Designer Philipp Plein is known for his extravagant runway shows, which are similar (in production levels, not taste) to, say, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, or Karl Lagerfeld. Normally, he's on the Milan Fashion Week calendar, but this season, Plein decided to show in NYC; he promised The New York Times promised an unforgettable spectacle, and his showing at the New York Public Library certainly lived up to that commitment.
In the past, the designer has incorporated swimming pools, jet skis, guns, and even Iggy Azaela into his shows. Just last season, Plein was criticized for his "Alice in Ghettoland" show, which featured the likes of Fergie and Fat Joe along with models spinning overhead on a flying carousel. The moment was accused of appropriating a culture that the white, German native doesn't come from; Twitter users said Plein (and, presumably, his career) was "canceled," and that Fashion Week "can go fuck itself." Thankfully, the designer's latest collection steered clear of similar controversy, despite a fire code violation or two.
But no one could get over the show's star studded cast. And, yeah, we're mainly just talking about Jeremy "Prison Bae" Meeks, who opened the show. Plein's ethos is completely more is more: More fur, more rhinestones, and more famous faces on (and off) the runway. (That approach differs markedly from designers like Jacobs, who, recently, told WWD that he's aware of how celebrity can detract from the clothes themselves.) Plein's runway has included the likes of Paris Hilton, Ed Westwick, and as of last night, Pete Wentz. Yeah, the Myspace-era, Fall Out Boy heartthrob we'll never not be in love with. The show's front row included Madonna, Kylie Jenner, and Tiffany Trump.
But back to Jeremy Meeks. The show's casting was executed by CR Fashion Book founder (and former French Vogue editrix) Carine Roitfeld, who's also handling the lineup at Yeezy this season. She wields a lot of influence in the industry, and has a knack for making stars out of faces she plucks from obscurity. (Or, presumably in Meeks' case, house arrest.) But in all seriousness, while we aren't surprised Meeks made it to the runway after winning over the internet with his piercing blue eyes in 2014, we'll admit to waiting patiently for this day to come.
It may have taken nearly three years, but Meeks' first turn on the catwalk last night felt like the model found his new home. And given that the fashion industry is known for welcoming outsiders (especially those rejected by society), it'd make sense that as diverse a show like Plein's would be the beginning of Meeks' career. And since Roitfeld is handling Yeezy's casting, too, we won't be entirely surprised if we see Meeks walking in West's show tomorrow. (Or, at least, we hope.)
By the time Wentz made his way around the marble columns, it was easy to forget why we were all there (at a show that started over an hour after its scheduled start time). But then, Sofia Richie turned the corner in a monogramed hoodie dress and it felt worth it to have trekked uptown at 9 p.m. on a Monday night for in the first place. That said, the clothes were fine. In between the flashing bulbs of the paparazzi and the blinding lights that bounced off each bling-y look that came down the runway, there was a lot to look (at if you could keep from squinting the entire time).
Plein's signature rock-studded aesthetic was out in full force, denim was stressed and distressed, and knee-high boots were still sky-high (save for a pair of sneaker boots that you'll see in the slideshow ahead). If bejeweled skull motifs and floor-length fur coats aren't not be your thing, there wasn't much else to covet; a camel coat on photographer Sebastian Faena might have been the only wearable takeaway from the collection. Whether Plein's wild New York debut lived up to its promise of blowing the minds of the American market will be determined when the clothes are made available later this year.
Check out some of the celeb-studded catwalk highlights from the show, ahead.