By Laura Goodson
Whilst working on articles in the Press Room, I’d heard the name ‘Philipp Plein’ being muttered down telephones, thrown between groups discussing the week’s agenda and exchanged between colleagues over a glass of champagne in the Press Lounge.
I’ll admit, I knew very little of the collection, but Lucilla, our photographer for the week’s sartorial adventure and a Milanese student for just over four years talked about the party with wide eyes. She assuring me that PP night was the highlight of Fashion Week and tickets for the event equivalent to gold dust. Combined with this, the mutterings in the Press Room and Mirko Ganctitano’s mention of the party during his interview earlier on in the week, I was curious to see what all the hype was about.
We arrived at the Phillipp Plein scene more than half an hour before the show was due to start. It wasn’t difficult to find the venue; a huge ‘PP’ logo was strewn across the dark mirrored building. Lasers illuminated the night sky; the set up commanded authority and verged on menacing. The crowd were clad almost entirely in black, studded boots and leather bowing sartorially to the command of PP.
I had left the tram in Milan and stepped into the scene of a Batman movie, to say I felt overwhelmed would be an understatement.
Fighting through the Batmen and Batladies commanded a certain level of tenacity but after 45 minutes of jostling, I made it to the front of the queue and found myself in the Philipp Plein Underworld.
Barely clad men frolicked in Polystyrene ball pits inviting guests to join them. A number of guests gleefully plunged into the pool taking full advantage of the opportunity and stopped to pose for selfies and group photos in front of the Philipp Plein photo canvas, before continuing into Philipp Plein’s, ‘Abyss Apocalypse.’
The runway was styled to represent a sea-bed with rocky outcrops forming an unconventional ‘s’ shaped runway. Jellyfish, wavering sea anemones and other sea creatures were projected onto the rocks in a psychotropic melange.
The lights dimmed and Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right here, Right now,’ began to rumble through the speakers.
The first looks to hit the runway included a selection of 50s cut tea dresses in black and white striped and polkadot variations. Then a splash of colour hit the catwalk and voluminous skirts in an exciting array of kaleidoscopic colours altered the mood from serious and chic to fun and colourful.
Mid-show the colours were muted and a more gothic tone emerged; black and silver striped trousers, a leather skirt and PVC trousers paid homage to the the Philipp Plein prototype.
But the muted mood didn’t last for long and and a riot of colours returned to the catwalk.
Silvery blues, red and yellow became integral to this lightened mood as shimmering models became mermaids. The aquatic theme was interrupted as rhinestoned toucans became an integral theme, embellished onto dresses and sweatshirts.
Finally, the last four models slinked down the catwalk in long sparkling maxi dresses with a trail that swished behind them.
While all the action on the catwalk had come to a close, the show was not over, 20 figures in white dresses emerged and kaleidoscopic images were projected onto the fabric. The crowd were silenced in awe, this final artistic touch had produced a bigger impact than the collection itself. The reaction confirmed my initial thoughts. -The Philipp Plein Empire is based on more than clothing, it’s a party, it’s a blazing spectacle and a celebration of the Philipp Plein cult following.-
As soon as the last ballerina had left the showspace, an army of waiters advanced towards the guests and handed out champagne; party fuel for the next leg of the journey. The baton of entertainment was then handed to British rapper, Tiny Tempah who entertained the crowd into the early hours.
Favourite Look: While this collection didn’t really appeal to my taste, the slinky, aquatic blue maxi dress was bewitching. The dress was worn by Victoria Secret model, Maria Borges and would look divine on taller, leaner figures.
Trend Note: Turn up the volume; Voluminous skirts are set to become a big trend this winter; wear yours ankle length for a ladylike aesthetic or knee-length for a younger, flirtier look.
Video: Lucilla Manino.
Words: Laura Goodson