That kiddie classic Playmobil is immensely popular in
Europe, where, ever since the seventies, children have
been turning flat, featureless, little plastic
creatures into various characters with the addition of
different click-on accessories. Now, thanks to Viktor
Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the figures appear to have
become a comment on the genetic militarism of men.
In a collection dominated by toy-bright reds and blues
plus military tones, the designers focused on boyhood
fantasies of grown-up power. A pair of trousers came
with attached cowboy holsters and cartridge holder
(the bullet that was thoughtfully included was
engraved "Monsieur"). T-shirts were printed with a gun
or a grenade (in fetching pink!). A Swiss Army knife
appeared as a Pop Art multiple on a shirt. One jacket
was woven with black-on-black Jacquard revolvers.
Another, in beige cashmere cotton, had monochrome
detailing like the braid on a general's jacket.
Playmobil's click-ons were duplicated in surface
adornmentsruffles, badges, military
decorationswhich Velcro-ed on and off. The
company's exaggerated detailing was reflected in jeans
with huge stitching. And the figures'
two-dimensionality was apparent in lapels stitched
flat to create a featureless plane. So, if you fancy
evoking a plastic toy with your wardrobe for next
fall, your options are obvious.