and as all-over prints on the lining.
Compared to Plein’s usual sass — save for the extreme stiletto heels — the collection looked fresher and younger with its pop-tinged exuberance.