At New York’s historic Hammerstein Ballroom, PHILIPP PLEIN unveils the second chapter of his stateside adventure for Spring Summer 2018. There’s no place more fitting than the iconic midtown theater for Plein’s fairy tales and fetishes to collide. Good is about to go bad.

Entering the opulent two-tiered ballroom, guests find their way to round tables where champagne and hamburgers are served on silver platters. Elements of the classic opera house remain present, while elsewhere the lighting and staging recreate the illicit world of Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

At showtime, disco balls and pole dancers descend on the theater, with Dita von Teese who performs her famous “Martini Glass” a burlesque number. Then Future takes the stage; his beats come blaring through the speakers as Plein’s cast of top models makes their way down the runway, starting with Adriana Lima and ending with Irina Shayk. This season, a crew of young artists were thrown into that mix; among them are Teyana Taylor, 21 Savage, Swae Lee, Brandon Lee Anderson, Broadus Cordell, and his grandfather Papa Snoop, who all embody the badass spirit of the international fashion house. As Plein says, “Fashion is made in the streets. Not in the atelier.”

The collection does its job to drive that point home using inventive iconography, like a bedazzled fairy princess in bondage, along with friendly cartoon animals who pop up on studded denim jackets, duchesse silk dresses, and jacquards. Feminine lace and ruffly dresses are harnessed by leather bondage straps. Even seemingly innocent princesses and princes have fetishes. Plein Spring Summer 2018, for women and men, is a celebration of our inner desires. It’s the opposite of suppression. And the right amount of wrong.

After the show, it’s the after party. The evening’s VIPs, and their entourages, are invited to reserved tables sponsored by premiere New York City nightclub 1OAK. The final star of the evening is none other than Nicki Minaj, hip hop’s fairy princess if there ever was one.

Just like a dream that’s finally been realized, or a fairy tale that’s been concluded, the show is over—but the night is still young.


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