January 06, 2014 New York
"Play hard" is one of Philipp Plein's favorite mottos, and it was clear he took those words to heart this season. Aside from the neoclassical backdrop, the first thing you noticed about Plein's new Pre-Fall lookbook was the football gear (helmets, shoulder pads, and monogrammed pigskins) used as styling props, followed by the black "game day" streaks painted underneath the models' eyes and their matching dark lips. All together those extras tended to distract from the clothes, which were quite busy on their own. Plunging wrap dresses, kicky scuba skirts, and leather biker jackets came in a variety of photo-realistic prints ranging from ferocious leopards to space-age rockets to baroque architecture. In keeping with this more-is-more approach, Plein upped the collection's novelty factor with sequined Disney sweaters featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as well as his own personal take on the trendy fashion jersey (it read, "Plein 78," denoting his birth year). Several of those ideas felt a shade familiar, but no doubt they'll do well at retail. Also guaranteed to sell: wearable basics like quilted leather Perfectos and relaxed track pants. Plein continues to expand his customer base; he recently opened a Miami boutique, and a new Beverly Hills store is currently in the works.