MILAN--Philipp Plein's euro, rock, bon vivant style is certainly an acquired taste, but the German-designer certainly has no problem packing the house with international fashion goers -- many of whom show up out of sheer curiosity to see what extravaganza he will produce next.
A crowd of 800 invitees packed into the stands at Milan's Fascist- Era Caimi swimming pool to witness a show of synchronized swimmers, the rap lyrics of Theophilus London, and lastly, two tuxedo stuntmen with the determination and allure of James Bond, zipping crazy eights and dolphins flipping around the alighted pool.
Oh, right, and the clothes... It was as if an East Coast country club boy and his hip hop black sheep twin mashed their wardrobes together -- in a spring summer collection that was filled with contrasts from the marine world and gangsta style.
Classic crew club-striped, ribbed sweaters were tucked discreetly under fitted blazers and juxtaposed with thrasher jeans. Golden marine patches were stitched indiscriminately over the entirety of shorts and pant suits, as well as indigo denim shirts. Models were accessorized with Italia Independent sunglasses, spike-studded basketball shoes, velvety loafers and tote bags fashioned with Saffiano leather.
In true Plein style, biker jackets were fashioned out of exotic leathers such as laminated python and alligator.
A true showman, there is a good chance that Plein could have some serious success as a film or theater director, but by looking at the crowds he draws to Milan fashion week, it is clear that the line-up here needs him -- his keen mix of wild fashion, rock and shock and awe keeps everyone coming back for more.