For anyone still feeling miffed about the toned-downed nature of last season’s presentation by fashion’s greatest showman Philipp Plein, the designer for his “Monsters of Rock” spectacle turned up the heat. Literally.
A flame spurting battalion of “Mad Max”-style armored monster trucks and branded floats rolled into the concert hall venue, carrying snarling flame shooters and Los Angeles-based rock group The Entire Universe, which performed for the audience in twinkly black getup, swigging from a bottle of wine. Growling motorbikes skidded about the space, performing wheelies, flames shooting from the horns of their riders’ helmets. “I’m in shock,” gasped one startled looking fashion editor as in clumped a part-machine, part-rhino, snorting flames from its horn.
Quite the opener. One where, possibly for the first time in fashion history, anyone has ever regretted landing a front row seat. Especially those wearing hairspray.
“Expect the unexpected,” shrugged the designer backstage. “I used to do big productions, then for the last two shows I slowed down a little bit on purpose because people expected always something big. They got used to it.”
He also talked about music’s influence on fashion. “When I was young it was the time of Guns N’ Roses, Blink-182, The Offspring, Green Day, all these rock bands. Back in the day, all the top models wanted to date Axl Rose, today they want to date rap stars. So I wanted to bring it back to rock,” he said.
And so he did, collaborating with U.S. hard rock band Kiss for the characteristically showy line-up, with makeup to match, opening, in the women’s heavy lineup, with a long red and black sequined dress with cut-outs covered in Kiss logos. Flames shot up the following silver sequin-embroidered minidress, worn with strapped crystal-embellished thigh-high boots, with the concept evolving into a Kiss co-branded crystal embroidered bodysuit a few looks down.
As his palette cleanser, a tattooed woman in an acid green one-piece swimsuit trotted by in heels ringed with spiky multicolor straps, trailing a neon pink snakeskin biker jacket, like a pin-up from a catch wrestling show.
For the men, key looks included denim covered in embroidered red vampire mouths clamping crystal bars in their fanged teeth; aged leather jackets erupting in furry patches of spikes; mismatched studded neon sneakers; white python bikers covered in patches, and heavily distressed denim pants.
Plein, who is preparing for the imminent launch of the brand’s first scent, which will be licensed and unisex and made “with one of the leading noses,” took his stage bow with a Kiss guitar and flamethrower to warm up the crowd. “It’s the biggest party of fashion week,” he announced. “Let the party begin.”