Arbiters of good taste might sniff at Philipp Plein’s bedazzled furs, heavily-logoed leathers and ex-con models — but that’s precisely the point. “We like just the right amount of wrong,” the German designer told the Post on the eve of Saturday’s show at the Hammerstein ballroom. “Just because fashion is a big business doesn’t mean that it has to be stiff and serious.”
It’s no wonder his show has become one of the hottest tickets in town. In Plein’s blinged-out world, everything is epic. He books headline-grabbing live music acts and the hottest models, invites an A-list mix of celebs and socialites and throws wild after-parties in legendary venues.
This season — his second in New York — burlesque artist Dita Von Teese is slated to warm up the crowd with a striptease, Future is rapping on the runway and Nicki Minaj is singing at the late-night bash. At Plein’s fall 2017 extravaganza at the New York Public Library, Nas and The Kills performed while Young Thug, Desiigner, Fetty Wap and Hot Felon Jeremy Meeks strutted their stuff.
“Philipp spends a lot of money, and he’s very good at creating a spectacle,” says Nicole Phelps, director of Vogue Runway. “He’s an outsider who is totally audacious and doesn’t necessarily understand the rules, and so has broken them from time to time. I recall my eyebrows almost being singed off at a Milan show when a vintage car exploded on the gasoline station set.”
Plein, 39, didn’t take the typical path to fashion design. The son of a heart surgeon and a homemaker, he had a “traditional” childhood in Germany and Switzerland. After a stint in law school, he began designing leather furniture and, by extension, handbags in the late ’90s. “I started to do fashion by mistake,” explains the renegade, who lives in Switzerland and has a young son with his ex-girlfriend. “I like to create things.”
Especially excitement. “I definitely love a good party,” says Plein. “Fashion should be fun and enjoyable.”